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By Bill Bray
OREGON – The last time the Little Giant boys track team could hoist a trophy
for representing a league title was in 2010. Fast forward to 2024, and the Giants were at it again as they celebrated a Northern Lakes League title in their first year as a league member. Fremont Ross accumulated 117 points, while Sylvania Southview was runner-up with 115 points.
This championship was memorable. The Little Giant girls’ basketball team won a Northern Lake League Championship, and the swim teams won championships in the NLL. However, their championships came as the top “Cardinal division” teams. The track championship encompassed both divisions and Fremont Ross was the Track and Field king of the hill.
Starting with the field events. After Dominic Brown and Tallon Brown scored 18 big points in the discus competition, Dom, this time, was joined by Peyton Heschel as the duo contributed another 18 points to the Little Giant total. Brown threw the iron ball 55’5”, and Heschel succeeded in throwing a PR of more than three feet as he heaved the shot put 49’6”.
The high jump was another boy’s field event staged Friday afternoon. Ross freshman Mason Englund finished in third place with a leap of 6’.
The purple and white contingent had no one in the 100-meter dash finals. Englund then appeared in the 110-meter hurdles finals. The tall, lanky first-year man ran a blistering 14.5, more than half a second better than his PR. Englund had a productive day; his third place in the high jump and second place in the hurdles gave him 14 points.
Next on the track was the 4×200 relay team. The foursome of Tyress Brown, Jadrian Brown, Stephen Reiter, and Kam Walker ran to an NLL record 1:28.88. In the 4×100 relay, Tyress Brown, Maddox DeCoursey, Lazerick Howard, and Stephen Reiter scored a fifth-place finish with a time of 44.50.
In the distance runs, Will Kiser ran a personal best in the 800 meters, 1:57.75, good for sixth. Kiser’s points were the only individual points scored by the distance corps.
The 400 meters has become the Kam Walker and Jadrian Brown show. The two gathered in 18 more big points in the one-lap sprint. Walker now has his name added to the top five all-time list at Ross for the 400 meters. His 48.69 puts him at #5 on the list. Brown was breathing down Walker’s neck as he ran second to his teammate in 50.06.
With only a little time until Walker returned for the 200, the senior had just come off the race of his life in the 400 meters and was asked to do it again. Walker heeded the call and ran to victory in the 200 in 22.30.
In the final race of the evening, the Little Giants had to run without the service of their top sprinter. Walker was visibly ‘spent’ after his 400- and 200-meter wins. The Giants inserted middle-distance runner Adrian Ontiveros into the foursome. It ended up being the right move by the coaches, as Ontiveros ran his leg of the race in 52 seconds to help his teammates to a 3:27.7 and fourth place. Others in the relay included Jadrian Brown, Englund and Kiser. With the placement, the Giants prevailed as NLL champions.
Meanwhile, the girls ended the meet, scoring 75.5 points on their way to a fifth-place finish.
In Friday’s field events, Reese Smith had a season PR in the discus as the junior threw the platter 121’ 6” for her second straight league title. Last season, Smith won the last TRAC contest, and now the NLL discus toss. Ross got three points from Lexi Nelson in the long jump. Nelson’s leap of 15’8.75” was good for sixth place. In the pole vault, Danika Denman cleared 9’6” to finish fourth.
In the girls’ 400-meter race, a pair of Little Giants scored points. Malise Lee-Garrett and Ashtyn Marsee crossed the line fifth and sixth to give Ross seven points. Lee-Garrett’s time was 60.10, and Marsee’s was 61.52.
Mia Durnwald added a point in the 800 meters with an eighth-place finish in 2:25.49. Sophia Metcalf scored two points, with her seventh-place finish in the 1600 meters at 5:41.31. Kennedy Walker snagged one point in the 3200 meters with an eighth-place finish in 12:19.78. Denman added three points in the 300 hurdles. Her time of 48.62 was good enough for sixth place.
The 4×100 relay team of Teryn Nelson, Lexi Nelson, Jaiden Long, and Braxtyn Jordan contributed three points as they finished sixth in 53.02. The 4×200 relay, including Jordan, Lee-Garrett, Marsee, and Lexi Nelson, finished fifth in 1:47.88.
In the girls’ final race of the meet, The Little Giant 4×400 relay team ran well and finished fourth in 4:06.10. The fourth-place team included Evelyn Szymanowski, Marsee, Durnwald, and Lee-Garrett.
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