2010 Oregon Sports Awards Nominations

                                                                2010 Oregon Sports Awards

       The nominations for next weekend’s Oregon Sports Awards Banquet, which will be held on January 30 at the Tiger Woods Building on the Nike Campus were just announced.   While the awards will go to collegiate runners like Jordan Hasay, A J Acosta & Andrew Wheating  and professionals like Galen Rupp & Shalene Flanagan and will encompass sports from swimming, fencing, volleyball & golf and ‘most everything else, we will  look solely at the athletes nominated from Track & Field plus Cross Country.

      There is a special awards accorded to prep distances runners named in honor of  the legendary Steve Prefontaine, which is my natural favorite and there are but five nominees from all of the state’s ‘Kings of Distance.’    This award, which essentially began in 2001, has gone to Cole Watson, Casey Masterson,  Taylor Wallace, Kenny Klotz, Galen Rupp & Lauren Jesperson  (sadly & alarmingly Ian Dobson’s name is not on the list, as he ran prior to the award going to individuals & not teams) but this is fine group of which to become a part.   This year’s nominees include Annamarie Maag , who won her third consecutive 6A XC country title (awards are for this year’s performances only)  with a fine 18:11.  Ms. Maag also excelled in track & garnered titles in the 1500M (4:38.34) & the 3K (9:57.97).  In XC Maag also won the Chapman Invitational & was 2nd at Sunfair in her heat.    Maag place 4th in the Oregon-Washington Border Clash & was 15th at NXN.

      Payton Schutte, Maag’s Jesuit team mate, placed 3rd in XC (18:49), & was 4th in the 1500 (4:42.27) & 4th again in the 3K (10:06.95).   Unlike Annamarie Payton is four-time State qualifier (Maag did not run as a freshman) and, although often overshadowed by her team mate she placed first in her division at Sunfair.   Max Runia of Crater placed 2nd in the 5A 3K at State with 9:04.18 & then was 5th in the 1500 with 4:05.82.   Crater moved to the 6A division for XC and Max placed 4th in the large-school division.  Max also won the Star City Classic in XC & was second at both Puma Concordia & Yreka.

     Ian Burgess of Franklin was hampered by some physical problems during both his junior & senior XC campaigns, yet he still annexed the 5A title with 15:56.  In track he was the 3K champion in 8:45.78 & added an 4th place effort in the 1500 in 4:02.64.  Ian also won the New Balance Invitational & Wilsonville Night Meet in XC before taking on the West’s best at Foot Locker West, where he placed 18th.    The last of the Big-Five Prefontaine is Matt Melancon of Sheldon, who had the State’s best time in XC, when he won the 6A title in 15:36.  Matt also placed 4th at Border Clash, which was the best Oregon finish in years.   He placed 4th in the 3K on the track with 8:42.   The big thing for Matt is his improvement and he rose to another level his senior year, as evidenced by his victory at the Puma Concordia Classic & his 3rd at the Danner Meet.   Saving his best for last he took on the challenging Mt. SAC course & the best that the West has to offer & placed 11th overall – missing a national berth in San Diego by just one place.  

     The Carpenter Award is open to male & female runners, whether they are distance runners, sprinters or field event stars.    Besides being broken down by sex the awards also are dispersed by divisions (6 & 5A) & then (4-1A):  the logic of that escapes me but whatever.   What follows are the athletes as listed by divisions & a few of their accomplishments.    Matt Melancon & Ian Burgess, both also nominated for the Pre award, nominees here as well &, I hope, need no further introduction.    Leading the way, probably however, is Sam Crouser  of Gresham.   The self-deprecating Crouser, who stated some of his titles were easier due to his cousin’s injury, had a monster of a season by any standard.  At State Sam won the shot put (60’ 7.50), the discus (194’ 3.00), & the Javelin (224’ 9.00).  What is surprising was that Crouser had anticipated better for at Arcadia he had tossed (65 & 205).  Even better at Centennial he went 244’ 2.0, which set a new Junior Record.   In his last competition of the year at the Portland Track Festival he obliterated the javelin mark with a stunning 255’ 4.0.  Although this author will admit to a bias towards distance, a National Junior record I find impossible to top.   Still, that said, a number of other large-school athletes had banner years including:   Arthur Delaney of Barlow, who won the 6A 100M in 10.42 & the 200M in 2.28.  He was also third in the long jump with 22’.   Arthur competed in the NTN Tack meet & placed 3rd in the Long Jump with 22’ 11”.

       Crater’s Jack Galpin competed on the 5A level & won the 200M with 21.87 & the 400M with 48.93. Drew Jordan of North Medford claimed 6A titles in the 1500 in 3:58.72 & the 3K in 8:40.37.   Dean McLaughlin of Klamath Union earned titles in the 6A Long Jump with 23’ 9.35 & the Triple Jump with 46’ 2.50 & added points for his team with a 2nd in the 100 Meters with 11.05.  Cleveland’s Daniel Winn went out in style before his graduation by triumphing in the 1500 in 4:01 & the 3K in 9:03 at the 5A level.  He also won the Border Duel with an impressive 3K of 8:33.   Seth Monson of Westview competed at the 6A division and was victorious in the 400M (48.47) & the 300 Hurdles (37.72).

