ALEX PAJUNAS — The Daily Astorian Knappa’s Zoli Bokor, second from right, brings his trail leg forward, sprinting his way toward the next high hurdle during The Daily Astorian track meet Monday at Seaside High School.
SEASIDE — There are two parts to every track and field season on the North Oregon Coast – the rainy season, and districts.
And the rainy season hit a new low – or high, depending on how you view the rainy season – Monday afternoon at Seaside High School.
The Seagulls of Seaside were hosting the annual Daily Astorian Invitational, and in the 23-year history of the meet, “this is the wettest meet I’ve ever seen at Seaside,” said Seaside coach Jeff Kilday. “And I’ve been coaching middle school and high school here for 15 years.”
So – just for fun – Kilday decided to make a little competition out of it.
“Astoria had such a wet Daily Astorian meet last year, I wanted to beat them, and I think we did,” he said.
With standing water on the infield deep enough for kayaking tours, the athletes managed to slog their way through Monday’s meet, running on a wet track and jumping into soggy sand.
“I’ve never seen so much standing water,” Kilday said. “I think in general the marks were down a little. A lot of the kids were very cold, and very, very wet.”
The pole vault event was cancelled, and “it was tough to throw for distance in the field events,” he added.
But despite the bad weather, athletes from 10 schools managed to make it through the day.
In fact, if you’re looking for a track and field “Dream Team” from the lower Columbia River region, look no farther than the annual “Daily A” meet.
This year’s participants came from far and wide, from Neah-Kah-Nie from the south, South Bend, Wash., from the north, and Rainier from the east.
The weather prevented any meet records from being broken, but Monday’s “Dream Team” could have competed for a state title.
A closer, more specific look:
In the boys’ sprints, South Bend, Wash., senior Kristian Burger (ranked sixth in Washington Class 2B in the 200 meters) won the 200, placed fourth in the 100 meters and also took second in the shot put to earn one of eight Athlete of the Meet awards.
Seaside junior Mitchell Stocker is ranked fifth in the Class 4A 100 meters, and won Monday’s race in 11.18 seconds, just ahead of teammate Taran Johnson (11.68).
Jewell freshman Chandra Marlow also picked up an Athlete of the Meet award, after winning the 400 meters (1:07.98) and placing second in the 200, where she is ranked sixth in the state at the 1A level.
Seaside could be winning a few distance racing titles this year.
On the boys’ side, sophomore Brett Willyard scored a win in the 800 meters (2:04.96), while the Lady Gulls dominated the girls’ races, with senior Carlie Gilligan and junior Kirsten Farmer going 1-2 in the 1,500 meters, and junior Antona Ferry ran a 12:27 to win the 3,000 meters.
“The girls 1,500 – both Carlie and Kirsten were running great,” Kilday said. “In the 800 we had Linsey Johnson and Taylor Davis finish 1-2. They both looked great. And Kai Davidson had a PR (16-0 feet) in the long jump.”
In the hurdles, the meet already had a two-time state champion competing, in Warrenton’s Payton Hummell.
The Warrior senior – who will be looking for her third state title in the 100-meter hurdles – had the best times in both hurdle events Monday, running a 16.09 in the high hurdles and 50.05 in the low hurdles. Astoria’s Eleni Duret posted a 50.81 for second in the low hurdles.
Hummell is currently ranked No. 1 in the state in the 100 hurdles, second in the 300, and already has her sights set on another state title. And a school record.
“I want to break the school record in the 100 hurdles, which is 14.9 (set in 1980 by Cynthia Shepherd (Harber),” Hummell said. “That might be kind of a stretch.
“It was tough to stay warm today,” she said. “The hurdles were good – it’s just cold and hard to get a rhythm going. Every event today I was in Lane 1 or 2. There was water in Lane 1 for the 100.”
In the field events, another Warrior could also be gaining state champion status by the end of the season.
While Hummell is trying to break one of Cynthia Shepherd’s many school records, Warrenton junior Emmi Collier managed to break a Warrenton school record previously held by Connie Shepherd in a meet last week at Oregon Episcopal.
Collier set the new mark in the shot put by throwing 42 feet, 8 inches – which would have won state last year, and is the No. 1 mark in the state at the 3A level this season.
She won Monday’s shot put competition with a 38-8 1⁄3 – the second-best mark in the state this year.
Astoria’s Chelsey Olson – the Cowapa League’s top-ranked thrower in the javelin and shot put – won Monday’s javelin toss with a throw of 112-9.
Olson should challenge for points at state in the javelin, while Collier will be gunning for a state title in the 3A shot put.
Getting the school record last week “was one of my goals since my freshman year,” Collier said. “It was 40 feet, 10 inches – it was from 1984, I believe. I just want to beat my PR, and keep getting better.”
More top 10-ranked Warriors? Sophomore Jordan Holloway is seventh in the state in the shot put, and won Monday’s discus event with a throw of 108-2.
Elsewhere, Warrenton’s Benjo Musa is ranked eighth in the state in the long jump, winning Monday’s competition with a leap of 18-7 3⁄4. Teammate Derek Luck is currently fifth statewide in the triple jump.
And finally, the Knappa Loggers scored an Athlete of the Meet award, as Pat Morgan won the high jump (5-8) and the triple jump (38-9). His mark in the triple jump puts him No. 1 in the state at the Class 2A level.