With 47 years of history for the Centennial Invitational it is difficult to get into the record book. That is unless your name is Crouser. Ryan Crouser of Barlow went 72-07.5 in the Shot Put breaking the record he set last year of 69-08. Ryan, who will attend the University of Texas next year then went 208-05 in the Discus, which was good for yet another record. The old record had been set just last year by cousin Sam Crouser, when he tossed 203-09. Haley Crouser of Gresham made it a family day by blowing away the record in the Javelin with a heave of 173-00. That record, incidentally, was established by Rachel Yurkovich of Newberg, who went on to a very successful career at the University of Oregon. Haley also added a victory looking very fluid in the 100 Meter Hurdles. If it was not quite up to the standard (14.25) of Bianca Mathabane – not to worry for Haley is only a sophomore and has two more years to improve on her time of 14.84. The Crouser name is now so inextricably linked to the Centennial Record books that Sean Keller of Heritage let the Javelin fly 232-01 and established a new Washington State record but his name will not head the Centennial Javelin list. Sam Crouser holds that record with a mark of 244-02. Keller won yesterday’s event over Junior Espitia of South Salem, who went 183-04, and as a junior, will have a chance to return next year.
Although the Crouser family supplied a fair share of impressive marks, a number of other athletes had banner days. Brendan Hooper of South Medford vaulted 15-00, which is makes him a serious State contender. Brendan Gray of Washougal & Joe Keenan-Tasker of Philomath both cleared 14-00 but Gray claimed second with fewer misses. Grayson Anderson of Mountain View, who earlier had won the Tiger Invitational in Battle Ground, added Centennial to his victory total going 6-04 to edge Rocky Tufty of Sunset, who went 6-03. In the Long Jump Zechariah McLaurin of Centennial went 23-05 to top the field by almost 2-00. Alex Sattley of Franklin (45-07.00) won the Triple Jump topping Andrew Goodrich of Sunset.
In other girls’ field event action Kathran Dean of Mountain View went 17-04 in the Long Jump to best Claire Thomas (16-07) of Molalla & Jazmin Ratcliff (16-06) from Benson. The Triple Jump victory went to Shelby Peterson of Century after she went 36-01 & Michelle Kiss claimed the High Jump with 5-03. Jennifer De Belli of Columbia River vaulted 11-09.0 to lead in that event. Ariel Oliver of McMinnville triumphed in the Discus with 130-04 and then came back in the Shot Put to place fourth behind Emmi Oliver of Warrenton.
Centennial has been home to great distance racing over the years. That tradition cane quickly viewed by looking at the records for the 3K, set in 1983 by Tracy Garrison of Klamath Union, of 8:17.02 and the 1500 Meters, held by Dirk Lakeman of South Eugene in 1977, of 3:50.9. To have any chance of breaking such marks takes some pretty strong early splits, which unfortunately was not the case on Saturday. Jacob Campbell of Barlow took the lead in the first lap & was shadowed virtually by the entire field. The pace of 75 or so eliminated no one early, although Andrew Gardner of Mead and Ian Burgess of Franklin were comfortably ensconced in 2nd & 3rd. Out of frustration Dylan Croeni of Heritage took over the pace, which was not his preference, and led through the next lap.
Andrew Gardner is only a sophomore but he already has solid credentials including placing fourth in the Foot Locker National Championship. No one gets invited to Foot Locker and entry into the finals must be earned in competition, so a fourth at Foot Locker says a great deal about a runner’s ability. With that probably in the back of ‘most everyone’s mind, when Gardner blasted off only Burgess had the temerity to attempt to stay with him. Gardner quickly opened up a gap over Burgess, who in turn opened a gap over a small group that included Croeni, Alex Foote of Sunset, Campbell & Colby Gilbert of Skyview. From that point onward the race for first was essentially over and scorching final laps brought him home alone in a winning 8:39.46. Burgess, who was running in his first 3K of the season, faded at the end and Dylan Croeni, who actually appeared to close a bit on the winner in the last 300 meters, placed second in 8:44.73. Alex Foote claimed third in a fine 8:54.25, which is the second best time in Oregon thus far. While the top three were already trying to recover the race was hardly over for Colby Gilbert was in the race & he has a knack for interesting finishes. While Burgess struggled due his prior challenge to Gardner, Jacob Campbell passed the Franklin runner with a little less than 300 Meters to go. He opened up a good ten meter lead over Gilbert, who had been concentrating on reeling in Burgess. Catching one runner seemingly gave him confidence to go for another and he made a late charge, reminiscent of his move at the Tiger Invitational and he drove down the final stretch nipping Campbell at the line 8:55.71 to 8:55.78. Campbell’s time is the fourth best in Oregon at the moment, incidentally. The valiant Burgess came home in 9:02.22, which puts him in the top ten as well and Josh Seekatz of Philomath placed eighth in 9:06. Jackson Baker of Franklin, Brandon Schmuckley of Centennial and Sean O'Hollearn of La Salle rounded out the top ten finishers.
