Meads reels in win
EAGLE POINT — It's too early for Dominic Meads to put out the "Gone Fishin'" sign.
He still has work to do.
The Ashland High senior track and field thrower was hard at it Thursday on the first day of the Midwestern League championships at Eagle Point High, reeling in a victory in the discus.
As he did so, his mother took a moment from spectating to read an email that was important in its own right. It gave details of a prestigious fisheries scholarship Meads earned.
"It's been a good day all around," grinned Meads, who won the discus with a throw of 151 feet and returns next week to the state meet, where last year he was fourth.
Meads wasn't the only local athlete who had a good day. His teammate on the girls side, Emma Hickman produced a personal best in the shot put, only to be overtaken in the final round and place second.
Crater siblings Andy and Jordan Monroe won their respective 3,000-meter finals, and Eagle Point javelin thrower Dylan Perrin achieved a PR by more than 4 feet to place second.
The top two in each event qualified for state, as did those who met qualifying standards.
Other seconds were by Ashland boys pole vaulter Jeremiah Sherrynewby, Crater boys discus thrower Javon Gill and Ashland girls distance runner Hazel Richards.
In the boys long jump, Ashland senior Mel Elshalom placed third and Eagle Point senior O'Rion Irving placed fifth, but each advanced by surpassing the standard of 21-2. Elshalom went 21-10 1/2 and O'Rion 21-6.
The Class 5A state meet is next Friday and Saturday at Hayward in Eugene.
Finals were held Thursday in five boys and four girls events. The meet concludes Saturday at Eagle Point, beginning at 11 a.m.
Marist leads the boys standings with 51 points, and Springfield and Churchill share the girls lead with 30 points.
Meads was one of 36 applicants nationwide to earn acceptance into the Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program. He'll work for the BLM this summer, and upon completion of the program, will receive a $4,000 scholarship.
Good news, to be sure. But his effort in the discus ring rivaled it.
Meads uncorked his best throw on his next-to-last attempt. Having already won, he focused on technique on his final throw and sailed it 161 feet — but only after barely scratching.
He tried to be quicker from the back to the front, and his body "didn't have time to adjust," he said. "I think that's what pushed me over the line a little bit.
"I had nothing to lose. ... I just wanted to make it count, and it was far, so I'm excited."
Meads' first goal was to hit 150. His next was to hit 160.
"Distance-wise, I was at those goals," he said.
His PR of 160-6 was set at last season's Crater Classic. His best this year is 159-5, established last week in a dual meet here.
"I'm a lot stronger than I was last year," said Meads. "My PR's not quite as high, but my average throw is a lot higher than last year, so I'm a lot more consistent in the high 150s."
Gill, a sophomore, had a mark of 146-0 to earn a state trip.
Hickman went from a big high herself to something of a letdown in the shot put.
The senior uncorked the best throw of her life, 40-8 — more than a foot better than the 5A state best.
She erupted in jubilation when the distance was called out.
But in the final round, Springfield's Sydney Baker went from a best in the 38s to 41-1.
The emotional extremes didn't keep Hickman down.
"It's tough, but it happens," she said. "... She's a good thrower and she's nice. We're friends so that's fine. I'm happy for her."
On a hot day, Hickman couldn't reclaim first. She did, however, have the second-best heave of her life, 40-6, on her final attempt.
"It was a little daunting, yeah," she said of trying to catch Baker. "I wanted it, but I couldn't quite muster it. But I did my best and I'm happy with that."
If anyone felt the heat on a day when the temperatures climbed into the upper 80s, it was the distance runners.
"It was pretty toasty," said Andy Monroe, a sophomore who won a dash to the finish against senior teammate Walter Vail. "You just need to focus in. You have a goal and it just kind of defeats the heat."
His sister was cognizant of the heat.
"I was feeling it, definitely," said Jordan Monroe, a senior. "I think everyone probably was."
Andy Monroe won in 8 minutes, 59.25 seconds, .11 ahead of Vail. Last week, state-leader Vail ran the 15th fastest 3,000 in Oregon history, clocking 8:22.81 at the Oregon Twilight Meet.
They broke into a sprint the final 100 meters.
"We want to make it as close as possible," said Monroe. "There's no, 'Oh, I have to beat him.' It's just whoever they give the (winner's) card to first, really."
Crater freshman teammate Jantz Tostenson was third in 9:01.86 and qualified for state.
Jordan Monroe stayed with Ashland freshman Richards for the first couple laps, then took off.
"I knew it was time to go," she said.
Monroe won in 10:39.63. Richards clocked 11:29.97.
Perrin's best javelin toss was 182-1 and gave the senior the lead over Springfield's Nicholas Navarrete. But the latter went 183-3 in the next-to-last round to win.
Sherrynewby, a junior, added his name to the state list, placing second at 13-0. Marist's Nick Grafton won on fewer misses at the same height.
TEAM SCORES: 1, Marist, 51; 2, Crater, 42; 3, Ashland, 32; 4, Eagle Point, 25; 5, Springfield, 24; 6, Churchill, 15; 7, North Eugene, 6.
3,000 — 1, Andy Monroe, Cra, 8:59.25; 2, Walter Vail, Cra, 8:59.36; 3, Jantz Tostenson, Cra, 9:01.86.
DISCUS — 1, Dominic Meads, Ash, 151-0; 2, Javon Gill, Cra, 146-0; 3, Andrew Dryden, Mar, 132-7.
JAVELIN — 1, Nicholas Navarrete, Spr, 183-3; 2, Dylan Perrin, EP, 182-1; 3, Michael Hammond, EP, 155-0.
POLE VAULT — 1, Nick Grafton, Mar, 13-0; 2, Jeremiah Sherrynewby, Ash, 13-0; 3, Cal Duke, Cra, 12-6.
LONG JUMP — 1, Trae Gould, Mar, 22-4.5; 2, Jalon Fields, Chu, 21-11; 3, Mel Elshalom, Ash, 21-10.5.
TEAM SCORES: 1, Springfield, 30; 2, Churchill, 30; 3, North Eugene, 25.5; 4, Ashland, 25; 5, Crater, 21; 6, Marist, 19; 7, Eagle Point, 5.5.
3,000 — 1, Jordan Monroe, Cra, 10:39.63; 2, Hazel Richards, Ash, 11:29.97; 3, Emelia Sherman, Spr, 11:44.34.
SHOT PUT — 1, Sydney Baker, Spr, 41-1; 2, Emma Hickman, Ash, 36-4; 3, Sierra Carrier, NE, 36-4.
POLE VAULT — 1, Delaney Fields, Chu, 10-6; 2, Jessika Skalin, Spr, 9-0; 3, Julia Melendy, Mar, 9-0.
LONG JUMP — 1, Nina Richardson, NE, 17-7; 2, Kara Mathison, Mar, 16-1.5; 3, Taya Peacock, Chu, 15-11.5.
Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email@example.com