Track & Field
Titan men cap season with NWAC three-peat
A 1-2-3 finish in the 100 meters helps Lane capture its school-record third straight conference championship
By Howie Stalwick | For The Register-Guard
SPOKANE — On the final day of the Northwest junior college track season, Lane’s male sprinters ran like there was no tomorrow.
Lane finished 1-2-3 in the 100 meters, 1-2 in the 200 and first in the 4x100 and 4x400 relays Tuesday to help the Titans claim a third consecutive team title at the Northwest Athletic Conference Track and Field Championships.
Before the meet, longtime Titans men’s and women’s coach Grady O’Connor said he had the deepest men’s team in school history. After winning a school-record third straight title, O’Connor offered an even better compliment.
“I’m going to say the most talented,” O’Connor said.
Sophomore Jesse Goodier from Springfield High School ran on both winning relays and edged freshman teammate Ben Kelly to win the 200 after the two reversed finishes in the 100. The winning times were 41.39 seconds in the 4x100 relay, 3:17.7 in the 4x400 relay, 21.61 in the 200 and 10.78 in the 100.
The Titans piled up 229 points to easily top runner-up Spokane (184 1/3) in brilliant sunshine at Spokane Falls Community College Stadium.
“We performed amazingly,” Goodier said. “With everyone (teammates) out there cheering us on, it pushed us even harder, making us all pumped up.”
The two-time defending champion Lane women, hit hard by graduation last year, finished second behind Spokane, 229-184 1/3. The Titans went down fighting by closing the meet with wins in the 4x400 relay and hammer throw.
“We just did not have enough girls this year, so we had to work a lot harder,” Nicole Maurmann said after winning the 1,500 in 4:46.14 and taking fourth in the 5,000 in 19:13.04. “We all did a good job at the end. I’m proud of our team.”
Maurmann won the 1,500 handily, but the sophomore from Salem said the heat and a barking hamstring got to her in the 5,000. The Titans took another hit in the 5,000 when potential champion Alli Cross was forced to quit during the race after injuring an Achilles while placing fifth in the 1,500.
Teammate Alyssa Taylor won the hammer with a throw of 155-7. Lane’s other Tuesday wins were provided by high jumper Rohan Cain (6-4 3/8) and 400 runner Michael Capri (48.68).
Capri and fellow freshman Kylee O’Connor (Grady’s daughter) from Sheldon High handled a rugged workload Tuesday by competing in the 400, the 400 hurdles and the 4x400 relay. Both athletes finished in the top four in all three events.
“I’m impressed — that’s a lot of running,” Goodier said.
Also impressive is the continued dominance of Lane and Spokane in the conference formerly known as the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges.
“We bring out the best in each other,” O’Connor said.
Spokane men’s and women’s coach Jason Cash said, “(O’Connor) has really put in an effort the last few years recruiting-wise. He has a little bit updated staff. I think that’s done a lot. They’ve done a lot with the track (facility at Lane) itself.”
Notes: Top-three finishers earn All-America honors. … Coaches named O’Connor the NWAC men’s coach of the year for the third straight season. … Cash repeated as women’s coach of the year. … The athlete of the year award, presented to the individual who scores the most points at the NWAC meet, went to decathlon champ Jayson Brocklesby of Olympic (Bremerton, Wash.) for the men and high jump-100 hurdles champ Brittany Dugger of Spokane for the women. … In athlete of the meet voting by coaches, the field event winners were Duggar and Everett thrower Scott Miller. The track winners were Mount Hood (Gresham) sprinter Margaret Paul and, in a tie among the men, Brocklesby and Clackamas (Oregon City) distance runner Jackson Baker. … Spokane picked up wins from sisters Megan (800) and Sara (steeplechase) Fristoe. They redshirted two years ago at Oregon and Oregon State, respectively. … O’Connor said the only Titans committed to four-year track programs thus far are Cross at Hawaii and Maurmann at Western Oregon … Cash said the Fristoes appear to be headed to Concordia in Portland.
