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Dearmon, Voget take home titles

The Crater shot-putter becomes the first athlete in Class 4A state history to win a wrestling and track and field championship in the same year

EUGENE ' The third time was a charm for Ashland High's Cameron Voget at the Class 4A track and field state championships at Hayward Field on Saturday.

Voget upset Sandy's Tommy Skipper to win the javelin with a mark of 201 feet, 10 inches and all but wipe away the memories of seventh-place finishes the previous two years.

Crater's Chris Dearmon, meanwhile, became the first 4A athlete in state history to win wrestling and shot put championships in the same school year. Dearmon won the shot put Saturday with a throw of 58-2.

Churchill rode the unprecedented four individual victories from Jordan Kent to score 55 points and claim the team title for the second straight year. Klamath Union finished a surprising second with 43 points, thanks to the Herculean efforts of middle-distance phenoms Lauren Jespersen and Jacob Gomez, while Westview grabbed third with 42 points and Sandy fourth with 33.

Voget hadn't been over the 200-foot mark with the new international javelin that Oregon high school throwers are using this season. The new javelin is weighted differently and is designed not to travel as far for safety reasons, but Voget came within a few feet of his all-time best Saturday.

He hit 201-1 on his second throw of the preliminary round and improved to 201-10 on his next attempt. He failed to improve in the finals, but his mark stood up as Skipper, the Sandy High junior who cleared a state-meet record 17 feet in the pole vault on Friday and also competed in the 100 and 300 hurdles Saturday, could manage only 194-10.

Skipper surpassed 211 feet earlier this year.

I've been ready for this meet all season, Voget said. This is my third trip up here, and I was completely relaxed.

That was in contrast to last year, when Voget watched Glencoe's Dennis Rice throw the spear 225-10 on his first attempt and make everyone else play catch-up.

He (Rice) made me want to throw my guts out and I lost all technique, Voget said. Today, I was the one that got the early lead. It makes a difference when you can just relax and let it go.

Dearmon had no room to be relaxed after his first two throws of the preliminary round barely reached 50 feet. He was in danger of failing to qualify for the finals and bowing out of the meet when he launched his winning toss of 58-2 on his third throw of prelims.

Dearmon hit a lifetime best of 60-11 at the district meet and had nailed a couple of 61-foot throws in practice this week, but he never really found his rhythm Saturday.

Nonetheless, he was happy to be a state champion.

Winning the state title has been my No. — goal all season, said Dearmon, who signed a letter-of-intent earlier this week to attend the University of Oregon and compete for the Ducks. I wasn't at my best today but I was good enough to beat everyone here.

I can't complain.

Neither could Klamath Union's Jespersen, a junior who blazed to a meet-record time of 3:50.49 to outduel Lincoln's Mike McGrath and win the 1,500.

The two runners traded the lead several times over a scintillating final lap before Jespersen turned on the afterburners in the final 200 meters. McGrath wound up second in 3:52.38, while Jespersen's talented teammate ' Jacob Gomez ' took third in 3:52.80.

Gomez won the 3,000 on Friday.

I just tried to make it hurt as much as I could and leave everything on the track, said Jespersen, who later came back to finish second in the 800 to Mountain View's Ryan Flaherty. He (McGrath) passed me on the backstretch (of the final lap), but I made a real quick move right before the curve and then just went all-out to the finish line and prayed he wouldn't pass me back.

Jespersen broke the meet record of 3:50.8 set by South Eugene's Jeff Hess in 1979. Hess had seen Jespersen at the Grants Pass Rotary meet earlier this month and told him he wanted him to break the record.

Hess then congratulated Jespersen Saturday at the state meet.

A state-meet record is always special, but it means even more when the previous record-holder seeks you out and praises you for doing it, Jespersen said. It really makes you feel honored.

Jespersen tried his best to double back and take the 800 but couldn't match the finishing kick of Flaherty, who jetted past Jespersen with about 150 meters to go to win in 1:52.19. Jespersen was clocked in 1:52.87, a time that would have won the state 800 in every year between 1994 and 2001.

We've got a loaded field of middle-distance runners in this state right now, Jespersen said, and that's good because everyone runs faster times that way.

Roseburg's Brennan Garrelts had a respectable day as he finished second in the 300 intermediate hurdles in 38.7 and fourth in the 110 high hurdles in 15.0. North Medford's Chris Vorgang was fifth in the former event in 39.13.

In other events involving Southern Oregon Conference competitors Saturday, Grants Pass' Kory Mahr took third in the triple jump at 45-3 and North Medford's Dustin Brooks was seventh with a school-record mark of 44-5&

188; ; South Medford's Jonathan Klenke was eighth in both the 100 (11.11) and 200 (22.57); and the Panthers' 4x400 relay was seventh in a school-record time of 3:23.62.

Dan Hilgendorf sped to a 49.26 split to anchor the South Medford relay.

Crater?s Chris Dearmon wins the shot put with a heave of 58 feet, 2 inches at Saturday?s Class 4A meet. Mail Tribune / Andrew Mariman - Mail Tribune Andrew Mariman