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Home arrow Opinion arrow EO MEN WIN CONFERENCE TRACK CROWN

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EO MEN WIN CONFERENCE TRACK CROWN

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Eastern Oregon's Damien Johnson soars through the air in the long jump at a home meet April 19. Johnson won the high hurdles, 400 hurdles and triple jump at the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships Saturday in Ashland. (KELSI PELZER PHOTO).
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Eastern Oregon's Damien Johnson soars through the air in the long jump at a home meet April 19. Johnson won the high hurdles, 400 hurdles and triple jump at the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships Saturday in Ashland. (KELSI PELZER PHOTO).

ASHLAND — The Eastern Oregon University men knew that with their depth in the distances, hurdles and throwing events, they were the favorites to win their first track conference title in nearly a half century.

They also knew that with a pulled hamstring here or a foul there a lot of things can go wrong in track.

But, after the Eastern men got off to a fast start in the first event of the day — the shot put — the Mountaineers knew they were in business.

Eastern picked up second-, third-, fifth- and sixth-place finishes in the shot put, immediately racking up 17 points to second-place Southern Oregon's 10. This was an event that Eastern was anticipating garnering about 10 points.

"What a great way to start a meet," said coach Ben Welch.

After that audacious beginning, everything went according to plan. The Eastern men dominated, winning 10 out of 21 events and tallying 251 points to take the Cascade Collegiate Conference crown.

They beat Southern by a huge margin — 79 points. It was Eastern's first-ever CCC championship, and the school's first conference track title since 1956.

"That's a long drought. We're glad to see it over," said Welch. "It was a fun day."

Damien Johnson was especially dominant. He won three events — the 110-meter hurdles, the 400 hurdles and the triple jump. He finished second in the long jump and helped the Eastern 4 x 400 relay team finish second. In all, Johnson scored 38 points and contributed to 46 team points.

And this was all after Johnson banged a couple of hurdles in the 110 and had to compete in the rest of the meet with a sore knee.

For all his work, Johnson was named conference "Athlete of the Year" while first-year track coach Welch was named "Coach of the Year."

The Eastern men truly took over the meet— as expected — in the distance events.

Alex McGladrey, a NAIA national qualifier, won the 1,500- and 5,000-meter runs. Eastern finished 1-2-3-4-5 (McGladrey, Sean Williams, Pat Egelus, Ian Schroeder, David Terry) in the 1,500 to pick up 30 total points in that one event.

David Terry won the 800-meter run, and Eastern scored 20 points in that event. The Mountaineers scored another 15 points in the 5,000 for 65 total points in the distance events.

Eastern scored 54 points total in the throwing events.

Conference favorite Shawn Trimble won the pole vault at 15-5 and Dirk Bortz won the discus with a throw of 153-2. Josh Allen won the decathlon and scored 21 points individually with top finishes in the pole vault and high jump.

Jorn Johnson threw a personal best in the hammer throw, coming in second with a 162-4, good enough to be an automatic qualifier for the NAIA nationals in Kansas.

EOU women

The Eastern women finished fourth with 37 points.

Kara Blagg finished second in the hammer throw, fifth in the shot put, and fifth in the discus for 12 points.

Ashley Rysdam finished third in the pole vault at 10-0.

Welch thought Lindsey Ulrich and Katlin Lafferty had a good 3,000 race. He said an "insanely fast" pace was set by a pack of Northwest College runners. Ulrich and Lafferty were able to stay near the pack, and they finished sixth and seventh, respectively.

Eastern has another meet in Seattle, and then the school is trying to arrange a multi-events meet with Northwest Nazarene. Then the NAIA and NCAA III nationals will be May 24 in Kansas and Saint Lawrence, N.Y., respectively.

— Pierre LaBossire

2003 Cascade Collegiate Conference outdoor championships

Men

Team scores

1, Eastern Oregon, 251; 2, Southern Oregon, 172; 3, Oregon Tech, 150; 4, Cascade, 46; 5, Northwest, 8.

Eastern Oregon individual results

100-meter dash — 5, Erik Seavey, 11.57; 6, Brian Hartley, 11.81; 8, Brian Cuddeback 12.04

400-meter run — 2, Raymond Field, 50.13; 8, Tom Plucinak, 54.39.

800-meter run — 1, David Terry, (approx.) 1:56; 3, Jesse Petersen, 1:59.79; 4, Pat Egelus, 2:00.01; 8, Ian Schroeder, 2:03.92.