Titans looking to squash Sasquatch at NWAC championships
Lane has won the last two conference titles and will be heavily favored in the men’s team race
By Jarrid Denney | For The Register-Guard
Grady O’Connor, director of track and field for Lane Community College, spent the better part of a decade watching the Community Colleges of Spokane dominate the Northwest Athletic Conference.
The Sasquatch won a combined 22 men’s and women’s team championships from 2001 to 2012 and swept the team titles 10 times.
O’Connor’s Titans put an end to that dynasty when they swept the team titles in 2013 and then proved they weren’t going anywhere when they repeated as champions last season.
Lane will be gunning for a men’s and women’s three-peat, which would be the first in school history, when it begins competition today in the NWAC track and field championships in Spokane.
“Now that we’ve been there and done that a time or two,” O’Connor said, “the sophomore leadership really comes through and everybody understands what they need to do this time of year.”
The Titans breezed through the NWAC Southern Region Championships, winning both team titles while also resting a few top athletes.
The Lane men are considered the deepest in the conference and, according to O’Connor, it’s the deepest men’s team he has coached.
With a versatile group of sprinters led by sophomore Jesse Goodier, and an embarrassment of riches in the jumps, Lane enters the meet as heavy favorites. Goodier, Brian Burt, Michael Capri and Ben Kelly all top the form charts in at least one sprint event.
“Without them I probably wouldn’t be as fast as I am,” Goodier, a former Springfield High standout, said of his Lane teammates. “It’s kind of scary ... having to worry that if I don’t compete today, I might not have a spot tomorrow.”
Goodier was the high point scorer at the Southern Region Championships.
Sophomore Jonathan Cornish owns the fastest 1,500-, 5,000- and 10,000-meter times in the conference, and his twin brother, David, owns the second-fastest 3,000 steeplechase time.
Sophomore decathlete Colton Thurman is second in the conference in the long jump with a best of 23 feet, 5½ inches and is one of six Titans ranked in the top 10 in the event. Thurman finished second at the NWAC multi-event championships three weeks ago despite nagging injuries. If healthy, he could provide a huge boost for Lane in several events.
“(Thurman) is so explosive that it’s almost to his detriment,” O’Connor said. “He’s extremely talented, but it’s just been a balancing act trying to keep him healthy.”
The Titan women aren’t the juggernaut they were last spring — 11 athletes from last year’s team are currently competing at NCAA and NAIA schools — but the form charts are still filled with Lane athletes who will be in contention for podium finishes.
Former Sheldon High runner Danielle Girard is ranked first in the 800 with a personal best of 2 minutes, 17.16 seconds and former Cottage Grove High standout Kristine Dunn, the Titans’ lone returning women’s individual champion, is ranked second.
Sophomore Simone Reynolds owns the top javelin throw in the conference and the second-best in the nation among junior college athletes.
A pleasant surprise for Lane has been sophomore sprinter Taylor Boyer. After starring on the Titans’ soccer team last fall, Boyer is third in the conference in the 100 despite splitting time between track and the Eugene Timbers Futbol Club.
“It’s hard to find a balance in everything, especially with soccer being my main focus,” Boyer said. “But all of my coaches have been really understanding about me doing both.”
Boyer, a Thurston High alumnus, was named Southern Region MVP last soccer season after spending her freshman year playing at Oregon.
Ultimately, like it has in so many years past, the meet will be a shootout between the Titans and the Sasquatch.
“If it was just a cakewalk each and every year I would probably be retired by now,” O’Connor said. “Us and Spokane both try to build a culture around this meet. They bring out the best in us and I think we do the same to them.”
NWAC Track and Field Athlete of The Week (#9)
Week #9 - Track Spring 2015
Jesse Goodier | Lane, Sophomore
Event: 100m; Mark: 10.81, Event: 200m
Mark: 21.76 at OSU High Performance
Nominator Comments: "Jesse had a great meet! Captured the NWAC leading mark in the 100m and the 200m to go along with his leading 400m mark."
