GRESHAM — Another big throw escaped Aiden Paul, but that wasn’t his number-one goal.
The West Albany sophomore put out a discus mark Saturday that no one could match and he claimed his first OSAA state title. Paul’s best throw of 169 feet, 2 inches, which came in the preliminaries, stood up for first in the 5A division at Mt. Hood Community College.
“I’m just happy that I won. That’s all I really wanted,” he said. “A little disappointed that I scratched that huge throw. But as long as I won it’s all good.”
That foul came on his fifth of six attempts in the competition. Paul, who has a personal best of 176-6, says it was “way farther than 169 feet. It felt really good.” But he wasn’t able to maintain his balance and stay in the throwing ring.
So his goal of 180 feet will have to wait for another day. He has a few meets this summer to reach that as he plans to set his sights on 200 next season.
Paul, third in Friday’s shot put final, has a plan to reach those bigger marks.
“Just reps, drills. Lifting for sure, I need to bulk up,” he said.
Corvallis junior Sebbie Law reached his season goal of breaking 50 seconds in the 400 meters in the final meet of the year, taking second in 49.90. Malaki Connella of Dallas was the winner in 49.30.
“I’m happy with that,” Law said of his accomplishment. “It was the big thing I was trying to do all year and I’m glad I finally got to do it.”
Law said his success has him motivated to do more.
“I’m just ready to come out next year, train in the offseason and get state next year,” he said. “I think it’s really boosted my confidence for coming into next year. It’s going to be a good year this year after seeing what I could do this year.”
Law was later seventh in the 200 in 23.24 and anchored the Spartans’ ninth-place 4x400 relay (3:31.83).
Crescent Valley sophomore Jordan Henke thought his season might be over after the district meet despite reaching his own season goal of breaking two minutes in the 800.
But a wild-card berth got him into state and he continued to produce good results.
He finished fourth in Saturday’s 800 final in 1:57.9, a new personal best by more than 1.5 seconds.
“Even if I didn’t have a chance at state I would have been happy, and now that I’ve broken that I’m a lot more happy,” Henke said.
Henke later ran the anchor leg on the Raiders’ fifth-place 4x400 relay (3:31.1).
Crescent Valley’s Erik Ventura and Mason Forrest both cleared 6-0 in the high jump, with Ventura placing fifth and Forrest tying for sixth. South Albany’s Eli Nafziger was fifth in the long jump (20-9) and Ventura sixth (20-2).
West Albany’s 4x100 relay of Alejandro Munoz, Jordan Stewart, Colton Lacasse-Tran and Chase Reynolds was eighth in 44.62.