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Five county athletes notch titles in state meets

May 19, 2019

It was a great day to be a javelin thrower from Douglas County on Friday.

Mackenzii Phillips of Douglas won the Class 3A girls javelin title at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, while Zach Holland of Glide (2A) and Jared Hunt of Camas Valley (1A) were victorious in their respective state meets at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

Two other county athletes won individual championships. Jadyn Vermillion of Sutherlin captured the 3A girls long jump and Kevin Meier of Oakland claimed the 2A triple jump.

Phillips, a sophomore, repeated as a state champion in the javelin. She won the title in 4A last year.

Phillips had a winning mark of 137 feet, 7 inches, which came on her fifth throw. It wasn’t far off her PR of 139-8 set earlier this season.

She turned in an excellent series: 117-3, 135-1, 136-7, 131-5, 137-7 and 134-4.

“It’s amazing,” Phillips said. “I felt very confident coming in, felt like it would be a good day. I felt comfortable after my second throw — that throw was really good.”

Holland, a senior who’s dividing his time between baseball and track this spring, took the lead on his first throw and never looked back. His winning mark of 197-3 was a PR and improved on his school record.

Holland finished over 36 feet ahead of runner-up Christian Haskell of Pilot Rock. His series consisted of 177-0, 183-6, 194-3, 169-3, 197-3 and 179-3.

Hunt, a junior, won his first state javelin title, throwing 172-1, just below his PR of 172-6. He had a series of 168-6, 164-10, 172-1, 160-8, 164-2 and 168-9.

Tristan Simpson of Elgin finished second at 165-10.

“It feels pretty good. I feel pretty blessed,” Hunt said. “Actually the conditions were pretty poor, there was a good crosswind. I was hoping for 180, but my throws were decent. My coach (Ron Pope) was excited because I’m the first one (boy) to win state (in the javelin) since he’s been at the school.”

Vermillion, a sophomore who competed in the 4A meet last year for South Umpqua, came from behind to win her first state crown in track.

Vermillion overtook Madisyn Hartley of Nyssa, going 17-4 on her fifth jump. Hartley had held the lead since her second jump (17-1 1/4), but didn’t improve on her final four attempts.

Vermillion’s winning mark was a season best.

“It feels nice. This was my No. 1 goal, I wanted to get at least one (state title),” Vermillion said. “I knew I had a chance, but I wasn’t predicted to win. I knew I needed to relax and have fun (heading into my fifth jump) and I did, and got one out there.

“My first jump wasn’t good, but after that I was pretty consistent.”

Vermillion will go after another state title — or perhaps two — on Saturday. She had the top qualifying time in the 200 (26.62) and will run a leg on Sutherlin’s 4x100 relay team that owns the fastest time in 3A this season.

Meier, a junior, earned his first state championship in track, bounding 45-1 1/2 to shatter his school record in the triple jump. He outdueled Cesar Sepulveda of Jefferson, who went 44-9.

Meier’s jump bettered the meet record of 44-7 1/2 set by DiSean Hernandez of Central Linn in 2015, but won’t be allowed because it went over the allowable wind limit.

“I was really nervous about it coming in. Cesar is really good and was seeded above me,” Meier said. “Going (45-1 1/2) was way above what I expected, I was unbelievably hyped when I saw that. I tend to jump better when I’m behind and this definitely was one of the better jumping days I’ve had in weeks.”

Meier also finished third in the pole vault (12-6).

Moriah Michaels of Days Creek placed second in the 1A girls long jump (16-9 1/4). Bryce Olsen of Sutherlin was second in the 3A boys javelin (168-10).

Finishing third were Keith Sorenson of Sutherlin in the 3A pole vault (12-6), Greg Reedy of Days Creek in the 1A boys shot put (39-9) and Dillon Towne of Glide in the 2A boys shot (47-2 1/2). Hadley Brooksby of Oakland tied for third in the 2A girls high jump (4-10).