NEWBERG – When the results were officially announced, and two teams not named McMinnville were crowned champions of the Class 6A Pacific Conference, a passel of Grizzlies crowding the infield were left wondering what happened.
Did the athletes not give their all in a certain event? Did they not fix a mechanical mistake? Did they cost their team a chance at a title on Thursday or Friday at Loran Douglas Field, or did the self-sabotage occur weeks ago?
The questions were a natural reaction in the moment. With time, the feelings of shock eroded. All told, McMinnville had a successful meet, with 10 individuals and one relay team qualifying for the OSAA Class 6A State Track and Field Championships, held May 23-24 at Hayward Field in Eugene.
On the boys’ side, Mac scored 132 points, second to host Newberg (138.5). Hillsboro (124 points) edged out the Mac girls, who scored 120.33 points.
“We knew it was going to be close,” Grizzlies coach Vic Downs said. “We knew we’d have to have everything happen in order for us to win, but Newberg did also. We lost some things, they lost some things. Just really close. I’m real proud of the kids.”
The relay team set the tone. Dakota Buhler, Montanna Gubrud, Annika Nyquist and Taylor Petersen powered their way to the state meet with a second-place finish, clocking 50.63 seconds.
“If they put it together – they had great handoffs and they really scoot along,” Downs said. “We’re hoping to break the school record (in Eugene) and it’d be great to be on the podium.”
Sophomore Whitney Rich won the girls’ 3,000 in 10:39.67 and turned around to qualify for state in the 1,500, taking second in 4:52.41. Freshman Ally Legard finished third in the 1,500 (4:56.94), providing valuable team points.
Mac senior Lucy Bellville won the high jump wiith a clearance of 5 feet, 2 inches, one of four girls field-event athletes to make state. Junior Bethany Mohler took second in the javelin (123-11) and senior Dakota Buhler was the girls’ long jump runner-up (17-4.5).
In the girls’ shot put, Jalyn Clark-Johnson, Amber Bonds and Dominique Burden combined on a 2-3-5 finish. Clark-Johnson (33-4.5) will participate in state for the first time in her career.
Tanner Scanlon was the only Grizzly male to win multiple events, capturing the Pacific Conference boys’ 100-meter dash (11.21) and 300-meter hurdles (39.18). Scanlon joined Trustian Hood, Nic McDaniel and Renee Resendez on the Grizzlies’ third-place 4x400-meter relay team (3:32.23).
Senior Tim Tatton handily won the boys’ discus throw with a mark of 164-1. He also finished second in the javelin throw (182-4) and shot put (50-2.5), qualifiying for state in both events.
“He’s the top thrower in the state,” Downs said. “There’s no doubt about it.”
Senior David Ingham made the finals of an event for the first time in his high school career in the discus throw. Ingham is now headed to state; his mark of 140-7 was good enough for second place behind his teammate.
On the track, senior Nic McDaniel used a late burst of energy to win the boys’ 800 (1:56.48) over Daniel Harper of Newberg (1:57.86). McDaniel also took second in the 1,500 (3:57.38).
“Nic has shown that he can run a tough double,” Downs said.
The Grizzlies finished 13th in the boys’ team competition and 29th in the girls’ team competition in the 2013 6A state championships. With a strong contingent, McMinnville will look to better both numbers.
“We’re excited for next week in Eugene,” Downs said.