Athletic directors at the Class 5A level have proven to be the most invested in controlling their own playoff destiny since a switch to the...
EUGENE — One thing about Eagle Point track and field athletes, they don't shrink from a challenge.
For the second straight day, an Eagle thrower led for most of his event, only to be passed and have to come up with a big effort in the final round.
Garrett Snow was the latest to snatch victory in dramatic fashion, winning the Class 5A javelin with a meet record on his final throw Saturday at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field.
Snow, who had personal bests on his first three attempts and had what seemed to be a comfortable lead through the first five rounds, responded with a heave of 205 feet, 8 inches to claim the title.
A day earlier, Tyrone Holmes followed a similar path in winning the shot put. He led much of the way, dropped to second in the final round, then pulled it out with a season best on his last throw.
"Yeah, that's what I thought," said Snow, a senior who was third here last year. "Tyrone did it, why can't I? That just gave me some adrenaline. All right, this is my last throw. I've gotta find something."
He and coach Jef McClellan have often discussed finding the "it" factor, he said. When McClellan approached after the event, Snow grinned widely and said, "I found it!"
The previous 5A meet record was 200-8, set by Sean MacKelvie of Wilsonville in 2008.
Snow and Holmes are the only Eagle Point boys at state. Holmes scored 18 points in the shot put and discus, in which he placed second on Friday.
Snow's contribution pushed them to 28 points early Saturday, with Holmes yet to run in the 110-meter high hurdles final.
"Me and Ty were joking around about it in the hotel," said Snow of his roommate. "We were like, all right, let's have a team meeting."
Their goal was to eclipse 29 points, the most Eagle Point has scored at state, said Snow. They did so easily when Holmes capped an outstanding career by adding the hurdles championship to his bounty.
He was the high point scorer among Class 5A boys with 28.
Holmes looked smooth and in control as he sailed over each hurdle, winning in 14.86 seconds, well ahead of Colton Thurman of Marshfield, whose time was 15.05.
Eagle Point finished with 38 points and tied for fifth place, seven points out of a trophy. The top four teams get hardware. Summit won with 88.
Snow entered the meet with a best of 187-3.
His three preliminary round throws were, in order, 188-5, 190-10 and 191-7.
"He's been super consistent," said McClellan, "but he's never had a 'popped' throw. Lots of throwers will get that now and then, have a big throw."
David Barnett of Hermiston could attest. In the final round, he wowed the crowd with a 192-2 launch, bettering Snow by 7 inches.
Barnett clapped his hands together and pumped a fist to the Bulldog rooting section.
"I was thinking, 'I could have this,'" said the junior, "'I could be a champion.'"
Then he watched on the stadium's big screen as Snow's throw sailed past a marker at 197 feet.
"That's impressive," said Barnett. "I was like, 'I give it to him.' Two-oh-five is a big throw. He had a great series and I had a decent series."
Snow and Holmes are multisport athletes who have been on this stage before, said McClellan. The physical attributes are there and the technique is ingrained.
"Then it gets to the point where, what do you have inside," said McClellan, patting his heart. "That's what kind of happened with him (Snow) today. He found that little extra."
Snow's goal since he was a freshman was to hit 200 feet. There were times he doubted he'd get there, he said, so it was especially exhilarating to do it in this arena.
"I just worked hard every practice trying to get to it," he said. "It just feels good to be able to accomplish a big goal."
Holmes shared the feeling at day's end. His goals were to win the shot and hurdles and take third in the discus. He did the latter one place better.
"It's been really good," he said. "I accomplished all my goals."
In the hurdles, he got off to a good start, but that didn't result in a PR. His best is 14.56.
"I was feeling sick about that one," Holmes said of the hurdles race. "I just wanted to get it over with. I was waiting around all day. It seemed like the last event. But I'm happy I pulled it off."
Asked about the unique double of being able to win both throwing and sprint state titles, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior said, "I haven't seen too many other people doing it ... successfully. It's fun. I guess that's just what my body is built for."
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