May 15, 2019 — In a crowded field of competitors from 22 different Class 1A schools, Mapleton junior JJ Neece was able to win three individual district titles and land a second-place mark in the javelin to qualify for four events at this weekend’s OSAA 1A State Track Championships at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.
“It used to be that we competed against eight teams at districts, with the top two athletes in each event going to state,” said Mapleton coach Johnny Sundstrom. “This year it was 22 teams, and still only the top two advance to state. That makes it extremely tough for a small school to get beyond district.”
The Sailors’ track team set 12 personal records on the day, capping a run of 50 PRs over the last three meets.
“When competing in track, it’s like an incline from the first meet to districts,” said Sundstrom. “The hope is to continue improving all season and peaking at just the right time.
“Given our last three meets and the number of PRs, I’d see this team paced itself very well.”
That would be especially true for Neece, who landed PRs in both the 100 meters (11.64) and long jump (20-01), winning both events for district titles.
Neece also won the triple jump with a mark of 40-10 and qualified for state in the javelin with a second-place throw of 150-07.5.
Sophomore Phillip Burnett placed sixth in the 110-meter hurdles with a PR time of 19.94 for the team's second-best placement.
In the shot put, junior Nathan Roane threw a PR mark at 32-06.25 to lace 21st. Freshman Joseph Shepard landed 12th with a PR leap of 32-07 in the triple jump.
For the girls, junior Trinity Holmes placed third in the 400 meters after setting a PR time of 1:11.30. Holmes was also fifth in the 800 meters (2:54.24).
Freshman Opal Burruss had a pair of fourth-place finishes, first in the 1,500 meters (6:19.45) and then in the 3,000 meters (13.23.85).
In the 100-meter hurdles, sophomore Emily Stevens finished sixth in 19.45.
Neece will be the only Mapleton representative at this weekend's meet in Monmouth.
The final schedule of events will be determined today and available online at www.athletic.net/Track AndField/meet/350523/info.