MONMOUTH — Matthew Reardon’s run at a pole vault state title was nearly over before it got started Friday afternoon.
The East Linn Christian senior missed on the first two attempts at his opening height while using a new pole and was just one mistake from being out of the competition.
But he got that final-attempt clearance and his day turned around in a hurry.
Reardon went over six more bars and set a personal best by six inches on his way to winning the OSAA 2A boys title at 13-6 at Western Oregon’s McArthur Field.
“I was actually really scared,” Reardon said of his early misses. “I was using a pole for the very first time. By the third jump I had it pretty much figured out.”
After some frayed nerves at 11-6, he cleared 12-0 on his first try and 12-6, 12-9 and 13-0 on his second attempts to win it. He cleared his next two bars, at 13-3 and 13-6, on first tries before going out at 13-9.
Most of that stretch included time split between the pole vault and the triple jump, where he was fourth at 40-9¼. Reardon passed on his last two triple jump attempts in finals to focus on the pole vault.
“I think I could have gotten 13-9,” he said. “I was honestly pretty exhausted by the end. I’m happy. It’s a six-inch PR, new school record.”
Lost River’s Bryan Ayala was second and Santiam’s Trevor Tinney third, both at 12-9. East Linn’s Ethan Goins was eighth and Central Linn’s Caleb Day 10th, both at 11-6.
East Linn Christian was the team favorite entering the meet thanks to its front-end talent and depth.
Reardon’s meet is done, having bettered his point projections in both events.
“It puts some pressure (on). Like in pole vault, there’s a lot of us tied at the top (coming into the meet). If I would have placed fourth that would be a lot of points. It’s kind of stressful in that sense,” he said. “I’m actually pretty excited. I feel like I did not a ton better than before but I did what I was supposed to do.”
In the shot put, Monroe’s Cristian Garcia didn’t have his best results of the season Friday. But the confidence of being a two-time champion in the event and a heavy favorite helped the senior claim his third straight title.
Garcia’s winning mark of 49-11½ was nearly five feet off the personal best he set earlier this month, but it was good enough for first. Heppner’s Derek Howard was runner-up at 49-5.
Garcia trailed in the competition until he produced his winning toss on the fifth of six throws.
“I couldn’t get my feet right my first throw. That was a little of shaky, not going to lie. I’m glad I pulled through.
Garcia said he didn’t feel the nerves despite the pressure. His PR was nearly three feet farther than any of his competitors threw in the regular season.
“I trust my technique,” he said. “I knew I was the best one out here so I felt pretty good.”
East Linn Christian senior Jedaiah Wasson wasn’t able to execute the plan he had going into the 3,000-meter final and finished second.
His time of 9 minutes, 2.97 seconds was about six seconds off the PR and 2A season best he set three weeks earlier. Heppner’s Hunter Nichols won in 8:59.29.
“I got kind of thrown off from the beginning pretty bad. I started missing my times. Went to start getting them back and ended up going too fast,” Wasson said. “I was just all over the board over and over throughout the race. Wasn’t consistent and it screwed me over, kind of.”
Wasson took the lead with about four laps to go and had Nichols at his side with less than two laps to go when Nichols accelerated. Nichols pulled away.
“I tend to go out a little bit slower and then pick up pace throughout the race,” Wasson said. “I just wasn’t able to do that. I didn’t really have control of the race at that point.”
Wasson said the disappointment Friday will be fuel for Saturday, when he enters the 1,500 as the favorite in that race as well.
“It’s definitely going to make me want to come back and destroy,” he said.
Cesar Sepulveda had a triple jump title within reach after a big PR in the preliminaries. But the Jefferson senior couldn’t come up with another to take the lead.
Sepulveda finished second at 44-9, improving on his 43-10 from last week’s district meet. Oakland’s Kevin Meier was the winner at 45-1½.
Sepulveda and Meier both surpassed the previous meet record of 44-7½, set by Central Linn’s DiSean Hernandez in 2015. But because Meier’s winning jump was above the allowable wind reading, Sepulveda is credited with the new meet record.
“My concentration and speed on the runway was good,” he said, adding that Meier’s 45-footer made Sepulveda “more motivated for the bigger mark but fell short.”
He’ll have a chance to bounce back Saturday with the high jump, where he’s chasing a 7-foot clearance, as well as the long jump and 4x400 relay.
Jefferson’s Gaven Robertson was third in the triple jump at 41-9¼.
Kyndal Martin made it through the first day about as well as she could have expected.
The Monroe senior finished fourth in the long jump at 17-¼, her best mark since returning to competition after missing about a month with mononucleosis.
“I’m glad that I’m getting better, but I’m also sad that it’s the end of the season,” Martin said. “It wasn’t great, but it’s kind of what I expected. I wasn’t expecting to come out and PR or anything.”
She also qualified for finals in the 100 (seventh, 13.45), 100 hurdles (first, 16.02) and 300 hurdles (second, 49.00).
Central Linn’s Madison Chapman tied for fifth in the high jump and Jefferson’s Baylie Campau tied for seventh, both at 4-8.
Central Linn’s Jenna Neal was sixth in the 3,000 (11:30.74), sister Jessica Neal ninth (11:52.52) and Jefferson’s Kira Sabin 12th (13:19.25).