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Panthers surge late to claim SWC boys track title

In a preview of next weekend’s boys 100-meter dash at the Class 6A state meet in Eugene, three of the top sprinters in Oregon stepped into the blocks alongside one another Saturday at the Southwest Conference track and field championships.

The race lived up to the talent that was leading the charge.

Roseburg’s Landyn Dupper edged South Medford’s Andrew Walker and North Medford’s Nathan Rider, capturing the SWC title in the 100 with a time of 10.67 seconds that set a new top mark in Class 6A on Saturday at South Eugene High School.

“It’s truly an elite conference for the 100,” said South Medford coach David Kirkpatrick. “For it to be that competitive and for third place to be somebody like Nathan Rider who had run a 10.69 before and be where he was, it made for a fun meet to be at.”

The South Medford boys were able to get a late surge up the boys standings thanks to a win in the 4x400 relay just ahead of North Medford, with Walker running the anchor leg and edging Rider at the finish line. With the win, the Panthers finished with 128 points, just ahead of runner-up Grants Pass at 125.

“We went to our 400 relay team and I told them, ‘We win this race, we win the championship,’” said Kirkpatrick. “I told them to run the race of their lives. All of them did that and it was amazing to see. Andrew closed in on Rider and that was a finish that he just barely got with an all-out close.”

Only 14 points separated South Medford in first and Roseburg in fourth. North Medford finished fifth with 88 points.

Grants Pass won the girls team title with 200 points, with South Eugene (138), Sheldon (113) and North Medford (84) rounding out the top four.

“We got a complete team effort,” said Kirkpatrick. “Our stars like Michael (Maiorano), Andrew and Asher (Johnson) got us points, but we had 15 or 20 athletes who got us points today. We had people picking up a point here, picking up a point there. It was just great to see so many people picking up points for us.”

Walker finished three-hundredths of a second behind the senior Dupper in the 100, tying a personal-record time of 10.70 that he set at the Arcadia Invitational in Southern California in April. Rider, who had previously owned the state’s top mark in the 100 at 10.69, finished third with a time of 10.84, his fastest time since posting a 10.73 at the Oregon Relays three weeks ago.

Despite being edged by Dupper in the 100, both Walker and Rider still picked up individual wins Saturday.

Walker bested Rider in the 200 by two-tenths of a second, coming in at 21.74. Rider, meanwhile, recorded a personal-best time of 49.74 to win the 400 by nearly two seconds over Keanu Christner of Roseburg.

After comfortably winning the boys 3,000 on Thursday, Maiorano was able to sweep the distance events with a victory in the 1,500. This one was much closer, though, as Maiorano’s time of 3:53.56 was just over a half-second ahead of Sheldon’s Ben Collins (3:57.12).

Johnson, Connor Singer and Hayden Powell also qualified for state with second-place finishes. Johnson set a new personal record of 15.70 in the 110 hurdles, while Powell hit 12-6 in the pole vault and Singer took second in the 800 with a time of 2:02.26, one that was described by Kirkpatrick as a “critical swing” in the boys team standings.

North throwers had another strong showing, with the Black Tornado taking the top two spots in the boys discus. David Fuiava captured the win with a throw of 143 feet, 1 inch, while teammate Terrell Kim — who finished second in the shot put Thursday — was second at 134-11.

Tornado senior Audrey Yechout also recorded a PR on her way to winning the triple jump in 34-6 1/2, while North’s Eleanor Nichol (2:24.77) was second in the girls 800 to earn an automatic qualifier to state.

South Medford’s Katie Clevenger qualified for state in the high jump (5-0), just being edged out by Grants Pass’ Callie Brandes after she cleared the same height in fewer attempts.

The top two district finishers in each event automatically qualify for state, with wild-card entries available after all district meet results are tabulated.


TEAM SCORES: South Medford 128, Grants Pass 125, Sheldon 117, Roseburg 114, North Medford 88, South Eugene 85.

100 — 1, Landyn Dupper, Rosebueg, 10.67; 2, Andrew Walker, South Medford, 10.70; 3, Nathan Rider, North Medford, 10.84.

200 — 1, Andrew Walker, South Medford, 21.74; 2, Nathan Rider, North Medford, 21.94; 3, Benjamin Krebs, South Medford, 22.95.

400 — 1, Nathan Rider, North Medford, 49.74; 2, Keanu Christner, Roseburg, 51.71; 3, Jazz Hernandez, South Medford, 52.43.

800 — 1, Ferran Verges, South Eugene, 2:02.11; 2, Connor Singer, South Medford, 2:02.26; 3, Trey Driskell, North Medford, 2:02.71.

