RARIFIED AIR: THE TOP 10 SPORTS STORIES OF 2017
Scappoose and St. Helens athletes reached new heights with first-time state championships, improved school records and postseason streaks and celebrated playoff upsets throughout 2017.
The following are the top sports stories of the year.
Miguel Olmedo wins St. Helens' first heavyweight wrestling championship
Miguel Olmedo's quick thinking lifted him into St. Helens history and an ultimate tiebreaker for the Class 5A championship Feb. 25 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
The 6-foot, 285-pound senior, in the very last final of the weekend, spun to his right in a one-point escape and a 3-2 win over 5-foot-11 Sandy junior Iosefa Polamalu, the very same score by which he had beaten Polamalu for his first Northwest Oregon Conference championship two weeks earlier.
Olmedo rode a 28-1 record through which he won his first Northwest Oregon Conference championship and became the Lions' seventh state wrestling champion, the first since Myles Terry at 182 in 2015 and the first at heavyweight since Mike Pense's Class 3A triumphs at 275 in 1991-92.
Olmedo waited 12 hours between the semifinal and championship rounds after receiving Crescent Valley sophomore Brandon Lareau's medical forfeit, pinning Hood River Valley junior Adrian Ramirez in 4 minutes, 42 seconds and shutting down fifth-ranked Hermiston junior Beau Blake 1-0.
John Kavulich runs to Scappoose's first cross country championship
John Kavulich's latest Indians boys' cross country record is the brightest of all.
The senior, who leads the all-time 3,000-meter (9 minutes, 10.3 seconds), 3,100 (9:50) and 5,000 (15:41.3) lists, reached the Class 4A Cross Country Championships finish line (16:23) ahead of fourth-years Jordan Pollard (Sisters, 16:34) and Robby Vos (Phoenix, 16:47) Nov. 4, at Lane Community College in Eugene.
Kavulich, in back-to-back state trips, became the first Tribe boy to qualify since Dan Carrier made it four years in a row from 2011-2014.
Linnaea Kavulich wins Indians' first state 3,000-meter championship in school-record time
Linnaea Kavulich led her girls' 3,000-meter run, the very first event at the Class 4A Track and Field State Championships May 19 at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field in Eugene, in the shortest time the Indians have ever seen.
Kavulich, then a junior, finished first in a school-record 10 minutes, 26.40 seconds and became Scappoose High's first 3,000 run medalist and the Tribe's 24th state track and field champion.
Kavulich is the first Indians girl to win it all since Charlie Davidson aced the 1,500 run in 2014, and she helped her girls' team to its best-ever 45 points for fifth as Astoria (57) won its third state title in a row.
Jacob Opdahl and Dakotah Camberg win St. Helens' first boys' javelin championship and first boys' high jump title in 79 years
Jacob Opdahl's very last high school throw pierced St. Helens' first javelin championship May 20 at the Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
The senior scratched his first two attempts in the final round and, with a Class 5A gold medal riding on his final throw, launched a personal-best 178 feet, 7 inches past La Salle Prep senior Sean Hamel's (178-1) and Mountain View junior Luke Schulz's (167-6) for the win.
Dakotah Camberg, a junior at the time, won the high jump with a personal-best and school-record-tying 6-foot, 6-inch leap over Hermiston senior Hiram Maciel (6-5) and Thurston junior Tyson Haas (6-4), and became the Lions' first state high jump medalist since Earl Hamilton won it twice -- both at 5-10 -- in 1936 and 1938.
Opdahl and Camberg celebrated St. Helens' first state track and field championships since Ryan Byrd won the 1,500-meter run in 2012, and are the 25th and 26th such Lions to win it all.
Opdahl and Camberg lifted the Lions boys to 32 points and sixth in the state, their best outing since they beat Lebanon for their first Class 5A crown in 2007.
Nathan Mapes, Chase Elliot, AJ Miltich, Jake Gray, Jack Eggers and Colton Bush win Scappoose boys' first state golf championship
The Indians opened with their best round of the year and closed with their first Class 4A state championship trophy May 15-16 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis.
Nathan Mapes (a then-senior, 80-75--155, fourth individually), Chase Elliot (a freshman, 72-88--160, tied for ninth), AJ Miltich (a senior, 79-82--161, 12th), Jake Gray (a junior, 79-83--162, tied for 13th), junior Jake Eggers and senior Colton Bush (a respective 99 and 96 for a 195 and a tie for 53rd) played to a 310-328--638 for the title in bouncing Crook County from its throne after replacing Seaside as Cowapa League champion and repeating as Region 1 champions.
