As big as the athletes might talk about whose events are the toughest, it’s a sense of family that reigns in McNary High School track and field competition.
“The character of the team is different this year,” said Celt Evan Rummerfield. “We motivate each other and it means everyone is involved in seeing how everyone else is improving.”
While it’s not uncommon for some teams to self-segregate according to the type of events each athlete competes in, intermingling means the Celts rise as one. It translates into more inspired performances for Celtic distance runners like Rummerfield, Aisha Amaitsa and Rebekah Maddox.
“This is my first year as part of the team, and I just wanted to see how it compared to cross country, but it’s so cool to hear people screaming for you as you go around the track,” Maddox said.
“It really makes a difference when you’re on the last lap,” Amaitsa added.
All three runners won events at the team’s most recent meet with South Salem High School Wednesday, April 30.
The boys coasted to an overall 84-56 win while the Lady Saxons kept thing much closer. The McNary girls won 73-72.
For the girls, Maddox took the top spot in the 3,000 meter with a time of 13:42.81; Amaitsa took first in the 1,500 with a time of 5:25.66 in addition to a second-place finish in the 800 meter; Daysha Simms-Garcia won the 400 meter in 58.99; Deana Saukov won the shot put with a throw of 26-10; Jasmine Ernest won the javelin with a mark of 104-10; Alyx Peterson won the high jump clearing 4-10; Alyssa Looney won the long jump with a distance of 15-11; and Ashlee Koenig won the triple jump with a mark of 31-00.
Danielle Duran won the 200 meter in 26.68, took second in the 400 meter and anchored the winning 4×100 relay team that included Koenig, Simms-Garcia and Sydney Hunter. She’s hoping to break the one-minute mark in the 400 before the end of the season and make it to state in that event and the relays.
“I feel like we can go far this year with the girls we have on the team,” she said.
For the boys, Perry Groves won the 100 meter in 10.96 and the triple jump with a mark of 41-00; Kyle Torres won the 200 meter in 22.40; Rummerfield took first in the 800 meter in 2:09.34; Adrian Fernandez won the 1,500 in 4:26.12; Daniel Brattain won the 110 hurdles in 14.90, the 300 hurdles in 40.43, the long jump with a mark of 20-03.25 and the pole vault clearing 12-06; and Tevita Maake won the shot put with a mark of 43-01 and the javelin with a mark of 112-03.
One candidate wants the other to agree to a positive campaign pledge.
The other candidate, however, emphasizes he hasn’t been engaged in negative campaigning.
Thus goes the latest chapter in the House District 25 Republican primary contest between radio talk show host Bill Post and retired state employee Barbara Jensen.
Last week, Jensen wrote a letter to Post’s campaign about the pledge.
“As someone who cares deeply about respecting the will of voters in House District 25, I am announcing today that my campaign will take a pledge to run a positive campaign,” Jensen wrote in a letter dated May 1. “In addition, we are calling on all parties concerned with an interest in the race to join us in running a positive campaign. We, as a campaign, will actively work to ensure that no outside group runs a negative attack in this race.”
In an interview with the Keizertimes on Monday, Jensen explained her rationale behind the pledge.
“I’d been feeling it for some time to let voters hear issues and how we feel on issues,” Jensen said. “When we get wrapped around tearing each other down, it doesn’t let voters hear and do their assessment. I was hoping we could get to a better place. Let’s call a truce and move on.”
Jensen noted she hadn’t heard back from Post and was “not sure he’s receptive.”
Post told the Keizertimes on Monday that was indeed the case – but for a different reason.
“I think it’s a stunt,” Post said. “There is no negative stuff we do. I don’t dwell on my opponent. That’s not my focus. My focus is on who’s Bill. We haven’t done anything negative and we don’t intend to.
“There’s no response, really,” he added. “We’re not doing anything negative to take a pledge like that.”
The primary election is on Tuesday, May 20. In Keizer, voters can drop off their ballots in the 24-hour drop box in the parking lot at Keizer Civic Center, 930 Chemawa Road N.
Post, who works at 1430 KYKN, was at a Tea Party speech in 2009 when he decided to start his radio show.
“Something woke up in me,” he said. “I said I needed to be more involved. I started my radio show in April 2009. I’ve spent 750 hours doing that. I’ve listened, listened, listened. I said it’s time to do something further. I wanted to take this knowledge I’d gained and defend conservative values. I want to be the voice for the average person.”
Post announced his intentions to run for the seat in December, when incumbent Kim Thatcher announced her intentions to run for a state Senate seat.
Jensen said she had thought about running off and on over the years, especially after working on legislation last year to get the Spirit of ‘45 Day recognized the second Sunday of each August.
“When I worked with the legislature for the Spirit of ‘45 Day in 2013, I saw the process and dealt with legislators,” Jensen said. “I had it in the back of my mind to run. By the end of January or early February I decided I wanted to do it. The Republican Party had asked if I was interested.”
Coming next week: Jensen and Post weigh in on what they see as the main issues facing House District 25.