The gold rush is on

By Observer editorial May 31, 2013 10:51 am
Many people think of Eugene as the track capital of Oregon, maybe of the world. After all, the Western Oregon city has often hosted Olympic Trials and NCAA championships.

Little known, however, is the resurgence of track in Eastern Oregon. At the recent state track championships in Eugene, the region was well represented with one state champion team, the Cove girls, which shared the title with Condon/Wheeler, and many individual champions. What’s more, Eastern Oregon University took part in the gold rush, too, at the national championships in Indiana.

Cove sophomore Morgan Reddington led the charge at Eugene, winning titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes as a female version of the Cove Comet, recalling Jim Puckett’s titles from 1956 to 1958.

Union’s dynamic duo of Katriel O’Reilly and McKenzie Evans also shone brightly. O’Reilly repeated as 1,500-meter champion and missed repeating as 3,000-meter titlist when Evans had a run of the lifetime to win in dramatic fashion.

Enterprise’s Alex Tyler roared to a state title in the 2A 400 meters, while teammate Dustin Dean dusted all competitors in the triple jump and Outlaws junior Elsa Steen claimed the 100-meter hurdles title.

But that’s not all. The weight event specialists also flexed their muscles. Enterprise senior Marta Stangel took home gold in the 2A shot put, and
La Grande senior Leon Fuller capped a stellar year with a gold medal in the 4A javelin.

Back in Indiana, meanwhile, Karlee Coffey of EOU made title runs in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter titles, while in the men’s competition, Isaac Updrike was blitzing the field in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Congratulations to these athletes and their coaches for showing that through talent but especially disciplined hard work and perseverance, great things can happen.