|6/17/2014 11:06:00 AM|
Team dynamic matters in track and field
Catholic schools fare well at meets
Ken NiezgodaEUGENE — It takes more than a collection of individuals to win a state team track championship. In a sport of individual events, athletes often draw inspiration from one another during team competition. Winning the team title takes something more than just raw talent.
"Momentum, really," said Jesuit senior Max Dordevic after anchoring the state champion 4x400 meter relay team. Jesuit’s boys ran away with the state title, outscoring second place Sheldon 97-55.5 on May 24 here. The Crusaders won in 2013 also.
"Henry started off really strong in the shot put. Michael came out with a win in the 1500 meters. We just kept picking up wins from there," said Dordevic about Henry Mondeaux and Michael Godbout, who picked up wins early in the meet.
Marist sophomore Dustin Jones capped a four-event meet by pulling the Spartans’ 4x100 meter relay into scoring position with a strong, come-from-behind kick in the final 100 meters. Marist boys rose from a second place finish in 2013 to win this season’s state 5A title. Jones saw the same momentum-building phenomenon with the Spartan’s win.
"It feels awesome. It started like a domino effect," said Jones about the win. "It’s exhausting but it’s fun."
Marist's win was anchored by senior Liam Henshaw, who set a state meet record in the pole vault at 15' 8". Henshaw also picked up wins in the long jump and 110 meter high hurdles.
Jesuit and Marist were two of four Catholic high schools to win Oregon state track titles this season. Central Catholic's girls rose from a 15th place finish in 2013 grab the title this season. Valley Catholic's girls turned a runner-up finish last year into a state title this season.
Other top 10 team finishes: Central Catholic boys (tenth in the 6A meet), Regis girls (fourth in the 2A meet), and Jesuit girls (third in the 6A meet). In the 4A boys meet, Valley Catholic (second), St. Mary's, Medford (seventh), Blanchet Catholic (ninth) and De La Salle Catholic (tenth) all finished in the top 10.
Dordevic's efforts led to three event titles for the Crusader boys. The senior had finished as an individual runner up in previous state meets but captured individual titles this season in both the 300 meter hurdles and the 400 meters this year. His anchor leg helped the Crusaders also repeat as 4x400 meter relay champions. Carlos Coleman, Julian Body, Sahil Doshi and Dordevic also won the relay title in 2013.
"It feels amazing. Our team had to deal with a lot of adversity in terms of injuries and DQs and false starts," said Dordevic. "Just being able to come out with a win is a beautiful thing. Being able to do it with these guys is an awesome experience."
Other Individual Catholic state champions include:
6A Boys Meet: John Nizich, Central Catholic (state meet record in the javelin at 218-11); Henry Mondeaux, Jesuit (won shot put, third in discus)
4A Boys Meet: Ben Hortaleza, La Salle (110 meter high hurdles)
6A Girls Meet: Central Catholic, 4x400 meter relay (Cassidy Coto, Riley Ford, Malika Washington, and Olivia Gabriel); Olivia Gabriel, Central Catholic (400 meters)
3A Boys Meet: Jarrett Gray, Valley Catholic (high jump); Cooper Roach and Wilder Boyden (first and second, respectively, in the 1500 meters); Tracy Salgado, St. Mary's, Medford (800 meters)
3A Girls Meet: Valley Catholic, 4x400 meter relay (Hannah Rehm, Julia Clark, Reilly Blood and Makenzee Cleveland); Valley Catholic,
4x100 meter relay (Gabby Rosenthal, Sarah Connelly, Makenzee Cleveland, and Mikaela Bernards); Mikaela Bernards, Valley Catholic (100 meter hurdles); Nyalual Beng, De La Salle (800 meters); Makenzee Cleveland, Valley Catholic (400 meters)
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