1,500-meter run — 1, Alex McGladrey, 3:59.47; 2, Sean Williams, 4:02.89; 3, Pat Egelus, 4:05.12; 4, Ian Schroeder, 4:06.23; 5, David Terry, 4:07.43.

3,000-meter steeplechase — 3, Ian Schroeder, 10:06.30; 8, James Stafford, 11:05.70; 9, Jake Peterson, 11:25.60.

5,000-meter run — 1, Alex McGladrey, (approx.) 15:02; 4, Jacob Haas, 15:57.34; 6, Brian Crowl, 16:17.34; 10, Mana Martin, 17:40.06; 11, Jake Peterson, 18:01.29.

110-meter dash — 1, Damien Johnson, 15.10; 4, T.J. Hafner, 16.04; 5, Josh Allen, 17.33.

400-meter hurdles — 1, Damien Johnson, 55.91; 6, Josh Allen, 59.74; 8, T.J. Hafner, 1:00.79.

4 x 100 relay — 3, EOU (Cuddeback, Hartley, Jackson, Seavey), 45.10.

4 x 400 relay — 2, EOU (Field, Egelus, Terry, Johnson), 3:26.79.

4 x 800 relay — 1, EOU (Martin, Crowl, Haas, Petersen), 8:34.61.

High jump — 4, Josh Allen, 5-6; 7, Brian Hartley, 5-4.

Pole vault — 1, Shawn Trimble, 15-5; 4, Josh Allen, 11-6; 6, Brian Hartley, 9-0.

Long jump — 2, Damien Johnson, 20-9; 5, Tom Pluciank, 19-11; 8, Scott Jackson, 19-0; 11, Brandon Clark, 17-6; 12, Nick Rickard, 17-1.

Triple jump — 1, Damien Johnson, 44-6; 3, T.J. Hafner, 40-11; 6, Brandon Clark, 39-1 1/2; 9, Nick Rickard, 36-9.

Discus — 1, Dirk Bortz, 153-2; 4, Jorn Johnson, 128-0; 5, Cory Whitney, 121-9; 6, Jerry Morris, 121-5; 10, Eric Swanson, 117-5; 12, Brian Hartley, 110-10.

Hammer throw — 2, Jorn Johnson, 162-4; 3, Jerry Morris, 158-5 1/2; 4, Dirk Bortz, 156-6; 5, Rick Thew, 142-10; 8, Cory Whitney, 126-10.

Javelin — 4, Trent Hartill, 181-1.

Shot put — 2, Jorn Johnson, 45-8; 3, Jerry Morris, 44-3; 5, Eric Swanson, 43-5; 6, Cory Whitney, 42-10.

Decathlon — 1, Josh Allen, 5,580; 4, Brian Hartley, 5,074.

Women

Team scores

1, Oregon Tech, 210; 2, Northwest College, 193; 3, Southern Oregon, 154.5; 4, Eastern Oregon, 37; 5, Cascade, 36.5.

Eastern Oregon individual results

400-meter run — 5, Candi Kretschmer, 1:05.22; 7, Shelby Zacharias, 1:10.02.

800-meter run — 5, Cari Jones, 2:22.60; 11, Jessyca Barker, 2:29.62; 12, Lindsey Ulrich, 2:30.52; 18, Sarah Flesher, 2:44.74.

1,500-meter run — 5, Jessyca Barker, 4:57.03.

3,000-meter run — 6, Lindsey Ulrich, 10:44.87; 7, Katlin Lafferty, 10:48.17; 14, Kelsi Pelzer, 11:57.35.

5,000-meter run — 7, Rian Finney, 19:21.36; 11, Andrea Terry, 20:25.37; 12, Jessica Johnston, 20:35.00; 13, Shannon Edwards, 20:55.23.

4 x 400 relay — 4, EOU (Rysdam, Zacharias, Kretschmer, Jones), 4:25.18.

4 x 800 relay — 3, EOU (Flesher, Johnston, Pelzer, Edwards), 12:02.42.

Pole vault — 3, Ashley Rysdam, 10-0; 5, Candi Kretschmer, 9-0.

Long jump — 11, Sarah Flesher, 12-0 1/2.

Discus — 5, Kara Blagg, 102-6.

Hammer throw — 2, Kara Blagg, 35.71 meters.

Shot put — 5, Kara Blagg, 10.05 meters.

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