By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
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.