The Grant Union Prospectors will fill more school bus seats on the road to this year’s OSAA 2A State Track and Field Championships May 17-18 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

The girls team, winning Friday’s 2A Special District 5 Championships in John Day, is taking 11 athletes to compete in 23 events at state. The Grant Union girls, which had 182 points, were followed by Enterprise with 134 and Stanfield-Echo with 85.5.

The boys team took third and will take seven boys to battle in 10 events. Heppner won on the boys side with 137, followed by Enterprise with 121 and Grant Union with 110.

Other teams competing were Weston-McEwen, Union, Culver and Pilot Rock.

Grant Union head coach Sonna Smith said she was impressed with her athletes’ performances at the district meet.

“This is the largest group we have taken to state in 12 years,” she said — that’s the year the boys team won the state championship. “Both our boys and girls teams had an outstanding day. We ended up claiming four wildcard spots and three spots by reaching state qualifying marks on top of the first and second placings that automatically go to state.”

The top two athletes in each event qualify for state, and several others qualify with top marks or times, even though they may have placed third or fourth. Smith said the athletes from District 5 were strong competitors.

“We have several events from our league that are sending four deep to state — girls long jump, girls 4x400, girls 100-meter — and more events that went three deep from our district,” Smith said.

Another thrill for Grant Union is having four girls qualify for state in four events each, including seniors Kaylee Wright, Trinity Hutchison, Sydney Brockway and junior Sierra Cates.

Wright placed first in all her events, including the 100, javelin, high jump and the 4x100 with teammates Cates, Hutchison and Carson Weaver. The relay team set a personal record with 50.68, shaving .59 off their previous time.

Other girls headed to state are freshmen Kate Hughes and Abby Lusco, sophomore Erika Dickens and juniors Shanniyah Hall and Rylee Browning.

Lusco placed second in discus to qualify for state. She was 2 feet shy of qualifying in shot put.

“I hope to put that behind me and focus on next weekend,” Lusco said.

The 4x400 team with Cates, Weaver, Hall and Hughes had a personal best with a time of 4:25.48, shaving over a second off their time.

Four Prospector boys will compete in two events each, including freshmen Mason Morris and Justin Hodge, sophomore Jordan Hall and junior Drew Lusco.

Drew Lusco had personal bests in shot put and discus. He threw over 4 feet farther in shot put with a mark of 46-10.75 for second place, and increased his discus throw by 6 feet. Hodge also set a personal record in the 100.

Other boys headed to state are senior Tanner Elliott and juniors Quaid Brandon and Mason Gerry.

Brandon, along with Jordan Hall, Morris and Hodge, set a personal record in the 4x100.

Amidst the excitement of the competition and victories was a somber feeling for many from the loss of dedicated long jump and triple jump coach John Houk who passed away on May 5.

Smith wrote a tribute to Houk that was read by Grant Union teacher and football coach Jason Miller.

A memorial table was set up at the event to honor Houk and Les Guttu.

Guttu, who died April 17, was a Grant Union shot put and discus coach from 1992-2008.

Visitors could flip through scrapbooks filled with photos and news clippings of their life and track and field successes.

When Houk became the Grant Union track and field head coach in 1989, he didn’t have an assistant to oversee the long jump and triple jump events, so he took it upon himself to learn techniques from other coaches and attended clinics.

Through the years he was known for shaping many athletes into champions.

While his main focus was Grant Union athletes, he was also generous with his knowledge providing assistance to jumpers from other teams.

“John Houk hired me in 1993 to be the distance coach,” Smith said. “In 1995, he turned the program over to me as the head coach. He was my mentor and my friend and taught me what it is to be a coach to all, not just the few.”

Houk and his wife, Mary, who were living in Toledo, Washington, retired from teaching for Grant School District several years ago, but the couple returned yearly in late winter to spring so he could continue coaching the Prospectors.

“Mary Houk showed me the meaning of true unselfishness and dedication, by following her husband to John Day to live out of a motel room for three months out of the year, so her husband could pursue his great love of working with jumpers,” Smith said. “They both will have a place in my heart, forever.”

Hutchison, who placed first in the triple jump with a mark of 32-09 and second in the long jump with 16-05 on Friday, said this was one of their first meets without Houk.

