Coach Nott believes the Mustangs may have the horses to do great things

Milwaukie High School boys track and field coach Chuck Nott says he believes the Mustangs may have the horses to contend for the Class 5A state title this spring.

“I think this will be a very good big-meet team and I think we could could very well challenge for a state championship this year, if we stay healthy...,” Nott said. “I don’t believe Milwaukie has ever had a state champion [in boys track and field before]. But the kids have been working hard and I think they understand they have a chance of being something special.”

Nott says that Sherwood and Wilsonville should be his Mustangs’ toughest competition in the Northwest Oregon Conference, but he also believes his Mustangs have a good chance of unseating the two-time defending district champion Wilsonville Wildcats.

“They’re the only [league] team that’s beaten us in dual meets and district meets since we’ve been in the league,” Nott noted.

Nott says he’s got a host of athletes capable of making the finals at state in multiple events, including the sprints, shot put and discus, all three jumping events, and the sprint relay.

The Mustangs got an indication of things to come in last week’s meet with Gladstone and Banks at Gladstone.

Milwaukie senior Richard Ramsey breezed to first place in the 100- and 200-meter dash, in speedy early-season times of 11.14 and 22.74. His time in the 100 tied Ramsey’s personal record for the event, and his time in the 200 was just off his PR.

The 200 time ranks Ramsey No. 1 in the state for all levels, including 6A; his 100-meter time ranks him No. 1 in 5A.

Competing for Jefferson High School, Ramsey placed sixth at state in the 100 and eighth in the 200 at last year’s Class 5A State Meet.

“Last week was his first week out [for track] after basketball,” Nott said. “So he’s going to get a lot faster. He should be one of the top athletes in the state in both the 100 and 200, and he’ll help us in the relay.”

Nott noted that Ramsey will have competition in the Northwest Oregon Conference, with state 100- and 200-meter finalists Cristian Morris (Sherwood) and Ryan Walsh (Wilsonville) both returning. Morris was state runner-up in both the 100 and 200 in 2012.

Milwaukie throws specialist Jake Leary demonstrated in last week’s meet at Gladstone that he still has his stuff, winning the discus in a 5A state’s best and 21-foot PR of 147-4, and winning the shot put with a heave of 47-10, just two inches shy of his lifetime best in the event.

Leary was a state finalist in the shot put last year, placing in the top eight at state with an effort of 46-8-3/4. Last week’s mark in the discus would have earned Leary fifth place in the discus at the 2012 State Meet.

Leary is the defending NWOC champion in the shot put.

Nott says he has three very capable long and triple jumpers in senior Dominique Meade, junior Dante Meade and senior Kendrick Bourne.

Dante Meade leaped 20-6-1/2 and Bourne leaped 20-4-1/2 to finish one-two in the long jump at Gladstone. It was Bourne’s first time competing in the event.

Dominique Meade proved himself one of the NWOC’s top jumpers and sprinters last year before being sidelined by an injury late in the season. He’s had some issues with injuries again this year, but is expected back after spring break, according to Nott.

Dominique Meade had bests of 21-6 in the long jump, 11.52 in the 100 and 23.68 in the 200 as a junior.

“Dominique looks stronger and faster than ever,” Nott said.

Nott says he has yet another talented sprinter in senior Javonte Hughes, who finished second to Ramsey, with a time of 11.2, at Gladstone.

“He also ran the high hurdles for the first time ever and won that in 17.2,” Nott said of Hughes. “I was very impressed.”

Another first-time hurdler showed potential at Gladstone. Milwaukie junior Robert Akil Jr. won the intermediate hurdles in 45.2.

“Robert’s dad, Robert Akil Sr., was a two-time state champion at Jefferson, and Robert says he’s going to try to match what his dad did,” Nott said.

And the Mustangs have senior Trevontae Anderson in the high jump. He cleared 6-0 in last week’s meet at Gladstone.

And Nott says that his 4x100-meter relay team of Dominique Meade, Hughes, Bourne and Ramsey could prove to be one of the best sprint relay teams in the state.

The Mustangs were dominant at last week’s meet at Gladstone, outscoring Gladstone 87-47, and Banks 79-56.

The wins would have been even more decisive except for a dropped baton in the 4x100 relay.

The Mustangs begin NWOC competition next Wednesday at St. Helens. They host Sherwood on Wednesday, April 10, and they meet Wilsonville in their final meet of the dual season on May 8, at Wilsonville.

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