Grant County athletes in 2019 provided moments of excitement after hours of practice and devotion to their sport. Here are 10 highlights from the year.
1. Grant Union track and field
One-thousandth of a second determined the 2A girls track and field champions. A photo finish in the 100-meter dash gave 2 more points to the Enterprise Outlaws, who topped Grant Union by half a point to win the girls title at the 2A Track and Field State Championships.
Along with second for the team, Grant Union senior Kaylee Wright was named the 2A Athlete of the Meet, shattering her previous state javelin record with a throw of 139-05 for her fourth consecutive championship title and became high jump champion for the second year in a row, clearing the bar at 5-03.
Wright also raced with junior Sierra Cates, senior Trinity Hutchison and freshman Carson Weaver on the girls 4x100-relay team to place second, just .18 seconds behind Enterprise.
2. Grant Union girls wrestling team
Senior Trinity Hutchison won the OSAA State Wrestling Championship in the 155-pound class, and freshman Arionna Young placed second at 115. They brought home the fourth-place trophy for the Grant Union girls team as a 2A team, facing off against all sizes of schools in the girls tournament.
3. Prairie City track and field
Prairie City Panther Levi Burke won the 1A high jump at the May 17-18 OSAA State Championships at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.
“Last year was motivation to keep going,” Burke said. This time, Burke jumped 6-05 — 5 inches higher than the next closest competitor, Luke Martin of Sherman. Besides the title of champion, Burke also went undefeated in high jump this season at nine events.
Prairie City sophomore Tristan McMahan and senior Syd Holman also competed.
4. Grant Union boys wrestling team
Senior Drew Lusco, wrestling in the 285-pound heavyweight bracket, had a second-place finish at the OSAA State Wrestling Championships. The final round decided the championship match with Lusco falling to a Central Linn senior by 1 penalty point. Along with second place at state, Lusco won the championship title at the OSAA 2A/1A Special District 4 Tournament.
5. Prairie City/Burnt River
The Prairie City/Burnt River Panthers football team ended a successful season in fourth place at the 1A Six-Man Crossover Championship, losing to the Triangle Lake Lakers who claimed the 25-20 win at Madras High School. Head coach Scott Dean was appreciative of the many accomplishments the team had this season.
“I want to thank my players, the parents, the community and my coaches Dennis Flippence and Jonathan Engberg for the change in program direction,” Dean said. “Being the East Six-Man Football Southern Champions served our players well because they became champions — that can never be taken away and the program must work hard to get better in the future.”
6. Prairie City boys basketball
The Prairie City Panther boys basketball team finished in fifth place at the 1A Boys Basketball State Championship, falling 56-53 to the Days Creek Wolves.
Panther head coach Sam Workman said both teams battled hard in their final game.
“I was excited with the way they played their last game of the season and how they fought,” he said of his team, adding they all performed well.
7. Grant Union/Prairie City baseball
The Grant Union/Prairie City Prospector baseball team ended their season at the OSAA 2A/1A State Championship quarterfinal round with a 12-3 loss to the Kennedy Trojans in Mt. Angel. Kennedy’s 8 runs in the second inning gave a massive lead that decided the game. The Prospectors may have lost, but they had a 14-0 record in the league for the season.
“The kids, coaches, parents and fans all knew that these guys had an incredible season,” said head coach Doug Sharp.
8. Grant Union/Prairie City softball
The Grant Union/Prairie City Prospector softball team ended a successful season in the quarterfinal round with a 5-0 loss to the North Douglas Warriors.
The Prospectors entered the OSAA State Championships as the No. 1-seeded team and with an 11-1 record for the league.
9. Grant Union volleyball
Grant Union Prospectors started to rally in set three against Portland Christian, but fell to the Royals 3-0 at the OSAA 2A Volleyball Championship in the quarterfinal round at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.
The Prospectors went on to beat the Bonanza Antlers in the consolation round. Grant Union then lost in a battle for fourth place to Union, the Prospectors finishing sixth in state.
“It’s awesome to have such a young team, and it’s our first time at the tournament,” said Grant Union head coach Ali Abrego. “We made the top eight, and that’s what we were aiming to do.”
10. Dayville/Monument boys basketball
The Dayville/Monument Tigers made the game against Adrian at the District 8 1A Tournament an exciting match, but fell 57-49 to the Antelopes.
The team bounced back the following day at the consolation match. The Tigers defeated Huntington 46-45 to close their season.