Dufur track team shows mettle

Cole Kortge competes in hurdles in 2016. He set a personal record (PR) in the 300 meter hurdles on Saturday, when his 44:18 was good for second place and a trip to state.

Dufur’s track and field team did itself proud on Saturday in district competition held in Moro. At the end of the day’s events, the Dufur Rangers ending up with seven athletes who qualified to advance to the Oregon School Activities Association state championship events at Hayward Field in Eugene on May 18-19.

“We have seven athletes who will be advancing in seven events to the track and field state championships in Eugene,” said Dufur’s McKenzie Henderson, the team’s head coach.

Henderson pointed to numerous superb performances by Dufur’s track and field athletes, including several who took first place in their respective events.

Among those going on to compete at the state championship level is Asa Farrell, who had a stellar day in the district events, held at Sherman County Junior/Senior High School.

Farrell, a freshman, came in first in the 100-meter race, with a time of 11.62, and also took first place in the 200 meters, clocking in with a time of 24.25.

Farrell followed up those strong performances by capturing second place in the long jump, recording a personal best with a jump of 19-10.50. He also was part of the 100-meter relay, which came in first with a time of 46.36.

Senior Zeke Stelzer also had a huge day. He captured first place finishes in two races: in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:18, and in the 3,000 meters with a showing of 10:09.06. Stelzer was also a member of the 400-meter relay, in which Dufur took third place.

Cole Kortge, a sophomore headed to the state championships, set a personal record (PR) in the 300 meter hurdles on Saturday. His 44:18 was good for second place in his race.

On the girls’ side, senior Makenzie Hartle-Dunn grabbed second place with a time of 13.95 in the 100 meters run.

In relay action, the 100-meter relay team won first place with a time of 46:36. The relay squad includes Abraham Kilby, Anthony Thomas, Derek Frakes, Asa Farrell and Cole Kortge.

Dufur’s 4 x 400 relay team made it to state competition as a “wild card” team, placing third with a time of 3:49.28. The 400-meter relay team features Abraham Kilby, Anthony Thomas, Derek Frakes, Zeke Stelzer and Cole Kortge.

“I am very proud of all of our kids,” said Henderson. “They worked hard all season, and that really showed at districts.”

Even those who didn’t advance to state competition had big days, as five Dufur athletes turned in personal records in their events.

Dufur athletes who recorded personal bests on Saturday were Aleksei Uhalde, Trinity Blake, Oscar Salazar, Matthew Sipe and Ben Anderson.

According to Henderson, Uhalde had personal bests in all of her individual events. In the long jump, she had a jump of 14-00, putting her in fourth place. She ran a 19.50 in the 110-meter hurdles, where she placed sixth. Uhalde finished fifth in the 100-meter race, with a time of 14.32.

Another personal best came from Trinity Blake, who finished seventh in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 19.61.

Oscar Salazar measured in with a PR jump of 35-06.75 in the triple jump, while Matthew Sipe had a PR throw of 84-11 in the discus.

Another top finisher was Ben Anderson, who had PRs in the discus and the shot put. He threw 32-10 in the shot put and 87-11 in the discus.

The state championship events get started Thursday. The exact schedule of events is yet to be announced.

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