Alyssa Taylor | Lane, Sophomore
Event: Discus; Mark: 114'09.5", Event: Hammer
Mark: 156'02" at OSU High Performance
Nominator Comments: "Nice breakthrough hammer event for Alyssa. New personal best and NWAC leader."
Lane track & field alum Kara Hallock has sights on NCAA Championships
OSU track and field: Hallock's improvement puts NCAAs within reach
Oregon State junior Kara Hallock, a Lebanon high graduate, is preparing for the Pac-12 meet at UCLA, but she has visions of making the national meet in the heptathlon. Photo: Andy Cripe, Gazette-Times
May 02, 2015 11:27 pm • JESSE SOWA Corvallis Gazette-Times
Kara Hallock didn’t start the season with hopes of reaching the NCAA Division I track and field championship meet.
But her performances this spring, building off two strong seasons at Lane Community College, have made it a possibility.
Now a junior at Oregon State, the Lebanon High alum sits in 25th place in the national heptathlon rankings entering this week’s Pac-12 championship meet in Los Angeles. The top 24 in the national rankings at the end of the regular season qualify for nationals, held in Eugene in mid June.
“It would be awesome. That’s a huge goal,” said Hallock, whose personal-best 5,087 points in the heptathlon at the Oregon Relays last month was a personal best by 302 points in the two-day, seven-event competition. “I don’t know … it would mean so much.”
Hallock first heard about the heptathlon four years ago as a high school junior. She was a two-time NWAC runner-up at Lane. She continued her strong showing in the 100-meter hurdles and long jump, events in which she won Oregon 5A state titles as a Lebanon senior in 2012.
Hallock has made steady progress this spring,
“To take the fundamentals and foundation they’ve built for her (at Lane) and carry it through here, it’s been really fun to see her progress and build off what she’s done before,” said OSU multi-events coach Collin Cram.
Cram, like Hallock, was coached by Grady O’Connor at Lane. Cram was a two-time NWAC decathlon champion with the Titans.
“He’s a great coach and I think it helps that he knows how I feel,” Hallock said of Cram, in his third year with the program.
OSU head coach Kelly Sullivan said the coach-athlete relationship that’s helped push Hallock to higher scores “has just been really, really impressive.”
In just a short time, Hallock has climbed up the school’s all-time outdoor lists. She’s third in the long jump (19-5¼), fifth in the 100 hurdles (14.29), 10th in the 400 hurdles (1:02.46). Her heptathlon PR is third.
Hallock has reached two of the goals she started the season with — breaking the 19-foot barrier in the long jump and scoring more than 5,000 points. Both came within a week’s time last month.
Still on the to-do list is going under 14 seconds in the 100 hurdles. She’s consistently run under 14.4 and has a season best of 14.29.
Hallock has worked hard to learn the technique of the javelin throw, an event that’s still new to her. She had never competed in any throwing event before entering her first heptathlon in 2011.
Hallock says she competes best when she has good competition, and she’ll find that in the conference meet at UCLA. She has six Pac-12 athletes ahead of her in the season heptathlon standings.
“I want to place and get a PR, which would be awesome,” she said. “But I want to have fun and compete hard.”
Cram expects Hallock to need a sizeable improvement in her points total to get to the top 24 and the national meet. In most years it takes 5,400 or more to get there, he said.
Though, Cram and Hallock agree, there are more points to be had, especially in the hurdles, 200 and 800.
“It’s really cool this year to be knocking on the door without even having a perfect meet yet,” Cram said.
Kelly sweeps sprints at Titan Twilight
Lane’s Ben Kelly won the 100 meters (11.06 seconds) and 200 (22.56) during the Titan Twilight meet at Lane Community College on Thursday.
Titans also scoring wins were Joel Johnson in the pole vault (15 feet, 4¼ inches), the men’s 4x100 relay (42.53), Daysha Simms-Garcia in the women’s 200 (26.35) and Alli Cross in the women’s 3,000 (10:11.39). Competitors included Bridget Franek, who won the women’s 800 (2:13.33), and Geena Gall-Lara, who won the women’s 400 (55.50). FULL RESULTS