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PREP TRACK AND FIELD

High school track and field notebook: Philomath boys in line for strong finish

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Brody Bushnell

Philomath sophomore Brody Bushnell (No. 2149) has the fastest 4A boys 800 and 1,500 times this season. 

The Philomath High boys look to have a good shot at a top-four team finish and possibly a state title when the best 4A track and field athletes gather next week for the state championships at Siuslaw High School in Florence.

Warriors sophomore Brody Bushnell has the classification’s best times of the season in the 800 and 1,500 meters in results reported through Monday.

He won the 800 at the Philomath Invite on May 1 in 1 minute, 58.17 seconds. Six days later, he clocked a 4:03.04 to win the 1,500 at the Wally Ciochetti Invitational in Cottage Grove. Only one 4A athlete has recorded a better 1,500 time since 2014.

Also at the Ciochetti meet, Bushnell teamed with Levi Knutson, Justin Enghauser and Sean Cummings to win the 4x400 relay in 3:28.74, another 4A season best.

On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee announced its initiative to increase safety at the upcoming Summer Games.

Cummings is third in the 4A 400 this spring at 51.89 and has helped Philomath to the fourth-best time in the 4x100 relay (45.49).

Teammate Micah Matthews could score well for the Warriors as state. He’s currently fifth in the 110 hurdles (17.18), tied for eighth in the high jump (5-10) and tied for ninth in the pole vault (11-0).

Philomath’s Mateo Candanoza is ranked fourth in the 3,000 (9:10.01) and Knutson seventh in the 800 (2:03.68).

Philomath and Sweet Home are both scheduled to compete in the Oregon West Championship on Friday and Saturday in Stayton. The state meet is May 21-22.

Sweet Home’s Tristan Calkins remains a strong contender to place well at the state meet. He’s ranked second in the 200 (22.97), third in the long jump (21 feet, ½ inch) and is tied for third in the 100 (11.38).

Distance runners producing

Area athletes are well represented on the 5A middle- and long-distance top-10 season lists, and none more so than the 800.

West Albany freshman Hailey Blaine is second in the state standings for the two-lap race at 2:24.87, followed by Corvallis’ Madeline Nason (fourth, 2:25.62) and Crescent Valley’s Sunitha Black (fifth, 2:26.44), Angela Martin (seventh, 2:28.29) and Ava McKee (eighth, 2:28.31).

Black is also second on the 5A 1,500 (4:51.55) and 3,000 (10:35.71) season lists. Nason is third in the 1,500 (4:52.53), sister Avery Nason fourth (4:57.61) and Blaine 10th (5:04.7).

Chasing No. 1

Monroe junior Laura Young is knocking on the door of the 2A girls shot put all-time record after her school-record toss of 42-10 in a home meet earlier this month.

That’s three inches off the No. 1 2A mark of 43-1 set by Oakridge’s Joi Tipton in 1985. Young now has the 2A freshman, sophomore and junior all-time class marks.

Young is also the 2A discus season leader at 116-2.

State title chase

Area 2A boys athletes could be in for a big day May 22 at their classification’s state meet at Union High School.

East Linn Christian’s Ethan Slayden (800) and Grant Davidson (shot put and discus) and Jefferson’s Leon Romo (300 hurdles) all have the top result in their respective events this season.

Slayden is also tied for second in the high jump and Romo third in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump. East Linn’s Brandon Williams is ranked second in the 3,000 and third in the 800.

In all, there are nine from area schools ranked third or higher in the 2A boys season lists.

All alone on top

West Albany senior Aiden Paul is currently in a class of his own in the 5A boys discus.

The Stanford-bound Paul has thrown 172-9 or better in all four of his meets this spring. The second-best 5A mark this season is 151-7 by Wilsonville’s Jake Moore. Paul threw a personal-best 180-3 at club meet in late March.

The competition is significantly closer in the shot put, where Paul is the 5A season leader at 57-7½. Wilsonville’s Logan Thebiay is second on the season list at 54-6.

Jesse Sowa can be reached via email at jesse.sowa@lee.net or on Twitter, @JesseSowaGT.

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