GRESHAM — When junior Trevin Del Nero stretched for the finish line, he wasn’t sure if he had beaten out Sweet Home senior Noah Dinsfriend or Molalla senior Nick Lucas.
“I did not know that I won,” Del Nero said after collecting his state champion medal in the 110-meter high hurdles at Saturday’s Class 4A state meet at Mt. Hood Community College. “It was pretty surprising that I had won.”
Del Nero had an interesting spring with a personal-best time nearly 1.5 seconds faster than last season in the 110s. He came in with a 15.82 in the finals with Dinsfriend second at 15.84.
“This race today was a weird one because it mostly came down to technique,” Del Nero said. “Not a lot of speed in today’s final.”
Tyler Thomas, an assistant coach with Philomath, said Del Nero really came on about midway through the season.
“He got extremely focused; he has put in the work big time this year,” Thomas said. “He had one really, really good race about midseason and then he just started really trying more with diet and stuff and that’s when he all of a sudden took off.”
Yes, Del Nero admitted that he started to practice and eat better. The results ended up being state champion caliber.
“It wasn’t too promising at the beginning of this season,” Del Nero said. “Towards the end of the season, something clicked and I started to run faster.”
Added Thomas, “I think he got a little bit of confidence and just skyrocketed to the next level.”
Another highlight for the PHS boys occurred Friday when senior Jeremy Schaffer cleared a career-best 13-9 to place second in the pole vault.
“At districts, I only got to 13 feet, so I was kinda scared,” Schaffer said about his feelings heading into state. “I went in as a wildcard and I didn’t expect to do that well, but hey, I ended up with second place.”
Schaffer has only been competing in the pole vault for two seasons.
“About two weeks (into my junior year), I said ‘I want to try this’ and I really liked it,” Schaffer recalled. “I had always wanted to do it but there were always just too many people doing it freshman and sophomore years. Last year was the year I finally got a chance to get over there.”
Another senior, Connor Kutzler, and Schaffer have been pushing each other in the event all season. Kutzler placed fifth Friday at a height of 13-0.
Schaffer said he reached an important milestone with his form heading into the state meet.
“For me, it’s getting upside-down,” Schaffer said when asked about his biggest challenge with the pole vault. “I always go off at an angle and I need to actually go upside-down and I figured out how to do it two days ago and it worked out.”
Philomath had two other athletes medal at the state meet. Sophomore Grant Hellesto placed sixth in the 800 with a time of 1:59.79. Senior Kane Rust was sixth in the shot put with a 47-10.25.
Newport won the 4A boys title with 65 points to edge Mazama’s 59. Philomath ended up tied for ninth with 28 points.
Class 4A State Track Meet
Friday-Saturday at Gresham
Team scoring: Newport 65, Mazama 59, Gladstone 49.5, Sweet Home 46, La Grande 42, Sisters 36, Henley 30, Molalla 28.5, Philomath 28, Marist 28, Klamath Union 27, Hidden Valley 26.5, Valley Catholic 23, Baker 21, Marshfield 19.5, Banks 19.5, Stayton 16, Siuslaw 15, Cottage Grove 12, Astoria 12, Phoenix 10, Junction City 9, Madras 9, North Marion 8, Tillamook 8, Elmira 7, Seaside 3, Woodburn 2.5, North Valley 2, Cascade 1.
Winners & PHS Results
100: 1, Ben Carringer, Mazama, 11.18.
200: 1, Ben Carringer, Mazama, 22.68.
400: 1, Brody Anderson, Sisters, 50.45.
800: 1, Konnor Hathaway, Gladstone, 1:55.16; 6, Grant Hellesto, PHS, 1:59.79. Prelims — 7, Grant Hellesto, PHS, 2:02.95.
1500: 1, Gabe Garboden, Marist, 4:05.64.
3000: 1, Kale Cassidy, Baker, 8:51.32.
110 hurdles: 1, Trevin Del Nero, PHS, 15.82. Prelims — 2, Trevin Del Nero, PHS, 15.90.
300 hurdles: 1, Noah Dinsfriend, Sweet Home, 40.21.
4x100 relay: 1, Mazama (Leighton Alexander, Chad Remstedt, Aidan Kindt, Ben Carringer), 42.98.
4x400 relay: 1, Gladstone (Abran Leal, Alfred Dorsey, Josiah Bitter, Konnor Hathaway), 3:25.06.
Shot put: 1, Jake Tucker, Newport, 56-3; 6, Kane Rust, PHS, 47-10.25.
Discus: 1, Max Moore, Newport, 171-7.
Javelin: 1, Ray Rendon-Padilla, Siuslaw, 186-11.
High jump: 1, Skyler Larson, Sisters, 6-2.
Pole vault: 1, Chase Howerton, Marshfield, 14-6; 2, Jeremy Schaffer, PHS, 13-9; 5, Connor Kutzler, PHS, 13-0.
Long jump: 1, Ben Carringer, Mazama, 21-7.25.
Triple jump: 1, Mitchell Krokus, Cottage Grove, 44-4.75.