DUFUR’S Taylor Darden winds up for her shotput toss at the 1A state meet May 22 in Eugene. Darden capped her career with state championships in the discus and shotput, using a school-record of 130-feet in the discus. Darden is the first Dufur High track athlete to win dual championships in consecutive seasons.
As of Friday, May 29, 2015
Dufur’s Taylor Darden capped an impressive high school career with a school record in the discus event with a toss of 130-feet for first place.
The senior also captured state glory in the shotput with a distance of 36-10.5 for another state title at the 1A OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires State Track and field championships in Eugene.
Darden, who set a school record of 38-9 in the shotput earlier this season, is the first Dufur athlete to post back-to-back dual titles.
She will now take her talents to Concordia University in Portland to see if she can duplicate those numbers at the collegiate level.
“I am excited to see Taylor go off and compete,” said Dufur coach Connie Harvey. “I wish her the best.”
On Wednesday, Darden was one of eight senior athletes to earn a $1,000 scholarship awarded to graduating sons and daughters of the Oregon Athletic Coaches Association members
With Darden’s two wins, the Dufur girls had 20 points for 12th place in the team standings.
Jake Little and Keith Blake competed for the Dufur boys’ team and posted six points for 29th place in the 36-team field.
Blake, who was a wild card selection, finished third in the shotput with a distance of 41-5.75.
Little, a senior who set a personal record of 153-1 as a junior, had a state throw of 143-3 for 10th place.
It is a bittersweet moment for Harvey, as she sends off two of her best athletes into adulthood.
“I have known Taylor since she was four-years old and I have known Jake for just about as long. As a coach and as a parent or just another helping hand, I have watched them grow and mature so much as athletes,” she said. “It is just been a pleasure to watch them grow.”
Although Dufur loses Darden and Little, the program has a core of Blake, Kurt Nuevo, Ethan Wetherbee, T.J. Kennedy, Steven Bailey, Wade Blake, Kiersten Sorensen and Makenzie Dunn returning along with a middle school program that had as many 35 athletes on the roster.
“From middle school to high school, you are interested to see who comes in ready to make their breaks,” Harvey said. “We have so many talented kids who will be coming up through the high school. I hope they continue to be dedicated to the sport.”
In 14 years, Harvey takes many memories with her.
District and state championships aside, she is happy to be the key element in developing solid citizens on and off the track.
“Over the years, I have developed a love for all of these kids. They are like my own,” Harvey said. “It has been an amazing ride with these kids because I love them.”