Observer staff

The Eastern Oregon men’s track and field team is back on top of the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

Boosted by eight championships and four runner-up efforts, the Mountaineers scored 208 points to surge to the title at the CCC championship meet Friday and Saturday in Hermiston.

EOU bested second-place Southern Oregon (168) by 40 points, while Oregon Tech, the on-paper favorite coming in, finished third with 144.50 points.

Perhaps top team performance in an event for the Mountaineers came in the men’s 800, where EOU swept the top three spots. Michael Slagowski was the event champion in a time of 1:53.95, just edging second-place Thomas Morrell III (1:54.01) and third-place Dustin Zimmerly (1:54.18).

Individually, Matthew Kirkendall continued his dominance in the hurdles, winning the 110 hurdles in a time of 14.50 seconds — just 0.01 off the meet record — and the 400 hurdles in 53.39 seconds, a time that qualified him for nationals.

Morrell, in addition to the close runner-up effort in the 800, won the 1,500 in a national provisional time of 3:55.65. Nic Maszk was the champion in the 5,000 in 14:59.89, and took third in the 3,000 steeplechase in 9:23.93.

Jacob Bookout turned in a solid effort with a victory in the high jump, clearing a height of 6-feet-5-1/2. He also added third-place finishes in both the long jump (22-feet-7) and the triple jump (45-feet-10-3/4).

Max Fahlgren led a 1-2-4 finish in the hammer throw, winning with a mark of 164-feet-5. Steven Deadwylier was second at 155-feet-1, and James Niemela came in fourth at 146-feet-11.

Rounding out the champions for EOU was Chase Van Wyck, who won the shot put at 49-feet-7.

Dawson Kennon took second in the javelin with a mark of 189-feet-5. The Mountaineers’ other second-place performance was from the 4-by-400 relay team, as Kirkendall, Zimmerly, Morrell and Devin Lewis-Allen finished in a national provisional time of 3:16.42.

Adding third-place finishes were Kevin McGoldrick in the 100 (11.07), Lewis-Allen in the 400 (49.26) and the 4-by-100 relay team of Branden Phanmaha, McGoldrick, Zac Hatfield and Porter Cline in 42.13.

Coming in fourth was Alex Navarro in the 5,000 in 15:08.15, Jeff Patterson in the 400 hurdles in 55.15, Cline in pole vault at 14-feet-1-1/4 and Deadwylier in the shot put at 46-feet-10.

The EOU women’s team, meanwhile, finished ahead of its pre-meet seeding of fifth, scoring 105 points to take fourth.

The lone champion for the Mountaineer women was Ebony Wilson, who turned in a national provisional mark of 18-feet-5 in the long jump.

Both Rachel Roelle and Marta Stangel added in a pair of second-place finishes. Roelle came in second in the 1,500 with a national automatic qualifying time of 4:34.01, and second in the 800 in 2:16.19.

Stangel recorded a second-place effort and national provisional mark of 160-feet-1 in the hammer throw, and came in second in the shot put at 41-feet-9-1/4.

Also taking second was the 4-by-400 relay team of Megan Boals, Roelle, Emily Palmer and Carissa Bottensek in a time of 4:01.10.

Bottensek and Palmer both recorded third-place finishes, with Bottensek taking third in the 400 in 57.72, and Palmer third in the 400 hurdles in 1:05.26.

The 4-by-100 relay team of Wilson, Kinnah Rhodes, Payton Jolley and Bottensek was also third in 48.09, posting a national provisional time.

Rounding out the top-four performances was Jolley, who took fourth in the pole vault at 10-feet-8.

Up next for the Mountaineers is the NAIA National Championships, which are May 24-26 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

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