Wilson wins shot put, WVL nears end of season
Shot put heavyweights Brook Wilson and Briana Potter faced off Thursday at the West Valley League track meet hosted by Sheridan for the final time before districts and state. Wilson beat Potter in the event with a throw of 37 feet, 10 inches, which gave her the win in the event.
Wilson said her goal heading into districts was to hit 37 feet before she got there. Mission completed.
“Yeah, that throw was a two-foot, five-inch PR today,” Wilson said. “Think I did pretty good. I’m really excited.”
It turned out to be more than good. Wilson’s mark won the event by more than a foot.
Willamina track coach Heather Hughes said Wilson has worked hard to reach her potential since going deep in the basketball playoffs kept Wilson from practicing with the team to start the season.
“She got a late start this year,” Hughes said. “But Brook is still probably our strongest player right off the bat. She did really well in her events today, and she looks strong going into districts.”
A four-year state champion contender, Potter, appeared flustered and frustrated as Wilson out threw Potter on all four throws. Potter finished with a best throw of 36-2, which was good enough for third place.
Amity’s Lindsay McShane quietly snuck into the second position. Her throw of 36-7 was a new personal record in the event. McShane said while she was excited about the finish, she was more excited about her mark.
“Well, I threw (the shot put) farther and I PRd,” McShane said. “I’m just really excited about the PR. I really want to beat my school record, which is 37-something, but one thing at a time.”
Potter grew exceedingly frustrated as McShane’s first throw went slightly further than hers. Frustration took over and Potter’s second throw went far left and into the grass, which helped McShane get into the second spot for good.
Amity coach Joel Magill admitted it’s not every track meet spectators get to see a competition that is littered with stars of the event. Magill said he was happy about how his freshman stacked up against two state champion-quality seniors.
“We had a heck of a shot put battle going on here today,” Magill said. “These are girls that are or should be in the state’s top five at least. It’s really fun to watch.”
As a freshman, McShane said she had never been in a situation like the one she was in Thursday. Not only was she in the same event line with two of the state’s best throwers, but she was holding her own at the top. When asked separately what McShane’s biggest challenge has been this year and will continue to be up through districts and state, both McShane and Magill said the same thing: Confidence. McShane admitted competing against Wilson and Potter was intimidating enough, but actually competing on their level was a whole new experience.
“It’s really intimidating because they are seniors,” McShane said. “It’s kind of scary because I am just a little freshman, but I do feel that I can compete with them.”
Magill and McShane said the next step for her is mastering her confidence. Magill said her drive and work ethic goes unmatched amongst the team. Magill also said her one downfall, aside from confidence, is patience. He said McShane wants to master something the first time she tries it, but said she’s starting that doesn’t always happen.
Along with patience comes confidence. Magill said McShane is incredibly confident during practice and her marks show it. Magill said it’s when other eyes are watching that she gets nervous, less confident and her marks aren’t as impressive.
“Her biggest thing is confidence,” Magill said. “She’s definitely confident in practice. She’s throwing a 110 (javelin) in practice for example, but she throws under 100 out here. If she can get (confidence) there’s no telling what she can do.”
It was made clear by the Amity coaching staff that when it comes to the shot put, javelin and discus, McShane is the future of the Warriors program. Magill said he’s certainly confident about that.
“She’s already in the state’s top 10 — as a freshman,” Magill said. “I definitely think by her senior year she’ll have state championships in all three.”
Hall gets it done twice at home
As sophomore Mackenzie Hall goes, so goes the Sheridan Spartans track program.
In the last three meets Hall has racked up three first-place finishes, two of which came Thursday at Sheridan’s home meet.
Hall took first in the high and long jump. Hall won the high jump despite there being a five-way tie for the event. The top five all cleared 4-10. For Hall though, facing the bar this time was more intense than usual.
“All the girls have gotten a lot better this year,” Hall said. “It was really nerve wracking. Everybody scratched at the lower level, and that’s why I won.
“Through the jump I felt like I was going to miss it because I was too far to the left, and it didn’t feel like I brought my arms high enough. I’m really surprised I even made the jump at all.”
Hall went on to narrowly win the long jump too. She won the event with a jump of 14-8. Hall said her workouts have helped to increase her distance. She said routines like box jumping and squats have helped improve her distance.
The Spartans are a young team. With four seniors on the roster, Sheridan coach Barbie Justen said the team isn’t focused on state, it’s focused on gaining experience and getting better.
“Our hope is for Briana and Mackenzie to get first or second when it comes to districts,” Justen said. “The whole goal is to get to state, but I don’t know that we can finish higher than third or fourth (as a team).”
Also for Sheridan: Kordell Sorensen took first in the javelin (139-11), and Peyton James and Sarah Simpson won the boys and girls pole vault (10-6, 7-6) to round out Sheridan’s five first-place finishes.
Willamina notes: Harley Holdredge took first in the 200-meter dash (27.28) on the boys side. Leticia Cozar won the 400 (1:07.61), and Wilson won the javelin (110-4) for the girls.