EUGENE — Dalton Rasmussen’s final track meet in Roseburg orange ended with mixed emotions.
The RHS senior finished third in the javelin at the OSAA Class 6A track and field championships Saturday at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
He threw a personal best 195-4 and was in second place throughout the majority of the event’s competition. Central Catholic’s Joseph Nizich’s final throw in the event went 195-5 and Rasmussen was unable to exceed that distance in his final throw.
Sawyer Christopher of Lincoln won the event at 199-8.
“I lost by an inch,” Rasmussen said afterwards, still trying to come to terms with what had happened just moments prior. “He just threw well and it was a little upsetting, but I’m happy.”
RHS head coach Gwen Bartlett said, “Overall, his form was good, his attitude was really positive and I’m really glad he represented Roseburg the way that he did today.”
“It was just another day,” Rasmussen said. “I’ve got more meets coming up, so I’m going to practice and get ready for those big meets.”
Rasmussen will be competing in the New Balance Nationals on June 15-17 at Aggie Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the junior Olympics throughout the summer. He starts at Concordia University in Portland in the fall, where he will compete on the track and field team.
His main focus this summer remains breaking the Roseburg school record of 207-7.
Rasmussen, Tyler Sconce and Carson Ellis all scored points for the Indians to help the team to an eighth place finish with 24 points. West Salem won with 60 points.
“I have to give all of the credit to the throws coaches; to Stephanie Hutchins, Tonia Brewer and Patty Kearney because the three boys that represented us in the throws, their collective effort brought us in to eighth place,” Bartlett said. “We were higher than all the other teams in the Southwest Conference because of those boys. Those coaches and young men really stepped up.”
Jordan Smith also competed Saturday for the Indians. The senior tied for ninth place in high jump (6-0) with Tigard’s Spencer Kuffel and West Linn’s Cody Pierce.
Smith’s PR was 6 foot, which he jumped at the Southwest Conference district championships last week, the same as the opening height at the state meet.
“To come in and to take one or two jumps at your PR is a difficult thing to do,” Bartlett said. “I’m thrilled that he made the 6 foot height. Even though he didn’t make 6-2, I think he was proud of himself and I was really proud of him and the fact that he got to compete at state his senior year.”
Roseburg’s 4x400 relay team finished 10th in 3:24.66, a new season best for the team of Robert Gosman, Brendan Ibarra, Elijah Hansen and Merhawi Lake. Central Catholic’s relay team won in 3:17.87.
“They all ran great individual legs and collectively that helped them with that PR,” Bartlett said. “They dropped eight seconds throughout the season as a group, that’s two seconds each, which is amazing. I’m really proud of those four.
“They have such different personalities and character; some are very focused, some are very serious, some are very lighthearted but together they balance each other out well. I think it keeps them grounded and focused and they have a really good time working together.”
Hansen ran in the 1,500 earlier in the day, where he finished 15th in 4:07.30. A new personal best for the junior.
“This is my first time at state, so I’m just grateful that I got to come up here and compete against some of the best guys in the nation,” Hansen said. “I wanted to just have fun with it. I didn’t know what to expect, because it was my first time competing at this level. I had a lot of fun, it’s a beautiful track.”
Hansen and Lake are both juniors who are hoping to make a return to the state meet next year. Both runners qualified for the state championships on a wildcard entry.
“I think this year helped them get the jitters out,” Bartlett said. “They didn’t have a lot of pressure coming in this year, they just got to go for the experience. I think this will help them set some goals for next year.”
The Class 4A state track and field championships also concluded Saturday with four Douglas County athletes in contention. Douglas’ Max Jung was also expected to compete, but was injured and scratched in the triple jump.
South Umpqua freshman Jaydn Vermillion qualified for the 400 and 200 finals and finished fifth (1:00.70) and sixth (26.47) respectively. North Valley’s Baylee Touey took first place in both events.
“They weren’t my greatest (races), but I’m still proud of it,” Vermillion said. “I’m just lucky to be a freshman coming in and being able to do my best in finals.”
Vermillion said she learned some lessons on the track Saturday that will help her in the future.
“Anything can happen in a big meet and you have to put in hard work at practice to get where you want, and not very many freshmen get this far. The work I put in paid off,” Vermillion said.
She qualified for the state tournament in the two running events and long jump. She finished 14th in long jump Friday with a 15-2 3/4 jump, far below her 17-10 PR.
Another athlete to return to the track Saturday after competing Friday was Sutherlin thrower Kiersten Porter.
The senior finished 11th in the javelin (110-4) on Friday and 10th in the shot put (33-1) on Saturday. Gretchen Hoekstre of Seaside won the shot with a 42-3 3/4 throw Saturday.
Sutherlin junior Bryce Olsen was 10th in the javelin (153-11). Olsen was two feet shy of making it to the finals, Siuslaw’s Ryan Rendon-Padilla won the event (181-7).
Another 10th place finish for the Bulldogs came in the boys high jump. Gavin Eastwood tied for 10th place at 5-10 and Stayton’s Jarred Boedigheimer won with a 6-3 jump.