Enterprise’s Austin Burns helped the Outlaws to the Blue Mountain Conference district championship Saturday in Union. Burns won the 800 meters, took second in the 400 meters and finished third in the 200 meters. He also anchored the winning 1,600-meter relay team. (Brad Mosher/The Observer)
UNION — Freshman Trevor Verhelst of Union may be the fastest sprinter in the Blue Mountain Conference, but the dominance of Enterprise in most of the track events swept the Outlaws to an easy team triumph in the district track championships Saturday.
The Outlaws stashed away 203 points, almost double the total that second-place Irrigon could grab Saturday (105 points). Union was third with 94 points, followed by Grant Union (60), Weston-McEwen (46) and Stanfield (45). Elgin placed seventh with 43 points, followed by Pilot Rock (32) and Heppner (28).
While Verhelst locked up his first trip the the state meet with his 11.43-second victory in the 100 meters, it was the Outlaws grabbing the wins on the track that helped Enterprise pull away for the team win. Alex Tyler got a double win in the 200 and 400 meters, while David Ribich won the 1,500 meters (4 minutes, 18.68 seconds).
That was Ribich’s fastest time this season and moved him into third among the fastest times posted by 2A runners this year.
Austin Burns won the 800 in 2:02.30, picked up a second in the 400 meters (51.94) and third in the 200 meters (24.34).
In the 400-meter relay, Burns and Tyler joined with Dustin Dean and Rocky Davidson to break 45 seconds for the first time this season. The foursome set a season-best of 44.63 seconds, beating the 45.08 set a week earlier at the Baker Invitational in Baker City.
Then the Outlaws ran away with with the 1,600-meter relay, winning it with a 3:37.53 effort, while the Bobcats settled for second with a 3:41.65 time. The foursome of David Hartlich, Burns, Eric Schwendiman and Tyler earned the ticket to the state meet. The quartet has the second-fastest time in 2A competition this year (3:36.66) — one second behind the 2A best by Riverdale.
In the field events, Jordan Widener gave Enterprise a victory in the discus with a throw of 140 feet, 3 inches, while Falk Thieme edged Trent Sohr of Grant Union in the high jump, both clearing 6 feet, 2 inches. Grant Union got a boost in its first BMC district meet from Sohr, who also won both the long jump and triple jump.
According to Enterprise coach Dan Moody, the team wasn’t loading up in events — it was just loaded.
“I don’t ever try to load up,” Moody said. “I think the only event I had more than three kids in was the 100 meters. We could have put more kids in some events but I didn’t. The main thing now is to keep them healthy — and get them to state.”
Thieme won the high jump, but he had problems in other events, Moody said. “He was a bridesmaid in the shot put — he finished second. He was having trouble hitting his mark in the long jump. Finally, on his last one, he went 19 feet and he was a foot behind the board. So, that was another foot and a half,” Moody said.
According to the coach, Thieme has jumped more than 22 feet in practice.
For Elgin coach Kevin Lambert, seeing Carson Reid get a state berth in the 800 meters was
“Carson was great in the 800,” he said after watching Reid take second with a personal best of
The coach also hopes to see Reid drop his time again at state, maybe going under the two-minute mark. “It is on my to-do list for Carson do do next year — even next week at state maybe. But definitely, it will be next year.”
Reid has been running his races with an even pacing, Lambert said.
“I have been telling him all season he can go out faster,” he said. “And (Saturday) he went out quicker. So it was neat to see that pay off in a huge way. He just charged out, right off the gun. He held a little bit back that first lap, but not much.
“You could just tell he was digging on the backstretch and he dug out a trip to state.”
As for Verhelst, he was just glad to go to the state meet.
“(Tyler) didn’t beat me by that much in the 200. It was a good race. When we both crossed the finish line, Alex Tyler’s mother was there taking pictures. She said we were both smiling because we knew we were both going to state,” Verhelst said. “That was really exciting.”