1,500 — 1, Michael Maiorano, South Medford, 3:53.56; 2, Ben Collins, Sheldon, 3:57.12; 3, Jackson Seubert, South Eugene, 4:01.04.

110 HURDLES — 1, Jayden Jessee, Grants Pass, 15.22; 2, Asher Johnson, South Medford, 15.70; 3, Adam Jenson, Grants Pass, 15.81.

300 HURDLES — 1, Boden Hanley, South Eugene, 41.66; 2, Charles Anderson, Roseburg, 41.84; 3, Ephraim Webber, Roseburg, 41.98.

4x100 RELAY — 1, Roseburg (Jackson Bartlett, Colton Marsters, Keanu Christner, Landyn Dupper), 42.49; 2, Sheldon, 42.99; 3, South Medford, 43.31.

4X400 RELAY — 1, South Medford (Jazz Hernandez, Tanner Tuggle, Titus Bloodsaw, Andrew Walker), 3:27.29; 2, North Medford, 3:27.58; 3, Roseburg, 3:30.00.

DISCUS — 1, David Fuiava, North Medford, 143-1; 2, Terrell Kim, North Medford, 134-11; 3, Owen Townes, Grants Pass, 133-8.

HIGH JUMP — 1, Colton Marsters, Roseburg, 6-0; 2, Jayden Jessee, Grants Pass, 5-10; 3, Sam Poole, Sheldon, 5-10.

POLE VAULT — 1, Francis Anderson-Blankenship, South Eugene, 13-6; 2, Hayden Powell, South Medford, 12-6; 3, Carson Morrison, Grants Pass, 12-6.

TRIPLE JUMP — 1, Alex Guymon, Grants Pass, 41-5.25; 2, Owen Phillips, Sheldon, 41-2.5; 3, Jayden Jessee, Grants Pass, 41-2.


TEAM SCORES: Grants Pass 200, South Eugene 138, Sheldon 113, North Medford 84, Roseburg 64, South Medford 33.

100 — 1, Gabriella Harms, Sheldon, 12.79; 2, Brooke Anderson, Grants Pass, 13.11; 3, Alexis Leao, Sheldon, 13.19.

200 — 1, Gabriella Harms, Sheldon, 26.19; 2, Brooke Anderson, Grants Pass, 26.78; 3, Alicia Lancaster, Sheldon, 26.87.

400 — 1, Chloe Shedrick, Sheldon, 57.91; 2, Sydney Mills, South Eugene, 59.92; 3, Callie Brandes, Grants Pass, 1:00.79.

800 — 1, Ansley Johnson, South Eugene, 2:21.74; 2, Eleanor Nichol, North Medford, 2:24.77; 3, Mary Sturley, Grants Pass, 2:26.31.

1,500 — 1, Hannah Seubert, South Eugene, 4:49.87; 2, Elizabeth Eckman, Roseburg, 4:55.13; Syliva Eckman, Roseburg, 5:01.03.

100 HURDLES — 1, Catherine Touchette, South Eugene, 15.02; 2, Olivia Allen, South Eugene, 15.13; 3, Sophie Mock, Grants Pass, 16.09.

300 HURDLES — 1, Olivia Allen, South Eugene, 44.40; 2, Catherine Touchette, South Eugene, 44.65; 3, Sarah Money, South Eugene, 46.26.

4x100 RELAY — 1, Sheldon (Alexis Leao, Gabriella Harms, Sabrina Giulietti, Chloe Shedrick), 49.76; 2, Grants Pass, 49.97; 3, Roseburg, 51.07.

4X400 RELAY — 1, Sheldon (Alexis Leao, Gabriella Harms, Sabrina Giulietti, Chloe Shedrick), 4:03.40; 2, South Eugene, 4:05.28; 3, Roseburg, 4:11.94.

DISCUS — 1, Grace Osborne, Grants Pass, 115-6; 2, Addison Hull, Grants Pass, 105-5; 3, Anna Tobey, Grants Pass, 101-8.

HIGH JUMP — 1, Callie Brandes, Grants Pass, 5-0; 2, Katie Clevenger, South Medford, 5-0; Paige Schiffer, South Medford, 4-8.

POLE VAULT — 1, Allison Gordon, Sheldon, 8-3; 2, Ella Lybbert, Grants Pass, 7-9; 3, Sarah Beckstead, Grants Pass, 7-3.

TRIPLE JUMP — 1, Audrey Yechout, North Medford, 34-6.5; 2, Ella Lybbert, Grants Pass, 34-5; 2, Paije Carpenter, North Medford, 33-11.5.