“It was definitely a rough day,” she said. “All of us did the best we could to live up to what we could do when he was here. We plan to do the same at state next week.”

Houk would surely be proud to know three of his horizontal jump athletes are advancing to state, and two more also made it to the podium.

Brockway will jump at state after placing second in the triple jump with a leap of 32-03.00 and third in the long jump with 15-10.50. Brockway also qualified for state in the 100 hurdles, placing first, and pole vault, finishing in second.

On the boys side, Morris placed first in the triple jump with a mark of 41-03.50. Mason Gerry and Jordan Hall also made it to the podium at the district meet in jumping events.

OSAA 2A Special District 5 Championship results - Grant Union

Boys Results

100 Meters

Place/Grade/Name/Result/(PR/SR)/School

2. 9 Justin Hodge 11.66aPR Grant Union

11. 10 Quaid Brandon 12.12aPR Grant Union

15. 11 Donavan Smith 12.72aSR Grant Union

200 Meters

8. 9 Mason Morris 24.69a Grant Union

13. 10 Quaid Brandon 25.53a Grant Union

15. 10 Ben Henry 26.15aSR Grant Union

400 Meters

9. 10 Ben Henry 58.17aPR Grant Union

11. 10 CJ Glimpse 1:00.94aPR Grant Union

800 Meters

4. 12 Tanner Elliott 2:07.17aPR Grant Union

13. 10 Jacob Smith 2:31.62aSR Grant Union

14. 9 Gavin Lopez 2:47.66aPR Grant Union

1500 Meters

12. 10 Jacob Smith 5:09.23aSR Grant Union

14. 10 Jesse Randleas 5:22.42aPR Grant Union

15. 9 Cole Ashley 5:52.23aPR Grant Union

3000 Meters

12. 10 Jesse Randleas 12:01.08a Grant Union

110m Hurdles

2. 10 Jordan Hall 17.90a Grant Union

4. 11 Gage Brandon 19.18aPR Grant Union

300m Hurdles

7. 11 Gage Brandon 51.04aSR Grant Union

4x100 Relay Varsity - Finals x

3. Jordan Hall

Quaid Brandon

Mason Morris

Justin Hodge 45.64a Grant Union

4x400 Relay

6. Quaid Brandon

CJ Glimpse

Ben Henry

Tanner Elliott 3:58.84a Grant Union

Shot Put - Finals

2. 11 Drew Lusco 46-10.75PR Grant Union

Shot Put - Prelims

3. 11 Drew Lusco 41-10.50 Grant Union

12. 10 Quinten Hallgarth 31-00.25 Grant Union

Discus - 1.6kg Finals

1. 11 Drew Lusco 136-02PR Grant Union

Discus - 1.6kg - Prelims

1. 11 Drew Lusco 136-02 Grant Union

16. 10 Quinten Hallgarth 76-01 Grant Union

Javelin - 800g - Finals

2. 11 Mason Gerry 148-06 Grant Union

4. 9 Mason Morris 142-11PR Grant Union

5. 10 Jordan Hall 133-10PR Grant Union

Javelin - 800g - Prelims

3. 9 Mason Morris 142-11 Grant Union

4. 11 Mason Gerry 140-11 Grant Union

5. 10 Jordan Hall 133-10 Grant Union

High Jump- Finals

6. 10 Quinten Hallgarth 5-04.00PR Grant Union

9. 11 Nathaniel Hodge 5-00.00 Grant Union

Pole Vault

3. 12 Braden Spencer 10-07.00PR Grant Union

6. 11 Gage Brandon 9-01.00PR Grant Union

Long Jump - Finals

4. 11 Mason Gerry 18-11.50 Grant Union

Long Jump - Prelims

5. 11 Mason Gerry 18-07.50 Grant Union

14. 11 Nathaniel Hodge 16-01.00 Grant Union

Triple Jump - Finals

1. 9 Mason Morris 41-03.50 Grant Union

3. 10 Jordan Hall 39-05.50 Grant Union

5. 11 Mason Gerry 38-01.25 Grant Union

