Viking track team earns individual medals at Marist

Viking teammates Maya Wells (left) and Addison McNeill, both freshmen, pace each other in the 1500m race at Marist on April 2. (Photo by Zac Burtt/Siuslaw News)

Emily Neece returns for Sailors at McKenzie; wins shot put

April 4, 2022 — Both area high school track and field teams traveled to the valley this past weekend for meets. Each team earned a handful of personal records with a few first place medals thrown in for good measure.  

Siuslaw joined seven other schools in Eugene at the Marist Invite. The boys team finished second and many athletes on both the SHS boys and girls teams had great individual performances.

The small but mighty Mapleton track team was in McKenzie for a Special District 2 League Meet. The Sailors only sent three athletes, but still came home with two first place and three second place medals.

First, Siuslaw joined Churchill, Cottage Grove, Junction City, La Pine, Marist, Marshfield and North Bend on the Marist Catholic High campus for the Marist Invite.

There were many highlights for the Viks.

Star of the day for SHS was senior Chad Hughes, who won the two longest distance races of the day, taking the 1500m in 4:18.91 and the 3000m 9.28.42.

The other first-place finish for Siuslaw was from junior Sam Ulrich, who won the 800m in 2:04.19.

Other highlights for the boys include junior Hunter Petterson, who finished second in the 100m when he finished in 11.76.

In addition, the boys shot put had a couple of great performances by Vikings.

Junior Jonathon Rose, who switched from the “glide” technique to the “spin” technique for the first time at this meet, finished an impressive third with a personal record throw of 41’5.5”. Rose later finished fourth in discus (127’8”).

Sophomore Cort Waggoner also set a PR in the shot put with a throw of 38’2”.

Other highlights include senior Rhys Fleming’s third-place finish in the javelin (146’1”) and the 4x400 relay team’s third place in their race. A team of two freshmen (Wesley Nicholls and Ray Brito Xilot) and two juniors (Petterson and Ulrich) finished in 3:41.36.

The boys team finished second with 113 points, between Sky-Em League rivals Marshfield (first, 122.5) and Cottage Grove (third, 102).

The top girl performers were also distance runners.

With a strong push at the end of the race, senior Rylee Colton moved from the fifth place position to take third in the 1500m with a personal record time of 5:04.19. Freshman Maya Wells was sixth in the race with a personal record of 5:31.56.

In the 3000m race, Viking freshman Macy McNeill was third (12:12.81) and sophomore Jane Lacouture finished right behind her for fourth (12:51.29).

Makayla Bender continued her impressive freshman season when she set two personal records to finish fourth in the 100m hurdles (21.28 PR) and a fifth in the 300m hurdles (59.87 PR).

The Viking girls were eighth in the team race with 43 points. The host team Marist won the girls team competition with 140 points.

On Saturday, the Sailor track team was on McKenzie Community Track for their second Special District 2 meet of the season.

With only three athletes competing, the chances of a team win were zero. That didn’t discourage the three MHS athletes from putting on quite a show.

The most exciting development of the day was the 2022 debut of junior Emily Neece. In her first meet of the season, she showed very little signs of rust.

Neece set a personal record when she threw the shot put 28’10.25”. That mark earned her a first-place medal in, amazingly, her first meet of the season. Neece also earned a third-place medal with a personal record in the discus (66’5”) and finished sixth in javelin (50’3”).

Senior Joe Shepard continued his pursuit of a state title in the triple jump. He won the event with a jump of 38’6”. Shepard also had three second-place finishes, in the 300m hurdles (51.73 PR), high jump (5’4”) and long jump (17’5.5”).

Highlight for junior Caleb Lewis was his fifth-place finish in the high jump (4’8”).

In what will be a treat for local track and field fans, Mapleton and Siuslaw will compete together at McKenzie on Saturday, April 9, at the AMJ Invitational. First events begin at 10:30 a.m.