OC guys trophy at state for the first time in their school's history
The boys on Oregon City High School's track and field team did themselves and their community proud the weekend of May 25-26, capturing the second-place team trophy from the 2012 State Class 6A High School Track and Field Championships, contested at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.
'It's the first time a boys [track team] from Oregon City has won a team trophy at state,' said Oregon City coach Adam Thygeson. 'It's the first time a boys team has finished top four [at a state track and field meet]. That's going back over 100 years.'
It's 127 years, to be precise. The school opened in 1885.
'This has been an awesome group,' said Thygeson. 'They've had [winning a trophy at state] as a goal all season....
'The seniors were heartbroken, walking off the track. They wanted to win it. But they should be very proud. They've done something no other team has done.'
'It feels pretty amazing,' said Oregon City senior captain Jarom Youngblood. 'No team from Oregon City had gotten better than top five, and we got second place. It's a great feeling!'
'Hayward Field can be pretty intimidating,' Youngblood added. 'A lot of times you come to state with high expectations and you choke. This year that didn't happen. Our athletes knew what they needed to do, and we got it done.'
The battle for team supremacy was hotly contested. Aloha won the boys meet with 54 points. Oregon City scored 44. Sunset and Westview tallied 40 points each and tied for third; Newberg (39) placed fifth and Jesuit (38) finished sixth.
Oregon City had 40 points and was tied with Sunset, four points back of Aloha, entering the final event, the 4x400-meter relay.
'It was a long shot,' said Thygeson. 'But if we'd won the 4x400 and Aloha had finished sixth or worse, we would have won the championship.'
As it turned out, Westview (3:21.02), Aloha (3:24.85) and Oregon City (3:26.03) placed first, second and fifth respectively in the 4x400 relay. Sunset, Newberg and Jesuit did not qualify teams for the 4x400 finals.
Oregon City junior Justin Cornejo played a huge role in the Pioneers' success, scoring points in four events. Cornejo placed fourth in the 100-meter dash (11.19) and fourth in the 200 (22.48), and he ran legs on Oregon City 4x100 (42.64) and 4x400 relay teams that placed third and fifth respectively.
The five team points that Cornejo earned in the 200 brought the Pioneers' team total up to 40 points and clinched at least a tie for a trophy.
Cornejo was on fire in the preliminaries of the state meet. He re-set his own school records in the 100 and 220 prelims with respective times of 10.84 and 21.94, and he anchored a school-record time of 42.64 in the preliminaries of the 4x100 relay.
in the shot put
The Pioneers had a state champion in the boys shot put, where junior Beau Brosseau launched the iron ball 58-11-1/4. Brosseau withdrew from the javelin, where he would have earned additional points, because of a sore elbow.
'He's capable of throwing in the 190's, which would have gotten him third place,' said Thygeson. 'But we didn't want to chance any long-term damage.'
Oregon City senior Andy Rondema earned fourth place in the javelin with an effort of 183-4.
The Pioneers also earned points in the pole vault, where Youngblood cleared 14-3, good for third place; and in the 400-meter dash, where senior Trevor Dye placed sixth, with an effort of 50.44.
It was a long sought-after accomplishment for Youngblood, who had fallen just one height short of making the state finals as a sophomore, and who no-heighted in the preliminaries last year.
'The difference this year was confidence,' said Youngblood. 'Having been there twice before I didn't have the nerves, and I sucked it up and did what I needed to do to help the team.'
Dye, Youngblood and senior Sam Hoult joined Cornejo in the 4x400 relay, while Hoult, Dye and junior Ryan Cox were a part of the 4x100 relay team that earned third place.
'The core group of seniors are a great group of kids,' said Thygeson. 'Jarom was a three-time district champion in the pole vault, Andy was a three-time district champion in the javelin, and Trevor's been invaluable as the emotional leader of the team. They'll be missed.
'We're losing some key guys, but the cupboard's not bare. Beau is very dedicated and, if he can stay healthy, he should win the shot and the javelin next year. Justin [Cornejo] is just beginning to realize his potential; Ryan Cox will be tough in the sprints; and we'll reload with a super freshmen class and some talented sophomores.'
Oregon City seniors Mikayla Friend and Marissa Gehring both got the job done at the Class 6A girls meet. Friend, in just her second year of track and field, placed fourth in the shot put (39-5-1/4) and sixth in the discus (120-11).
Gehring cleared 10-9 and placed fourth in the pole vault. Prior to the state meet her best vault in competition was 10-0.
Sophomore Connor McLean was the only athlete from Clackamas to place at state. He cleared a personal best 13-9 to earn sixth place in the Class 6A boys pole vault.