Tyler Cooper second at wrestling state
Tyler Cooper became the Indians' third two-time Class 4A runner-up Indians wrestler as he faced North Marion sophomore Russel Stigall in the 120-pound championship bout but fell 4-3 to Stigall's late takedown Feb. 25 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Cooper, a senior who came up second at 113 pounds in 2016, earned a place in Scappoose history as only he, Devin Ray (220 in 2014, 2015) and Bryce Klum (119 in 2007, 103 in 2006) have climbed to second at state twice.
Cooper entered the final after pinning Phoenix sophomore Elijah Leonis in 53 seconds, taking 7-3 revenge against Crook County freshman Zachary Maurus, who handed him his first loss of the season at the District 1 championships two weeks earlier, and besting Stayton senior Ryan Ninman 8-4.
Scappoose girls' cross country second at Class 4A state
The Indians girls outran all but repeat champion Tillamook in the Class 4A Girls' Cross Country Championships 5,000-meter race Nov. 4 at Lane Community College in Eugene.
Scappoose's 108-point performance is its best since its 82-point Class 4A crown in 2011.
Linnaea Kavulich, a senior, led the Tribe in 19 minutes, 4 seconds for second individually behind Tillamook sophomore and first-time medalist Solace Bergeron (18:44), and Georgia Benner (also a senior, 25th, 20:37), Emma Jones (a sophomore, 30th, 20:46), Tess Conway (a sophomore, 21:26), Tessa Davidson (a freshman, 21:42), Alyson Worthington (a senior, 84th in a personal-record 23:12) and Gaby Dague (a sophmore, 101st in 24:36, a personal record) followed in the race for first.
The Indians girls, for whom Kavulich won the Cowapa League title as a freshman, sophomore and junior and reached state four years in a row, will carry their 18-year state qualification streak into Northwest Oregon Conference contention in 2018.
Bryant Sharp, Austin Sharp, Will Harley and Brannigan Vogt set new Scappoose boys' 400-yard relay record at Class 4A/3A/2A/1A state
Bryant Sharp, Austin Sharp, Will Harley and Brannigan Vogt are still the Indians boys' fastest 400-yard freestyle relay team ever.
The freshman, senior and juniors sprinted to a new school record in 3 minutes, 43.68 seconds in the Class 4A/3A/2A/1A swimming state preliminaries Feb. 17 at the Mt. Hood Aquatics Center in Gresham.
The foursome, whose time improved on Todd Graham, Jeremy Powell, Kody Backus and Ryan Rafferty's historic 3:50.41 set in 2012, raced to fourth in the first heat and seventh overall, just behind Baker/Powder Valley (3:35.96), the sixth and final qualifier for the evening's ultimate event.
Scappoose girls' soccer reaches state quarterfinals
The No. 3 Indians kept Philomath junior goalkeeper Kena Bacho on edge throughout their Class 4A quarterfinal Nov. 4 at Doc Ackerson Stadium in St. Helens, but all-Oregon West Conference senior forward Carrie Lillis kicked a 75th-minute rebound into the left of Alyssa Bakkensen's crowded goal, and Bacho's late saves sealed the 1-0 upset.
Scappoose (11-4-1 overall) won its sixth Cowapa League championship in eight years and reached at least the quarterfinals for the seventh time in its eight-year Class 4A postseason run including 2013 and 2015 titles.
Philomath pulled its third upset of the year after beating No. 10 North Bend at home Sept. 14 and winning 2-1 in first-round overtime penalty kicks at sixth-ranked Gladstone Oct. 31, but fell 4-0 at 10th-ranked eventual champion Valley Catholic in the semifinals in Beaverton.
Scappoose volleyball reaches first quarterfinal ever
The Indians' very first state quarterfinal appearance came on the heels of an exciting upset.
Scappoose (10-12 overall) shocked No. 4 Philomath 3-2 (25-22, 24-26, 24-26, 25-15, 15-12) on the road in the first round and, though the Tribe won their first quarterfinal set 25-15 against fifth-ranked Tillamook Nov. 3 at Forest Grove High School, the Cheesemakers snagged the final three sets 26-24, 25-21, 25-20.
The Indians gave eighth-ranked Crook County their best in the consolation semifinals but fell 3-2 (25-21, 24-26, 20-25, 25-19, 9-15) Nov. 4.
Coach Mark Sprenger, who helped his side to at least the play-in round for the sixth year in a row in search of Scappoose's first championship, agreed to dye his hair pink as the Tribe defied the odds and reached the final field of eight.