      Annamarie Maag is also a Carpenter Award finalist for the large-school division but like Melancon & Burgess before hand, has already been covered.  It should be noted that Shoni Schimmel, though here because of the caliber of his basketball, also competed in XC for both Pendleton & Hermiston.     Although both sport very impressive statistics they are hardly the alpha & omega of their class.   Front and center must come Kellie Schueler of Summit, who dominated girl’s sprinting in Oregon four  years (and yes the award is for but 2010).  Her 2010 shows her with victories at 5A in the 100M (12.36), the 200M (24.86) & the 400M (56.7).  She even tossed in a time of 2:18 800 meters in a dual meet, which is only a hint of her talent in that event.     Kellie’s team mate Megan Fristoe won her second straight XC title with 18:37 and she won the 3K on the track with 10:23 plus threw in a 5th in the 1500M.  

       Iris Anderson dominated the field events at 5A, when she competed for North Eugene by claiming titles in the  Long Jump (17’ 5.25)& Triple Jump (37’ 1.75) before adding an 8th in the 200M (26.33).   Westview’s Dominique Keel scored in the sprints in both the 100M (12.06) & the 200M (24.90) at 6A.   Mary Barnett of Hermiston helped her 5A team with victories in the discus (133’ 3) & the shot (40’), while  Olivia Ferrara of Liberty won at the 5A classification in the  100H (14.97) & the 300H (44.22).  Olivia also claimed the Track City Classic with 14.34 after the season’s finish.  

      What next follows are the nominees from the smaller schools (4A-1A) with the female possibilities first.   Ashley Baldovino of Lakeview was the 2A champion in both the 1500M (4:54) & the 3K (10:33.12).  Allie Sibole of Marist triumphed at the 800M in 2:16.81 & the 3K (10:29.9).  Leah Thompson of Catlin Gable scored at 3A in the 1500 (4:55.7) & the 3k (11:02.69), while Austin Lundin of Valley Catholic (3A) annexed a triumph in XC (19:39) & added a 4th in the 1500 (5:04.1).   Another small school XC star was Alisha Lune of Klamath Falls (1st – 18:36) in 4A.    Eloise Miller of Catlin Gable had a triumphant day at State in 3A, when she scored victories in the Long Jump (17’ 10), Triple Jump (36’ 5) & was a part of the victorious 4 by 400 relay.  She also participated in XC, where she placed 11th.   Kristen Holding of Damascus Christian may have competed at the 1A level yet her scores were of quality with a first in the Long Jump (17’ 10.75), Triple Jump (34’ 8) & the 100 Hurdles (15.74).   Madeline Dinsmore of Burns secured 3A titles in the  100M (12.74) & the 200M (25.72) and along the way also ran a  time of 59.74 in the 400M.   Erica Drake is the last of this group but the Pilot Rock star won her division in the 100 with (12.68) & the 200M (26.6).  

       Cole Watson, who now runs for the University of Oregon, was a very busy runner the previous school year, for he won the 3A Cross Country title and then in track scored in the 400M, 1500M & the 3K aside from contributing to Rogue River’s  4 X 400 Relay.   As a graduating senior XC was out of the picture but he was still impressive in claiming a State title in 2010 with a 3:55.76 (1500M) in miserable wind & rain and then added a 3K title in 8:47.55.  Such was his respect nationally that Cole was invited to the Jim Ryun mile in New York after his PR 3:50.84 for a 1500.   Young Mr. Watson made sure that he’d be a hard act to follow in the distances.    Still Zorg Loustalet of Henley discovered that he may very well be a better distance runner than a wrestler & he emphatically drove that theme home by winning the State 4A XC title  in 16:04.   Jedd Tolbert, who was his team mate in the Spring, won track titles in the 1500 (4:05) & the 3K (8:44.13).  Tom Sheehy of Union was a 2A star ,  who won the 1500  (4:13.11) & the 3K (9:06).   Also in the distances Lucien Corriveau of Chemawa (Salem) won the State 3A XC title with 16:15.

      As much as can be said for the distance stars for the smaller schools there is much to be said for the sprinters & field events personnel.   Matt Anthony of Ontario won 4A titles in the 100M (10.72) & the 200M (21.91) & also had a best earlier in the 400M with 50.22.   Derek Barth of Kennedy won the Long Jump (20’ 7.50) & the High Jump (6’ 0”) and added a 5th place in the Triple Jump with 40’ 8.75.  Preston Dace of Portland Christian secured victories in the 100H (15.86), Triple Jump (43’ 9.75) & the Long Jump (19’ 6.50) at the 2A level.    Eli Cunningham of New Hope Christian won twice at the 1A level (400m – 50.48 and the 300H- 40.33) plus added a 2nd in the 100H (16.20).    Dakota Keys was an all-discipline athlete who won three times at State at 4A.  He earned victories in the 100H (14.54), Long Jump (22’ 7.00), Pole Vault (15’ 0”) & the High Jump (6’ 3”).  Dakota also experimented in the decathlon, tossed the shot over 43 feet & & the discus 132’.    All around only sort of covers his versatility.   Jason Starr of Spray was a 1A athlete who won the shot (48’ 5”) & the discus (147’ 4.00) & added a third in the javelin (166’ 7).    Last but hardly least is a four event champion by the name of Coulter Mastenbroek of Scio, who won four events at the 2A division.   He started by winning the 100M (11.8) & then added the 200M (22.8).  With his day barely started he added the 300 Hurdles (38.45) and the topped the day with a winning 400M in 49.22.  

      These fine athletes are the final nominees for Oregon’s 2010 banquet.   The banquet is now sponsored by the Oregon Sports Authority, the Portland Tribune and Nike Inc.   It’s been another fine year in track & field as well as Cross Country and everyone featured is a champion in their own right.   Good luck to all.