Senior showdown at Hans Petersen Field

Mapleton’s Joe Shepard (in black) and Siuslaw’s Camp Lacouture (in blue), both seniors, are not only rivals on the track but also are competing for the title of “King of the Coast” at this year’s Rhododendron Festival, along with three other young men. At the Central Coast Invitational in Florence on April 22, Shepard barely edged Lacouture for the individual points title, 27 to 26. Both athletes competed in numerous events.

Siuslaw hosts Mapleton, 8 other schools at CCI

April 25, 2022 — On April 22, Siuslaw hosted nine other track teams from around western Oregon, including Mapleton, for the Central Coast Invitational (CCI) at Hans Petersen Memorial Field in Florence.

The Viking boys team picked up another team win, and North Bend won on the girls side, but the highlight for local track fans was the battle between two seniors for the individual points title at the event.

Camp Lacouture of Siuslaw and Joe Shepard of Mapleton are both seniors, princes in this year’s Rhododendron Festival and friends. When all the events were completed at the CCI, they sat at the top of list of individual scorers at the event. Shepard scored 27 points for the Sailors. Lacouture 26 for the Viks.

Shepard came to the CCI as the lone male representative for Mapleton. The Sailors were the smallest enrollment school at the event and one of only three 1A schools to participate.

The Mapleton senior’s performance made up for his lack of teammates.

Shepard set a personal record in the triple jump with a mark of 40’11.25, the third longest jump in 1A this year. Siuslaw’s James Smith also had a PR in the event when he jumped 38’0.5 to place third.

Shepard was second in the high jump (5’4), edged by two inches by the winner, Bren Schneiter of Central Linn (5’6). He also PR’d in the long jump to finish fourth with a jump of 18’5.

Finally, as a finale to a very productive day, for the first time this season, Shepard ran the 3000m. He finished in 11:33.12 to finish fifth in that event. Siuslaw sophomore Brayden Linton won the race in 9:49.88a.

That win in his final event gave Shepard 27 points and a seventh place finish for his team.

Shepard’s friend from the coast, Lacouture, scored almost as many individual points but did so in just three events.

The Siuslaw senior is one of the best pole vaulters in the 4A division and he showed that at the CCI when he set a personal record with a 14’4 vault. That is the fourth best vault in 4A this year and also the fourth highest vault in the history of Siuslaw track and field.

Lacouture finished the 110m hurdles in 18.43a to win that event. He also finished third in the javelin when he threw it 134’9, just behind teammate senior Rhys Fleming, who bested Lacouture to finish second in the event with a throw of 139’9.

Those three wins gave Lacouture 26 points, just one behind Shepard for second place in the individual points race.

Highlights for the girls side came from wins in the two longest distance races.

Sophomore Corduroy Holbrook set a personal record in the 1500m to win the race in 5:22.19a. Fellow sophomore Jane Lacouture won the 3000m in 12:42.46a. Jane Lacouture also PR’d in the shot put (24’7) and reached the finals in the javelin.

Mapleton had one girl entered in the CCI. Junior Emily Neece competed in both the shot put and discus. She reached the final in both.

Both of Siuslaw’s relay teams, 4x100 and 4x400, finished second.

The 800m was an exciting race for the Viking boys, as junior Jacob Blankenship won with a PR of 2:07.30a. Less than two seconds behind him was teammate Linton (2:09.28a PR).

Viking junior John Rose PR’d in shot put (42’9) to finish second. He was also second in discus with a 126’3 throw.

Sophomore Talan Ross had an around great day with second place finishes and PRs in the 1500m (4:33.15a) and 3000m (10:18.41) and a third place in the pole vault (10’).

Junior Hunter Petterson was a member of both of the second place relay teams, and was also second in the 200m (23.42a) and third in the 400m (53.69).

In the team race, on the boys side, Siuslaw was 50 points better than second place North Bend. North Bend was at the top of the girls standings. Siuslaw was seventh with 36.

The Viking track team was in Cottage Grove for a meet on Tuesday, April 26, after press deadlines. Next up is the Stayton Invitational on Saturday, April 30. Events start at 10 a.m.

The Sailors had a home meet on Tuesday, also after press deadlines. Their next event is Tuesday, May 3, when they travel to Crow for the Cougar Country Cinder Classic. First events at 3:30 p.m.