MONMOUTH — East Linn Christian’s depth stood tall and gave the Eagles a brand-new blue trophy.
East Linn senior Ben Johnson, who placed third and fourth in his events, called that depth and being surrounded by talented teammates “awesome.”
Led by wins from Jedaiah Wasson in the 1,500 meters and Christian Wilson in the 110 hurdles, the Eagles put up 72 points and ran away with the 2A boys division at the OSAA track and field meet at Western Oregon’s McArthur Field.
“It kind of takes pressure off yourself a little bit just because you have your teammates around you that you can do well,” said Johnson, third in the high jump (personal-best 6 feet, 2 inches) and fourth in the discus (128-7). “That motivates you to do well, so it’s really nice to have.”
Heppner was second in the team standings with 72. Monroe claimed a team trophy in fourth with 38.
Wasson ran the 1,500 final exactly the way he wanted to, pulling away for the win in a personal-best 4 minutes, 9.94 seconds.
“At the start of the season I was looking for something faster but it just didn’t come to reality,” the senior said. “I’m perfectly happy with what I got today.”
Friday, Wasson struggled to keep consistent splits and finished second in the 3,000. Saturday, he stayed with the front pack and then took off with 300 meters to go. None of his competitors were able to answer his kick. Oakland’s Wyatt Smith was second in 4:12.62.
“I usually like leading a little bit more,” Wasson said. “But after yesterday I wasn't quite sure how my body was going to respond. I thought it would just be smarter to stick behind number two the whole time and see what happens.”
Wilson won the 110 hurdles (15.52) and was later part of the Eagles’ trio of finalists in the 300 hurdles. Wilson tied with teammate Jacob Johns for fourth at 42.89. Jaren Bowler was sixth (43.21).
Johnson said the team race was in the back of his mind as he was competing.
“We had some people gain more points than expected and some lose some, so I was trying to definitely get some points to help the team,” he said.
Jefferson senior Cesar Sepulveda didn’t have the day he was hoping for in the high jump.
Three weeks ago, he cleared 6-9¼, the No. 2 mark on the 2A all-time list, and narrowly missed 7 feet, leaving him hopeful for another big jump with some stiff competition.
But Saturday it just wasn’t to be, though he still won the event at 6-4, as the weather didn’t cooperate.
Due to thunderstorms in the area, there was a weather delay of almost an hour during the high jump. Sepulveda cleared 6-4 before the break. Johnson, also competing in the discus at the time, was the only other athlete left in the competition.
Johnson missed three times at 6-4 after the break and was eliminated. Sepulveda had the bar moved to 6-7¼, which would have been a meet record, but he was unsuccessful on three attempts.
“Awkward pause, the thunder came in, but can’t make excuses,” said Sepulveda, who plans to compete at Lane Community College next year. “The legs felt good, fresh, just couldn’t make it happen today."
Monroe’s Zach Young was just off his personal best in the long jump, taking second at 21-¼.
Santiam’s Brody Davidson took the lead on his sixth and final attempt at 21-3½, and Young was unable to improve on his last try. Sepulveda was fourth (20-7½) and teammate Gaven Robertson sixth (20-¾).
In the 400, Young was fourth (51.51) and East Linn Christian’s Jacob Vandehey eighth (57.10).
Monroe senior Cristian Garcia closed his high school career with third in the discus at 131-4. He won his third straight shot put title Friday.
Central Linn’s 4x100 relay team of Anthony Anderson, Dusty Baze, Zane Lindsey and Luke Schaffroth was second in a season-best 45.93.
Baze was second in the 200 (23.34) and third in the 100 in a personal-best 11.45. Monroe’s Dylan Lynn was fifth in the 100 (11.60).
Central Linn’s 4x400 relay of Baze, Schaffroth, Tony Belcastro and Lindsey was third (3:35.13). East Linn, with Wasson as the anchor, was fifth (3:37.55) Jefferson with Sepulveda on anchor, was eighth (3:39.4).