>Duo fly into state track and field meet, joined by Ferguson, Moody and Cuautle,
Defending Oregon 3A state triple jump champion Dominique Easterling and 2002 100-meter medal winner John Adams will top a five-member Madras High contingent at this year's Les Schwab - U.S. Bank Oregon Scholastic Activities Association 3A Track and Field Championships.
The title meet takes place Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene.
Madras head coach Lonnie Henderson echoed a lament he's found himself using throughout the season after the White Buffalos did well in the events they had competitors in yet couldn't match the numbers other teams posted.
Multiple-event stardom flashed by Adams and Easterling plus the showings of Sierra Ferguson, Charlene Moody and Jocelyn Cuautle in their events let Madras earn five slots in the May 30, 31 championships.
Senior javelin thrower Pasha Smith was aced out of a trip to represent Madras just before graduation by regulations.
Unleashing a career-best javelin toss of 115-feet, 2-inches left Smith third in the district and waiting to see if her distance may earn her a trip to Eugene as one of the two best third-place throws. Unfortunately, tosses by a North Bend trio who went one-two-three in the Far West were 134-11, 130-03 and 121-06. Despite two girls getting into the field by placing second with throws more than two feet short of Smith's, one more fling that finished third beat her's.
Henderson was left to note -- after a fifth- and sixth-place team finish at last Thursday and Friday's Tri-Valley Conference district championship meet -- "We might not have numbers, but we have quality."
While some other league teams beat or matched the Buffs in their number of state qualifiers, most had two and three times as many competitors bidding for berths in Eugene. Even though it had only seven boys and nine girls entered in the entire meet, Madras finished fifth among the boys and sixth among the girls in the eight-team fields.
Both Adams, a senior, and Easterling, a junior, will compete in the long jump for the White Buffalos at Eugene. They won the twin berths for the Buffs by finishing first and second in the district event. A 21-7 leap earned Easterling his win while a 21-4.5 got Adams soaring to Hayward Field as well.
Lists of the distances and times turned in on the athletes behalf from their district meets were compared to each other. The distances and times will leave in entrant in a specific heat, if they are running, of a certain flight, if they are in a field event.
Easterling had the longest distance turned in among the district champs in the triple jump but did get nipped by a leaper from Lakeview early in the season. He was also second in the state in the long jump list plus in the top five in the high jump. Adams was close enough to the top among the sprinters as to be looking at being one of the two fastest in his specific heat.
If it lives up to its potential, Madras could outscore most the teams it finished behind in the district meet. Having a number of events in which its athletes are favored to stand on the awards podium after the event makes Madras a threat to score more points than its Tri-Valley compatriots whose points came mainly from third-, fourth-, and fifth-place finishes, which did not qualify them for the state meet.
Smith, who scored points with her third, even though not quite making the state meet, was part of a veritable herd of Buffs who posted top three finishes.
Carly Lofting, another of the rare seniors on the team, was just short of the state meet too.
A good discus toss by Lofting wound up third behind teammate Sierra Ferguson, the champ. Lofting's distance was not quite enough to earn her an automatic berth in the event.
Events must be competed in at the state meet for a 10-year period to establish automatic qualifying distances and the javelin has not reached that point.
Eugene's Hayward Field, home of the University of Oregon track and field program will be the destination for all the Buffs who made the state meet.
Smith's throw was just four inches from earning second at the Gladstone yet it had to be measured against the third place throws from each of the other districts to see if it was long enough to advance. It would be the first trip to the having been part of the state meet as long as most events, a minimum qualifying mark has not bee but had
Stampeding to tickets to Friday and Saturday's, May 30 and 31, U.S. Bank - Les Schwab Tires Oregon 3A State Track and Field Championships, Easterling, Adams and Moody all qualified with efforts on Thursday, May 22. That was the first day of the two-day event.
Easterling and Adams finished first and second in the boys' long jump at the Tri-Valley League's district championship meet on May 22 to become among the early qualifiers for the state tournament.
Half the boys and girls field events, plus the finals in both the girls and the boys 3,000 meters, completed their competition Thursday but the rest of the field events and all the other running events held finals on Friday.