The Mustang junior wins a state title in the discus

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Kayler Hammond-Stief competes in the discus at the 2013 Class 5A State Championship Track and Field Meet. The Milwaukie High School junior improved upon her personal best by close to 10 feet and was a surprise state champion in the event.EUGENE — Milwaukie junior Kayler Hammond-Stief came through with a phenomenal performance at the recent Class 5A State High School Track and Field Championships, earning a state title in the discus.

Hammond-Stief won the event with an effort of 124-3, a personal best by close to 10 feet. Her winning throw came on her second-to-last attempt, and it moved her ahead of Sherwood junior Elyse Cuthbertson, who finished second with a personal best toss of 120-1.

“I was really surprised I won,” said Hammond-Stief. “I was happy just to be there. First or eighth, I was just happy I got to compete.”

Hammond-Stief showed marked improvement in the discus this spring. Her best mark as a sophomore was 96-4.

“She had the best series of anyone down there....,” Milwaukie throws coach Roland Aumueller said. “She’s a hard worker. She stayed late and practiced on weekends. She’s a great of example of ‘If you work hard, it’s going to pay off.’”

Hammond-Stief explained the motivation behind her improvement: “It’s my coach, Roland Aumueller. He is really dedicated. All the time he put in with me and other kids made me want to work harder. I just wanted to do it for my coach.”

“I’ve been coaching at Milwaukie for 23 years,” Aumueller said. “I’ve had a lot of girls place, but she’s my first female state champion.”

Hammond-Stief is only the fourth female in the history of Milwaukie High School to have won a state title in track and field. She joins Barb Sicora (4-8 in the high jump in 1966), Janelle Joy (300 low hurdles in 2000 and 2001, 42.58) and Shannon Susbauer (10:05.39 in the 3,000 in 2012).

Upon learning that she was only the fourth female from Milwaukie to earn a state title in track and field, Hammond-Stief said, “That makes me feel good. It makes me want to work hard and help my little sister [freshman Kenady Hammond-Stief] so she’ll be able to do the same thing I did.”

Hammond-Stief’s winning throw moved her up from No. 7 to No. 2 on Milwaukie High School’s list of all-time bests for the girls discus. Kaitlin Doyle (2011) holds the school record, at 135-5.

“If she stayed next year, I know Kayler would set a school record,” Aumueller said. “But she’s graduating early....”

A junior with a 3.8 GPA, Hammond-Stief is graduating from Milwaukie this year. She plans to enroll at Linfield College in the fall and she hopes to compete for the Wildcats in track and field next season.

Hammond-Stief wasn’t the only Milwaukie athlete to place at this year’s state meet.

Senior Sasha Gonzalez improved upon her lifetime best by eight seconds and placed seventh in the 3,000-meter run. Her time of 10:41.9 moves her up to No. 7 on Milwaukie’s all-time list for that event.

The Mustangs also had four boys place at the Class 5A State Meet.

Milwaukie boys were especially tough in the jumps. Junior Dante Meade (43-9-3/4) and senior Trevontae Anderson (43-0-3/4) placed third and fifth respectively in the triple jump, and senior Dominique Meade (22-0-1/2) placed fourth in the long jump.

Milwaukie senior Jake Leary placed sixth in the boys discus, with an effort of 137-9.

Dante’s mark in the triple jump was a personal record and it moved him up to No. 6 all-time at Milwaukie for the event.

Dominique was within one-half of an inch of his PR in the long jump. He leaves Milwaukie ranked No. 4 all-time in the long jump.

Anderson leaves Milwaukie No. 11 all-time in the triple jump, with a personal best of 43-3-1/4, which he recorded at the 2013 Northwest Oregon Conference District Meet.

Milwaukie coach Chuck Nott said the Mustangs also came close to having a state champion in the long jump.

“Kendrick Bourne just barely scratched on all three of his jumps and any one of them would have won it,” Nott observed. “He’d scratch by maybe just half an inch and we’d move him back, and he’d scratch by half an inch again.”

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