Big rewards come from time, effort and talent, and members of the Brookings-Harbor High School track and field team realized those rewards on Friday and Saturday at the Far West League district track meet in Winston.
Kelsa Northrup grimaces with exertion as she clears 4-10 during Saturday’s girls’ high jump. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
The Bruins hoped to qualify as many athletes for the state track and field tournament as they could and were able to secure passage for seven aboard the championship train to Eugene.
Senior Chandler Gotfried qualified in the javelin with a throw of 160-11 that put him in second place overall behind North Bend’s Aaron Mateski.
“It feels amazing,” Gotfried said. “After four years of track and two years of having a shot at going but falling short, it’s great.”
Gotfried is ranked in the top ten among 4A javelin throwers and hopes to do well at the state meet.
“My goal is to place,” he said. “I want to be at least top eight. Top five is what I want, but we’ll see.”
Fellow senior Kelsa Northrup also qualified for state with her first place finish in the high jump at 4-10.
“It’s rewarding,” Northrup said. “Winning first makes me happy.”
Northrup’s height isn’t where she wants it to be, but she is confident that she can clear her goal height of 5-00.
“I cleared it at practice three times,” she said, “because there is no pressure there. My goal is to clear five foot at state no matter what. Even if I get seventh, I want to clear five foot and be proud of my high school career.”
The two seniors will be joined in individual events by freshman Shaine Graham who qualified with a second-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles.
“It feels really good.” Shaine said immediately following the race. “I was nervous, but it feels really good.” Graham was also part of the 4x400-meter relay team that qualified for the state level competition.
The other members of that team include Tyree Dingle, Gabe Brazelton and John Joyce.
The team ran the race in 3:37.14, which was the third-fastest time on the day.
The second-place team from North Bend was disqualified when their anchor leg spiked the baton in frustration at the end of the race. The action resulted in an immediate disqualification and loss of a state meet position.
Brazelton, Joyce and Dingle are also members of the 4x100-meter relay team which, along with sophomore David Joyce, qualified with a second-place time of 45.02; just two-tenths of a second behind North Bend.
“It feels pretty good,” David said with a laugh while standing at the finish line. “It’s another week of practice.”
“I think we looked pretty good the whole way,” he said.
Other Bruins fell just short of qualifying for the state including Zach Anderberg who had set a personal best in the discus at the North Bend tournament and was ranked second in league, but was unable to match that distance and placed fourth with a throw of 123-02.
“It was disappointing,” Anderberg said. “I was hoping to go to state and just couldn’t do it.”
Headed into the final flight of the girls’ discus, sophomore Samantha Hage thought she might be headed to the state meet, but an unlikely personal record by Madisen Ransom of North Bend bumped Hage from second into third and no chance to head to Eugene.
Personal sacrifice played a big part of at least two Bruins’ lives at the district level.
Gotfried and freshman Jason Sharp were both competing in the triple jump when an opportunity to be selfless presented itself.
In the qualifying flights to see who moved onto the finals, Gotfried finished with a distance of 34-05, just ahead of Sharp’s longest jump, and in eighth place, the last spot for the finals.
Gotfried felt that he wasn’t going to compete for one of the top two spots due to a calf injury and, because he had already qualified for the state meet, he withdrew from the triple jump; vacating the eighth spot and allowing Sharp to advance to the final flight.
Sharp, not one to waste the opportunity, leapt to a personal-best distance of 35-10 and while he didn’t win the event, it left a lasting impression.
“It’s awesome that he would drop out to give me a chance,” Sharp said. “And I PR’d. That’s cool.”
The OSAA 4A State Track and Field meet begins at 10 a.m. on Friday and lasts through Saturday afternoon at Hayward Field in Eugene.