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Crater transfer makes big impression

Prep Notebook

Crater High track coach Hans Smith was hoping that new transfer Dylan Gaudette would fly under the radar during his Comets debut last Thursday in Klamath Falls.

No such luck.

Gaudette, who moved in from Kelso, Wash., two weeks ago, soared to marks of 42-0&

189; in the triple jump, 20-2&

188; in the long jump and 12-0 in the pole vault. He also ran the 100 meters in 11.64 seconds.

The Comets, already a slight favorite to win the Southern Oregon Conference district meet for a third straight year, suddenly become the team to beat.

He validated what kind of athlete we thought he was, Crater coach Hans Smith said. We knew he had some good marks up in Washington, and he didn't take long to show us what he could do.

We were hoping people wouldn't notice, but when you go 42 feet in the triple jump, there are no secrets.

Gaudette, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound sophomore, has been over 43 feet in the triple jump and 21 feet in the long jump this spring, Smith added.

Few teams are ever a lock at district, but Gaudette could separate the Comets from Grants Pass and North Medford, which are projected to be their closest pursuers.

I doped out the meet a couple weeks ago and only had five points separating the three schools, but with him (Gaudette) out there scoring points in three or four events, it definitely gives Crater the edge, North Medford coach Pete Voskes said.

Gaudette also plays football. He will bolster an already loaded Crater skill position group that includes quarterback Cory Staniforth, running back Charlie Reina and wide receiver Tyler Davis.

He's legit, Crater football coach John Beck said of Gaudette. He's an explosive, athletic kid. He's played tailback in the past. I'm not sure where he'll play for us, but I'm sure we'll find a spot for him someplace.

What a transfer, huh?

Gaudette is equally impressive in the classroom, where he carries a 3.98 grade-point average, Beck said.

THE OREGON SCHOOL Activities Association came out with state playoff formats for its new six-classification system Monday, even though the regrouping plan is hung up in mediation.

Arbitrators Edwin Peterson and Ozzie Rose have twice met with OSAA officials and school district representatives from Salem, Eugene and Medford, who are appealing the reclassification on grounds of excessive travel, lost class time for athletes and for reasons of history and tradition. A third meeting was scheduled for this week.

The OSAA is confident the six-class plan will go through in some form as it released details of its state playoff blueprints for the 2006-2007 school year.

At the 6A level, 28 of 46 schools will qualify for the playoffs in each team sport, including four of six schools in the newly-aligned District 6, which has been named the Southwest Conference. North Medford, South Medford, Grants Pass, Roseburg, South Eugene and Sheldon of Eugene will make up the league.

At the 5A level, 20 of 40 schools will make it to the postseason. The District 5 league, made up of Crater, Eagle Point, Ashland, Klamath Union and Mazama, will be called the Southern Sky Conference. It will advance two schools to the playoffs.

The new 4A level will advance 20 of 41 schools to the state playoffs, but the six-team Skyline Conference, comprising Phoenix, Hidden Valley, North Valley, Illinois Valley, Henley and Rogue River, will qualify only three teams.

OSAA executive director Tom Welter trumpeted Monday as an historic day, because the six-class plan will result in more student-athletes than ever participating in state-playoff contests.

I would argue that the OSAA has gone too far. It has taken on a more-the-merrier mentality. At the 6A level, 61 percent of the schools will advance to the playoffs. You're going to see football teams with 3-6 records and basketball teams with 9-15 marks advance.

Which begs the question: Why play a regular season?

SOUTH MEDFORD HIGH baseball standout Jared Adamson has signed a letter-of-intent with Chapman University, an NCAA Division III school in Orange, Calif.

Adamson, the South Medford shortstop, is batting over .400 and has helped the Panthers to an 18-2 record and a No. 9 ranking in the Class 4A state poll.

South Medford meets North Medford today at 4 p.m. at North.

Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail Crater transfer makes big impression"dhunt@mailtribune.com.