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White wins discus, shot at state meet

Flo Engelke also places, taking eighth in boys 800-meter run

by: PHOTO COURTESY OF PAM WHITE - Megan White stands on the podium with one of her first-place medals from the state track and field championships. White won both the shot put and discus at the meet, which was held in Monmouth May 18-19.

Megan White is a double state champion.
   The Mitchell High School junior defended her state discus title with a throw of 128-06, then surprised everyone with a first-place finish in the shot put.
   “It’s her own hard work and determination,” said Mitchell track coach Adam Leary. “She’s the first to practice and the last to leave.”
   White dominated the discus competition at the state meet, winning by more than 18 feet over second-place Mariah Camargo of Condon/Wheeler.
   “All season, I had a pretty good lead on everybody and I was really going for the state record,” White said. “I didn’t get it, but I did set a personal record at district (124-04) and then I PR’d again at state.”
   The shot put was another story. White didn’t even qualify for the state championship a year ago. She earned a trip to state in the shot put this year with a second-place finish at the Big Sky District Championships where she was beaten by Taylor Darden of Dufur.
   In addition, Whitney Schreiber and Courtney Hendrix of Alsea finished one-two at state a year ago, and both were back this year.
   “We all threw in the 35-foot range in the first round and I was ahead by three inches,” White said. “On my third throw, I threw 37-05.50.”
   Darden nearly matched White in the finals, heaving a throw of 37-05.
   “She beat me by a half-inch at district, but I got her back by a half-inch at state,” White said.
   Hendrix took third with a throw of 36-07 while Schreiber took fourth with a heave of 36-00.50.
   White’s goal is to not only win state in both events next year, but to set the state meet record in each event.
   “We have sent her to private training with the Dean of Concordia University (former discus world record holder Mac Wilkins),” said Leary. “We’ve worked hard to upgrade our facilities and we’ve purchased a couple of new discus. She is planning on going to a lot of camps this summer, and she trains hard in the off-season.”
   Along with camps and tutoring from Wilkins, White is also quick to credit Spray track coach Dennis Starr for much of her success.
   “I want to give Mr. Starr a special thanks for helping me when he didn’t have to,” White said. “All season, he would help me just like I was one of his kids.”
   White was not the only Mitchell athlete to place at the state meet.
   Engelke also places at meet
   Foreign exchange student Flo Engelke also qualified for the state meet after taking the district championship in the 800-meter run.
   “Four weeks before state, we moved him to the 800,” Leary said. “It was his first year of running track and he put a tremendous amount of work in.”
   Engelke ran a career-best time of 2:10.53 to win the district championship. Then, at state, he improved to 2:07.36 to edge New Hope Christian’s David Johnson for eighth place.