Leopards do just enough to take district crown
BAKER CITY — It wasn’t a battle of first places that decided which team would win the 1A District 4 boys team track title Saturday at the Baker High School track.
It was much closer than that.
Cove needed every single point and place that it could muster to hold off Joseph for the team title by one-half of a point — 129.5 to 129.
It came down to the final event, the 4x400-meter relay, to decide the meet.
Joseph won the event in 3:37.68, thanks to the efforts of Tyler Lewis, Wyatt Warnock, B.J. Warnock and Lucas Staigle.
But the Eagles needed some help, if they were to win the team title.
They needed Cove to place third or worse to guarantee a victory for the Joseph team.
Cove’s quartet of David DeVore, Micah Brazil, Hunter Reddington and Phil Allen dashed the Joseph championship hopes when they took second in 3:45.36, ahead of Imbler (3:49.93).
According to Cove coach Kevin Buse, the track team did a good job pulling out the win. “It was a great meet and we had a lot of great performances,” he said. “The boys 4x100 relay placed first and smashed the school record with a time of 44.92 that also places them second in the state at 1A — just behind Camas Valley.”
The narrow team win also marked a high-point — Cove’s first district title in 23 years, according to Buse.
“The boys team is having a fantastic season they are really starting to peak at the right time. We were a little banged up with injuries the past few weeks but they had a total team effort on Saturday.”
Winning a district title has been Cove’s goal all season. “They really put it together when it mattered. I’m so very proud of them,” the coach added.
The battle on the track started early in the sprints, as the Leopards got a 3-4-8 finish in the 100 meters, when Reddington, Crayson McBride and Luke Bundren picked up key points, if not a victory.
In the 200 meters, Reddington added a second, McBride grabbed third and Bundren was seventh.
In the two shortest sprints, Cove grabbed six places, while Staigle’s sixth-place finish in the 200 meters provided Joseph with its only points.
That changed when Lewis won the 400 meters in 52.84 and brought B.J. Warnock in third (54.43), just ahead of Cove’s DeVore (54.46).
Carl Gray and Micah Brazil gave the Leopards three wins in the distance events, with Gray taking the 800 meters (2:11.01) and Brazil winning both the 1,500 meters (4:26.98) and the 3,000 meters (10:35.84). Gray helped out with a third in the 1,500 meters.
Lewis came back to lead a one-two Joseph finish in the 300-meter hurdles when he won in 43.72 and helped Kaden Lathrop take second in 46.10.
Reddington, DeVore, Bundren and McBride combined for a Cove win in the 400-meter relay (44.92), while Joseph came in fifth (48.19).
In the field events, the two teams battled for every point, with the Leopards getting a win in the shot put by Brandon Batty and Joseph getting victories from Anthony Smallen in the discus and Staigle in the pole vault (12-0).
In the pole vault, Staigle also led three teammates to top six finishes — with Wil Story getting third (9-0), Gage Jarman (fifth, 9-0) and Daniel Parker grabbing sixth (8-6).
Phil Allen grabbed a pair of seconds in the high jump (5-10) and long jump (20-4.5), while Gray placed fourth in the high jump (5-8). Zach Doren got sixth in the long jump (18.07.5).
Lewis gave Joseph a second in the triple jump, placing behind Prairie City’s Brady Doty, who won both the long and triple jumps.
Prairie City placed third in the team race with 104 points, far ahead of Jordan Valley (fourth, 64.5) and Imbler (fifth, 49 points).
Dayville placed sixth (38 points), edging Crane (seventh, 36) and Adrian (eighth, 33 points). Powder Valley took ninth with 30 points, while Harper was 10th (18 points) and monument finished 11th with 15 points. Ukiah was 12th with three points.
Eubanks wins 200
Powder Valley picked up a victory in the 200 meters from junior Colton Eubanks (23.22) and also grabbed second in the 100 meters (11.51) right behind Jordan Valley’s Ty Warn (11.29). Warn also gave the Mustangs a second win when cruised to a two-second victory margin in the 110-meter hurdles (16.00).
Imbler picked up its fifth place team finish without logging a victory in the boys competition. Freshman Gary Combe placed third in the 3,000 meters (10:45.55), the Panthers’ top finish. Imbler also got a fourth in the 300-meter hurdles from Brian Martin, while Nic Allstott grabbed a fourth in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump. Reece Aquistapace took fourth in the 800 meters and Caleb Winn placed fifth in the 400 meters.