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Titles go to the Indians' 4 x 100 team and Scappoose distance ace John Kavulich

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: CHRIS OERTELL - Scappoose sophomore Tyler Holcomb flies across the finish line to help his team win the 4 x 100-meter relay at the Class 4A state track meet at Hayward Field in Eugene on Saturday.The sum of the parts produced some special things for Scappoose boys track and field at Hayward Field last week.

The Indians took third in Class 4A with 59 points — 11 more than they scored when placing third in 2014.

Scappoose fought off Marshfield, which finished fourth, in a battle for trophy position that wasn't decided until the final event, the 4 x 400-meter relay.

The Indians finished fourth in that race while Marshfield was sixth — and Scappoose wound up with 59 points to the Pirates' 52.

La Grande won the 4A title with a whopping 94 points and Crook County sizzled for second, totaling 74.

"I thought we could get to 50," Scappoose coach David Harley said. "I actually had us getting to 50 fairly comfortably. Then it was how far beyond that we could go, to get what trophy.

"La Grande and Crook County were incredible. La Grande scoring 94 points, that's nuts."

The Scappoose effort was superb, both Friday and Saturday in excellent conditions for a meet at the University of Oregon.

The Indians had qualified nine boys in 10 individual events and both relays a week earlier, when they won the Cowapa League for the eighth year in a row. At state, all nine boys scored, and the Indians got points in nine events.

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: CHRIS OERTELL - Scappoose senior John Kavulich won the 3,000 meters and also finished second in the 1,500 at the Class 4A state track meet at Hayward Field in Eugene on Friday and Saturday.

"The kids had a terrific meet. There wasn't a bad event for us in two days," Harley said. "Fifty-nine points wins this a lot of years."

The Indians were champions in two events — the 4 x 100 relay and the 3,000 with senior John Kavulich, who came back on Day 2 to take second and set a school record in the 1,500.

Scappoose's 4 x 100 victory came in the first 4A boys race of the final day, and it set the tone for the Indians.

The team of seniors Ben Cox, Tevin Jeannis and Connor McNabb and sophomore Tyler Holcomb flashed to the finish line in 43.40 seconds, just off the team's best of 43.38. North Bend was second in 43.52.

"That was my favorite race I've ever ran," Holcomb said after the win. "It's a great feeling to be 4A champs. That's all we wanted, since the beginning of the season."

Scappoose entered the meet with the top 4 x 100 time in 4A.

"That really helped our confidence," Jeannis said. "We've worked all season for this. It's one of the best feelings, to win state and be the fastest team in 4A."

Cox said the 4 x 100 team had a special togetherness.

"We all tolerate each other. We all click," he said. "This was our race, right from the start. No one's even been close to us. They didn't have the drive we did."

The 4 x 100 team was victorious despite a couple of sketchy handoffs.

"I was a little surprised we won, because our first and second exchanges weren't very good," said Scappoose assistant coach Sean McNabb. "But we have a pretty strong tradition in the relays, and the guys were excited to come down here and compete. They're a real self-motivated group."

The 4 x 100 team also won with Connor McNabb continuing to fight through a torn meniscus, an injury that dates to football and had him slated for surgery this week.

"Anything linear is OK for him to do; it's the planting and changing directions that's tough and hurts," said Sean McNabb, Connor's dad. "He really wanted to run with these guys this spring.

"Tevin had injuries this season, too. These are some tough kids."

Harley called it "an incredible season" for the 4 x 100 team.

"It was great seeing them win and having that kind of success when it counted most," he added.

Several hours after the 4 x 100 triumph on Saturday, the 4 x 400 team applied the finishing touch for Scappoose.

McNabb, sophomores Henry Goldammer and Josh Lull, and Jeannis, in that order, stared down the final challenge. First, the group watched Marshfield run 4:30.40 in the opening 4 x 400 heat. The Indians then lined up for their heat, knowing their best time of the year was more than six seconds slower than what the Pirates had just put on the board.

But McNabb, Goldammer, Lull and Jeannis pulled off a 3:28.16, which secured third place in the final standings for Scappoose.

Lull ran a blistering 50.9-second leg, his best ever.

"I wanted to win, and I knew we had to beat Marshfield," he said. "We had to step it up. Someone had to step up and drop our time."

Jeannis rallied one spot coming home to give the team fourth overall in the event.

"I just kept moving my arms, and I finally got it at the finish line. But it took everything to do it," he said.

Goldammer, who waited all weekend for that one race, said "all I could think about was how bad I want to run and want to win. I just love the 4 x 400 — it's so intense, and you need everyone to do their best."

He, too, had a PR split, dropping nine-tenths of a second to 53.0.

"Everybody improved this year, and as the slowest guy on the team, I knew I needed to, too," he said. "I'm really proud of our team."

Individually, Kavulich scored 18 points in the meet with his two memorable distance performances.

He improved place-wise from his junior year, when he was second in the 3,000 and fourth in the 1,500.

First, he did everything he needed to do in winning the 3,000 by four seconds on Friday, in 8 minutes, 53.67 seconds.

The next day, Kavulich challenged the favorite in the 1,500 and came away with a PR and school-record time of 4:04.31. That sliced 2 1/2 seconds off his previous best.

Jordan Pollard, a senior at Sisters, prevailed in 4:03.68 — but he had to overtake Kavulich over the final 100 meters, after Kavulich had taken the lead earlier on the last lap.

"I wanted to kick early and see if I could make it a pure-guts race at the end," Kavulich said. "In the end, I didn't get first, but it was fun, nonetheless. I'm just glad I PR'd. It was a fun last lap. I didn't know I had it in me."

Scappoose sophomore Brisyn Maller also took second in an individual event. He had a PR of 15.48 in the 110 high hurdles. He later took fourth in the 300 intermediate hurdles in 41.15, with Cox fifth (41.54).

"I was just hoping for not last," Maller said.

The 15.48 ranks second all-time at Scappoose (Mike Hayes clocked 15.32 in 2005).

"I was just so happy I could be here and race," Maller said. "I was here last year, but my back was in so much pain and I was last (14th). So from then to now, there's been a huge improvement. I'm proud of how far I've come."

Said Harley, looking ahead to Scappoose's move up to 5A next school year: "Brisyn is clearly one of the best hurdlers in the state. He will do well at the 5A level the next two years."

Cox said he "was hoping to be a lot closer to the top three" in the 300 hurdles, "but it was OK. The points matter."

Senior Nate Maller took third in the triple jump with a leap of 42-8 3/4 — a PR by 7 1/4 inches.

"A good day," he said.

Maller is now headed to the University of Idaho, where he's expected to focus in track and field primarily as a javelin thrower. He was highly ranked in the 4A javelin, but an off-day at the district meet kept him from getting to chance to throw at state this year.

"A very big bounce-back for him (in the triple jump)," Harley said. "I was very happy for him to end that way."

Jeannis didn't get the high places he hoped for in the 100 and 200. But he got a share of fifth with a PR of 11.20 and then was seventh in 23.06, respectively. And he was a workhorse throughout the state meet.

"I'm very tired. It's been a long two days. Been going to bed late, getting up early," Jeannis said.

Harley pointed out that it was Jeannis' first trip to state as an individual.

"He did very well in many respects," Harley said. "He should feel very satisfied with how his season turned out: four medals and a team trophy."

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