By Robert Husseman • Sports Editor • 

High school state hammer championships held in Newberg

Robert Husseman/News-Register##Amity senior Lindsay McShane (right) receives a second-place medal from the 2016 Oregon State High School Hammer Championships, held Sunday at Newberg’s Austin Sports Complex, from Newberg senior and boys’ state champion Hap Frketich.
Robert Husseman/News-Register##Amity senior Lindsay McShane (right) receives a second-place medal from the 2016 Oregon State High School Hammer Championships, held Sunday at Newberg’s Austin Sports Complex, from Newberg senior and boys’ state champion Hap Frketich.
Robert Husseman/News-Register##Lindsay McShane of Amity competes in the girls  hammer throw at the 2016 Oregon State High School Hammer Championships Sunday.
Robert Husseman/News-Register##Lindsay McShane of Amity competes in the girls' hammer throw at the 2016 Oregon State High School Hammer Championships Sunday.
Robert Husseman/News-Register##Lakeridge senior Maddie Rabing takes her sixth and final attempt in the girls  hammer throw at the 2016 Oregon State High School Hammer Championships Sunday.
Robert Husseman/News-Register##Lakeridge senior Maddie Rabing takes her sixth and final attempt in the girls' hammer throw at the 2016 Oregon State High School Hammer Championships Sunday.

NEWBERG – On a silent and sunny Sunday at George Fox University’s Austin Sports Complex, Maddie Rabing and Lindsay McShane added soft pieces of hardware to their growing collections.
Rabing, a senior at Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego, is a five-time state champion in the shot put and discus throw. She claimed the Class 6A girls’ shot put state title at the OSAA State Track and Field Championships May 21 at Hayward Field in Eugene; the track will be the future competitive home of Rabing, who has signed a National Letter of Intent with Oregon. She works with Concordia (Portland) assistant track and field coaches Jarred Rome and Todd Taylor, who oversee a throwing center at the college, outside of the high school season.
If a metal object travels at high speeds and at low altitudes in Yamhill County, chances are McShane threw it. The Amity senior swept the OSAA Class 3A girls’ shot put and girls’ discus throw championships for the third consecutive season on May 20, becoming one of the most decorated track and field athletes in the history of the state.
Rabing and McShane were brought together at the Austin Sports Complex by a discipline considered esoteric even by track and field’s standards: the hammer throw.
Picture a shot put at the end of a long metal wire with a sizable grip. Elite female athletes have been known to clear 200 feet in distance with a 4-kilogram (8.8-pound) implement; elite male athletes can clear 250 feet with a 16-pound implement.
Amity assistant track and field coach Randy Hayes – who coaches McShane and the Warriors’ throwers and is a bona fide hammer devotee – and Newberg resident Len Frketich collaborated on the inaugural 2016 Oregon State High School Hammer Championships, bringing together 13 athletes in a rare domestic competition. Hayes advertised the meet by distributing flyers and speaking to fellow coaches at the State Track Championships.
“I told some of the shot put girls (in the 3A state final) because that’s the day we were handing out the flyers,” McShane said.
The OSAA does not sanction a hammer throw state championship; only Rhode Island does among the 50 states. The Oregon Relays in Eugene and the McMinnville Invitational are two of very few track meets in Oregon that allow high schoolers to compete in the hammer; Hayes has hosted small hammer events at Linfield College that accepted prep athletes. (Linfield would not permit the State High School Hammer Championships to be conducted on its grounds.) The NCAA does allow for hammer competitions, so Rabing and the Oregon State-bound McShane will pick it back up as college athletes.
“I think it’s the most fun event. I like it a lot,” Rabing said. “I like doing it just because it’s a little change of scenery. It’s a nice mix, so I don’t have to do shot and disc all the time.”
McShane also rates hammer ahead of (in order) the discus throw, shot put and javelin throw in her personal hierarchy: “I really like it.”
Additional star power was brought to the state hammer championships in Newberg senior Hap Frketich, Len’s son and the 2016 OSAA Class 6A state boys’ javelin throw champion. Hap, a University of Wyoming signee, won the boys’ hammer throw competition Sunday with a personal-best toss of 191 feet, 2 inches, on his third attempt, edging out Cleveland senior Joe Denniston (175-6). Frketich’s mark is the 11th-farthest in the nation, according to athletic.net records.
Matt Metcalf of Willamette High (122-9), Jacob LaPointe of Newberg (112-11) and Eric Belcher of Willamette (86-1) rounded out the boys’ field.
Rabing, whose season and personal best of 182-6 leads the nation among high school girls, according to athletic.net records, threw 175-3 on her third attempt to claim the inaugural girls’ state championship. McShane set a personal record of her own (146-10) on her fourth throw for second place.
“I was hoping (for) 150, but that’s okay,” McShane said. “(I had to) keep my feet tighter, which I did not do today. I was really slow (in the ring); that’s what happens when they are too wide.”
Shelby Moran of Sherwood, the 2016 6A girls’ discus throw champion at the OSAA State Track and Field Championships, threw 123-4 on her first attempt for third place. Keeley Rasmussen of Sandy (113-4), Meghan Carbiener of West Linn (110-5) and Lala Frketich of Newberg (108-10) finished fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Amity sophomore Emily Maples, McShane’s teammate, was participating in the second hammer competition of her life and managed a personal best of 96-10, capturing seventh place ahead of Madisen Wakefield of Horizon Christian (68-6).
“Turning in circles, I’m used to it, because I have dance. It’s kind of easy. I picked up on it really quick,” Maples said. “I think not enough people try (hammer) so they don’t know what to do.”
Meet organizers provided the student-athletes with a state podium – only the top three could stand on it, so the rest of the competitors organized themselves by place. Hap Frketich handed out “medals” – fabric patches – to the state placers, who then beamed for the requisite photographs from friends and family.
“It was fun. There wasn’t too many people, but there was enough, and it went pretty quick and it was nice,” Rabing said. “Nice weather. The ring’s good. No complaints.
“This is the first year we’re having this meet, and I think it’s going to help in the future. If you go up to Washington, they have this type of meet for the last 10 years. They have a bigger hammer presence than we do. The more we have stuff like this, the bigger it will become. If we start getting more local, I think it will grow.”

 

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