Triple Jump - Prelims

1. 9 Mason Morris 40-07.75 Grant Union

3. 10 Jordan Hall 39-05.50 Grant Union

7. 11 Mason Gerry 37-01.75 Grant Union

Girls Results

100 Meters - Finals

1. 12 Kaylee Wright 12.85a Grant Union

3. 11 Sierra Cates 13.23a Grant Union

6. 9 Carson Weaver 13.58a Grant Union

200 Meters - Finals

3. 11 Sierra Cates 27.57aPR Grant Union

7. 11 Shanniyah Hall 28.06aPR Grant Union

11. 9 Ashley Henry 31.26a Grant Union

400 Meters - Finals

6. 11 Shanniyah Hall 1:06.05aPR Grant Union

10. 11 Erika Dickens 1:14.30a Grant Union

800 Meters - Finals

6. 11 Ellie Justice 3:25.82aPR Grant Union

1500 Meters - Finals

3. 11 Rylee Browning 5:44.06aPR Grant Union

3000 Meters - Finals

4. 11 Rylee Browning 13:50.28a Grant Union

5. 11 Erika Dickens 14:18.91aSR Grant Union

8. 11 Sammi Buckhaults 21:09.16aPR Grant Union

100m Hurdles - 33" - Finals

1. 12 Sydney Brockway 17.53a Grant Union

5. 9 Katelyn Hughes 19.77aPR Grant Union

10. 9 Lauryn Pettyjohn 22.12a Grant Union

300m Hurdles - 30" - Finals

3. 12 Trinity Hutchison 53.10a Grant Union

5. 9 Katelyn Hughes 54.87a Grant Union

10. 9 Lauryn Pettyjohn 57.62aPR Grant Union

4x100 Relay - Finals

1. Sierra Cates

Trinity Hutchison

Carson Weaver

Kaylee Wright 50.68a Grant Union

4x400 Relay Varsity - Finals

3. Sierra Cates

Carson Weaver

Shanniyah Hall

Katelyn Hughes 4:25.48a Grant Union

Shot Put - 4kg - Finals

3. 10 Abby Lusco 31-06.75 Grant Union

6. 10 Sophie Brockway 27-02.50 Grant Union

Shot Put - 4kg - Prelims

2. 10 Abby Lusco 31-06.75 Grant Union

6. 10 Sophie Brockway 26-11.50 Grant Union

10. 11 Megan McManama 24-00.25 Grant Union

Discus - 1kg - Finals

2. 10 Abby Lusco 104-06 Grant Union

4. 11 Megan McManama 84-09PR Grant Union

Discus - 1kg - Prelims

1. 10 Abby Lusco 104-06 Grant Union

8. 11 Megan McManama 77-10 Grant Union

12. 10 Sophie Brockway 60-01 Grant Union

Javelin - 600g - Finals

1. 12 Kaylee Wright 129-01 Grant Union

6. 9 Carson Weaver 96-04PR Grant Union

Javelin - 600g - Prelims

1. 12 Kaylee Wright 126-05 Grant Union

7. 9 Carson Weaver 87-00 Grant Union

14. 10 Sophie Brockway 56-04 Grant Union

High Jump - Finals

1. 12 Kaylee Wright 5-00.00 Grant Union

6. 12 Shelby Brooks 4-04.00 Grant Union

7. 9 Soren Caudill 4-02.00 Grant Union

Pole Vault - Finals

2. 12 Sydney Brockway 8-04.00 Grant Union

7. 10 Leah Comer 5-10.00PR Grant Union

8. 9 Juenn Park 5-10.00PR Grant Union

Long Jump - Finals

2. 12 Trinity Hutchison 16-05.00 Grant Union

3. 12 Sydney Brockway 15-10.50 Grant Union

Long Jump - Prelims

3. 12 Sydney Brockway 15-10.00 Grant Union

4. 12 Trinity Hutchison 15-09.00 Grant Union

Triple Jump - Finals

1. 12 Trinity Hutchison 32-09.00 Grant Union

2. 12 Sydney Brockway 32-03.00 Grant Union

Triple Jump - Prelims

1. 12 Trinity Hutchison 32-09.00 Grant Union

2. 12 Sydney Brockway 30-10.00 Grant Union

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at angel@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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