Mapleton sails into state meet tomorrow

PHOTO: Mapleton head track coach Johnny Sundstrom meets with athletes during practice. Four members of the track team will compete at state beginning this Thursday in Eugene. Photo by Ned Hickson/Siuslaw News

May 16, 2018 — The Sailors may have had one of the smallest, and certainly youngest, teams at last weekend's nine-team Special District 5 track and field meet at McKenzie High School, it still got big results. The meet capped a season that included 18 personal records, culminating toward four athletes qualifying for state this weekend at Hayward Field in Eugene.

“The most amazing thing is that team consists of only one senior, eight sophomores and six freshmen,” said head coach Johnny Sundstrom. “And many of our kids were first-timers.”

The team's lone senior, Cole Spencer, qualified for two events after placing second in both the high jump with a mark of 5-8, a height that was shared with Carver Black of Triangle Lake and Tristan Ware of Glendale. But Black got the title thanks to fewer attempts, with Ware taking third.

In only his second appearance ever in the 300-meter hurdles, Spencer placed second after clocking a time of 46.96. Parker Wynn of Triangle Lake placed first, also with a PR, in 46.15. In fact, of the nine runners in the event, seven ran personal bests, making Spencer's second-place finish all the more difficult.

Freshman Jeremy Bender was sixth overall with a PR of 53.23. Teammate and fellow freshman Phillip Burnett took seventh in 1:00.28. However, Burnett turned up the heat in the 110 high hurdles, finishing second and qualifying for state with a time of 21.62.

Freshman JJ Neece will also be at the state meet after landing second in the triple jump at 36-06.75. Freshman Nathan Roane was 6th at 26- 11.50.

For the girls, freshman Jazzy Roby will be the Lady Sailors’ only representative after running a PR time of 6:49.99 in the 1,500-meter race to place second. Roby ran the event with a minor foot injury, then twisted her ankle at the finish of Saturday's race.

“She really toughed it out. It's going to be exciting to see how this talented, but some- what accident prone fresh- man progresses,” joked Sundstrom. “I am so pleased with the amount of dedication and until this team has had. It’s been a definite youth movement this year, not counting the coach.”

The 1A state meet begins tomorrow, May 17, at 11 a.m., at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene, and continues Friday.

For complete results, visit Mapleton's page on

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