Both 4A meets go to the wire: Dakotah Keys - 34 for Sweet Home; Henley girls beat Astoria by

            EUGENE, Ore. – When a meet is as close as these were, every inch counts.

             For most of three days, things seemed to be going Astoria’s way. In the discus Friday afternoon, Laura Bobek won the event on her final throw, and her teammate, Jamie Coggins, took 3rd by 4 inches. Combined with the 1-3 they took on Thursday in the shot, that was 32 points right there.

            On Saturday morning in the javelin, Lynnae Huber got a big 5 points, securing 4th place by 2 inches, and her teammate Charlene Harber, winner of the triple jump, finished 5th in the 100. The Fishermen had the lead.
            But through the day, Henley started chipping away, and when Astoria’s Hilary O’Bryan failed at 5-5 in the high jump, the win went to freshman Chance Summers of Estacada, a crucial 2-point swing.
            Taylor Wallace ran away with the 1,500 in 4:33.79, winning by 14 seconds, helping put Henley within the narrowest of margins – 9 ½ points behind entering the 4x4.
            Astoria could do nothing but watch. Henley used a middle-distance lineup that included their 1-2 finishers from the 800, Katie Waugh and Kailee Poetsch, with miler Wallace on the anchor. Marist threatened on the final turn but Wallace pulled away to the win, 3:56.83-3:58.81, a little more than a second faster than they had run to win the race a year earlier. “To win the race like that and get a meet record ... it’s amazing,” Henley Coach Ron Smith told Adam Jude of the Eugene Register-Guard. “My kids ran a perfect meet and didn’t let down anywhere.”
            The 4A boys’ meet came down to Sweet Home and its star, sophomore Dakotah Keys, against North Bend. North Bend had been leading ever since Lane Davison’s emphatic 16-foot pole vault on Thursday afternoon.
            On Saturday, Keys, winner of the long jump on Day 1, started to take over. In the morning, the 16-year-old sophomore, although a hurdler/jumper, placed 2nd in the javelin, throwing 185-7. “I throw the javelin to practice for the decathlon,” Keys said. “I like the decathlon a lot, and plan to compete in it at Junior nationals this summer.” Here he was close to his lifetime best of 193-9.
            Keys then took 2nd in the high hurdles, as Dom Walker of Seaside sped past him over the final hurdle to win, 14.91-15.00, and 2nd in the intermediates, losing to Larry Ragsdale of Illinois Valley.
            Sweet Home also took 2nd in the 4x1 and 4th in the 400, by Land Florek, to creep within 4 points of North Bend, 57-53, entering the final relay. “I love the relays, and this is the first time we’ve ever had a relay this good,” Sweet Home Coach Billy Snow told the Register-Guard.
            Sweet Home was in the middle of the pack all the way, but when Florek ran a 49.4 anchor, it was enough for the essential 4th place.
            “You’re always looking for that one extra point,” losing coach Steve Greif said. “This is a senior team, and I’m very happy for them. the only thing bittersweet is that these seniors feel like your own kids, and you always want them to have the most success.”
            There were two double winners in the boys 4A.
            Elliott Jantzer of Phoenix had a rare quadruple – he won the 3,000 on Thursday, the 1,500 on Saturday in 3:58.53, ran 49.79 for 3rd in the 400 and closed by anchoring his school’s 5th-place 4x4.
            Danny Staats of Henley won the high jump and 400 only a few minutes apart. About 10 minutes after his final miss at 6-11 in the HJ, he was in the blocks for the 400, which he won in 49.01. “This was different, because I’ve always had to run the 400 just before the high jump,” he said.
            Staats won the high jump by clearing 6-9 on his 3rd jump to defeat Chris Meyer of Astoria, who cleared 6-7. “He’s a good jumper,” Staats, a senior headed for the University of Oregon, said of Meyer. “I’m just happy I won.”
            Staats, 6-4 and 160 pounds, said he signed with Oregon to be a highjumper. “I can’t wait to get here,” he said, gazing up at the grandstand full of track fans.
            In the girls 4A, Jessica Rodolf won the 200 over the champions of two other events – Laura Schmitt of LaSalle, winner of the 400, and Braidy Bates of Pleasant Hill, who had beaten Rodolf earlier in the day in the 100. Rodolf also won the long jump. “The pressure, it really builds up on you,” the peroxided Rodolf said. “But I guess when you get here, it’s your senior year and you just let it go and you have fun with it.”