The 1500 Meters for guys, which had been run earlier, was run in much the same way with no strong early pace. The first lap of 68 left the proverbial cast of thousands and an 800M split of 2:13 dropped few runners. The gang went through 1200 meters in 3:16, which essentially meant that unless something strange happened Centennial’s Badane Sultessa would be the winner, as he has a very formidable kick. He put that kick on display with 300M to go and turned on the jets to blast away from the pack and sped home with a winning 3:59.65. The time, the only one in Oregon under four this season, & the ease of victory has to make challengers wonder what it would take to defeat him at State, yet he was hardly spent immediately after the race. Aaron Back of Sunset, who had placed 4th on Friday in the Oregon Relays, made it a high quality weekend with his second place time of 4:02.69. Roman Kirkov of Union took third in 4:03, while Jackson Haselnus of Barlow garnered 4th in 4:05 ahead of Ryan Perry of South Medford, who was timed in 4:08.
Jeff Schreiner-McGraw of Philomath and Austin Collins of Colton waged a stirring duel, which came down to the final strides with the Philomath runner getting the nod with a State-leading 1:53.21. Collins ran 1:53.36 and can also take credit for the second fastest time in the State. Brett Willyard of Seaside established the State’s fourth best time, when he ran 1:55.29 to edge Badane Sultessa (1:55.35) for third. Sultessa had only broken two minutes for the first time earlier in the week to convince is coach to allow him in the race. Tanner Sork of Union was the fifth runner in the race to break 1:56.
Skyview’s Brad Michael won the 400 Meters defeating Will Lawrence of St. Helens & team mate Kevin Boyd by running 49.71 and then came back in the 1100M placing second behind Michael Kubisiak of Newberg, who ran 10.75. Wes Bailey of mead claimed the 200 with a 21.78 clocking to edge Kubisiak, who was right behind with 21.89. It should be noted that Grayson Anderson of Mountain View, who won the High Jump, also placed fifth in the 200M & sixth in the 100 Meters.
Paige Rice of St. Mary’s Academy had the best girls’ distance performance with her victory in the 800 Meter Run. Her victory in a time of 2:15.33 now stands as the top time in Oregon for the year. Lauren Morgan of South Medford ran 2:17.30 to earn second and Lynelle Decker of Mountain View ran 2:18.40 to take fourth a second before Christine Mulch of Grant. Decker had earlier run the 1500 Meters & led the filed through a first lap of 78. The leaders went through 800M in 2:37 and Priscilla Timmons led the field through 1200 Meters in 3:56. Claire DeVoe of Lincoln made a strong move with two turns to go triumph in a time of 4:48.91 to top Decker by a bit less than a second. Timmons of Skyview placed third with 3:51 & was followed by Annette Marinello of Philomath, MacKenzie McCausland of Willamette & Michaela Freeby of Putnam.
Centennial’s Andrea Dettman ran with confidence in the 3K and was always at or very near the lead, as she viewed in the early laps with Priscilla Timmons of Skyview, who was coming back after the 1500M. The pair ran a 2:25 split & then a 3:50 held a three meter lead over the chase pack. Dettman edged ahead through a split of 5:14 and continued t hold it through a split of 6:39 and then 8:05. During the closing phase of the race Dettman pulled away to win in a time of 10:27.79, which now ranks fifth in Oregon. Ragan Allen made a drive in the last 600 meters to move past Timmons to earn 2nd with 10:30.31 (7th in the State) & Priscilla, the Tiger Invitational winner, followed in 10:35. Shannon Susbauer of Milwaukie continued her break-out season, which includes a victory in the Sandy Invitational, with a fine fourth place time of 10:37, which places her in the State’s top ten. Kelsey Hilsenteger of Putnam is another improving runner and she showed it with her fifth place clocking of 10:41, which was good for fifth place. Emily Weber of South Salem & Katie Hendrick of Skyview finished 6th & 7th respectively & Claire DeVoe, the earlier 1500 winner, placed thirteenth.
Melissa Baller of Glencoe ran 56.66 to edge Christy Wood of Lake Oswego, who was right behind with 56.92. Ashante Horsley of McMinnville ran 57.92 for third. The 100 Meter Dash went down to the final lunge, which went to Allie Church of Wilsonville, whose 12.37 nipped both Georgia Henderson of Sunset & Ify Onyima of Gresham were both credited with 12.38. Georgia Henderson scored in a very close 200 Meter Dash, when he time of 25.25 edged Melissa Baller (25.37), DeJuanae Toliver-Porter of Centennial (25.997) & Madison Leek of West Linn (25.98). Hannah Johnson of Newberg and Rachel McQuivey of Skyview went right down to the line with Johnson scoring with 44.33 to 44.63.
McQuivey would later have a special moment at the end of the day, when the four by 400 Meter Relay placed third in the event. Yes St. Mary’s Academy won the event in 3:57.48 (#1 in Oregon) and Glencoe took second in 4:01.58 but there was a bit more to the story. At the Tiger Invitational earlier in the season in Battle Ground the Skyview girls’ team consisting of Maddie Lanford, Priscilla Timmons, Rachel Shirley & Rachel McQuivey had won the event in school record time only to have both win & record nullified by a claim of foul. We were there that day & right at the spot of the call in question and although the call was technically correct, it was debatable & had no real impact on the running of the event but the ruling (well complaint really) was hardly in the proper spirit of sportsmanship. Most coaches on hand that day were less than happy with the ruling but at Centennial the young ladies earned their school record and shared an early Eater present.
It was somehow a fitting ending to a fine day of racing at Centennial: a meet that has stood the test of time. For a change the weather was pleasant adding to the pleasure of the experience but years from now the quality of this day the record book will show that this was a special day in the long history of Centennial track.