The Monument Tiger track and field team, led by head coach Jeff Schafer, has five members this year, including sophomore Mark Thomas who placed fifth at state last season in the 1,500-meter run.
The three boys and two girls each look forward to setting personal records, and some have high hopes to compete at state.
Thomas ran the 1,500 with a fifth-place finish at state last year in a time of 4:23.37. At that time, he set a personal record in the event, shaving 13 seconds off his best time.
To start this season, Thomas, who’s been competitive in the sport since fifth grade, placed first in the event with a time of 4:50.40 at Saturday’s Prairie City Invitational, racing against 16 competitors.
He said he’s aiming to improve his times in all his events, which include the 800 and 3,000, and he’s working toward that goal through weight lifting and interval training.
“I’m hopeful to take it all at state,” he said.
Sophomore Donovan Schafer set a personal record in discus with a mark of 104-05 on Friday, placing second out of 33 competitors at the Prairie City Invitational.
He’s also been competing since fifth grade, and his other events include javelin and triple jump.
“I’m hoping to make it to state in discus,” he said. “I’m looking forward to starting off strong and keep progressing through the season.”
Freshman Aubreianna Osborne, also competing since fifth grade, is taking on the 800, 400 and javelin this season and said she’s looking forward to spending time with her team.
Other team members are freshman Nic Ciochetti, who competes in discus and javelin, and Shyana Johnson who competes in the sprints and hurdles.
Schafer said the team is working hard.
“We’re excited to see how we do in this new district,” he said.
Monument's 1A District 3 opponents include: Long Creek, Mitchell-Spray, Arlington, Cascades Academy of Central Oregon, Condon/Wheeler, Dufur, Griswold, Horizon Christian, Ione, Sherman, South Wasco County and Trinity Lutheran.
Schafer has assistance from Treila Osborne with weight training and scheduling, Chuck Thomas helps with distance running with Schafer overseeing the rest of the events.
The coach said track and field keeps the Tiger athletes active during the spring and builds their endurance.
“We have goals to continue to improve and reach our potential all the time,” he said. “They have fun and encourage each other even though it’s an individual sport.”
Monument 2019 track and field schedule
April 12: @ Burns Lions/Oster Meet in Burns, 1 p.m.
April 19: @ C/W Invitational in Condon, 11 a.m.
April 27: @ Sherman Invitational in Moro, 11 a.m.
May 3: @ Grant Union Invitational in John Day, 10 a.m.
May 11: 1A-3 Special District 3 Championships in Moro, 10:30 a.m.
May 17-18: OSAA 1A State Championships, TBD