By Debbie Raney
Burns Times-Herald
The Crane track teams gather around their trophies won at the 1A state meet in Monmouth. (Submitted photo)

The goal of an athlete is to reach the peak of their performance level when the stakes are down and when the competition level is at the highest. The Crane Mustang track and field athletes reached this goal during the OSAA state championship meet in Monmouth last weekend.

As the state meet ended on Saturday, the Mustangs had earned 32 individual medals. To top the weekend off, the Crane girls won the team championship by compiling 80 points, and the boys team finished second with 50 points.

Individually, the Mustangs’ September O’Crowley claimed four gold medals of her own. She earned the state championship in the 400-meter run, the 300 hurdles, the pole vault and was a member of the 4×400 relay team.

Running the championship relay with O’Crowley was Beth Milburn, Natalie Bentz and Alycia Jenkins.

In the boys competition, Blake Steeves gave the Mustang fans an opportunity to cheer, as he set a new state record in the triple jump. His biggest rival in the event, Stephen Larlee of South Wasco County, came  back and reset the record by beating Steeves’ jump. The tide turned again, as the Mustang athlete recorded the third record-setting jump of the meet. Unfortunately, the record was broken for a fourth time, when Larlee ended the meet with a jump that claimed the gold medal and the new record.

In addition to Steeves’ silver, second-place medals were earned by Jenkins in the 1,500-meter run and Jeran Conaway in the pole vault.

Coming away with third places were the girls’ 4×100 relay team (Milburn, Na. Bentz, Nichole Bentz and Emilee O’Toole), Jenkins in the 800-meter, Na. Bentz in the high jump and Conaway in the high jump.

Earning fourth places at the state meet were O’Toole in the 200-meter run, Steeves in the 100 hurdles and the long jump and Lewis Whiting in the 3,000-meter run. Fifths went to O’Toole in the 100-meter run, Gus Titus in the 3,000-meter and the boys 4×400 relay (Milton Merritt, TJ Potter, Lance Moser and Steeves).

Rounding out the Mustangs who earned medals were Conaway, seventh in the javelin, Tanner Titus, eighth in the 1,500-meter run, Wilson Witzel, eighth in the 300-meter hurdles and Levi Miller, eighth in the 800-meter run.
Times and distances for the Mustangs are as follows:

4×100 relay — 3-Bethany Milburn, Nichole Bentz, Natalie Bentz, Emilee O’Toole, 53.49.
1,500 meter — 2-Alycia Jenkins, 5:06.99.
100 — 5-O’Toole, 13.53.
400 — 1-September O’Crowley, 59.61; 4-Na. Bentz, 1:03.62.
800 — 3-Jenkins, 2:32.18.
200 — 4-O’Toole, 28.19.
300 hurdles — 1-O’Crowley, 48.47.
4×400 relay — 1-Milburn, Jenkins, Na. Bentz, O’Crowley, 4:16.70.
Pole vault — 1-O’Crowley, 9-0.
High jump — 3-Na. Bentz, 4-10.
Team scores: 1-Crane, 80; 2-Damascus Christian, 77; 3-Portland Lutheran, 48.5; 4-Imbler, 43; 5-Hosanna Christian, 34; 6-Sherman, Adrian, Southwest Christian, 32; 9-Triangle Lake, 30; 10-Crow, 28.5.

1,500 meter — 8-Tanner Titus, 4:35.87; 10-Dan O’Crowley, 4:49.07.
100 hurdles — 4-Blake Steeves, 16.50.
800 — 8-Levi Miller, 2:10.89.
300 hurdles — 8-Wilson Witzel, 44.73.
4×400 relay — 5-Milton Merritt, TJ Potter, Lance Moser, Steeves, 3:40.25.
Javelin — 7-Jeran Conaway, 158.08.
Long jump — 4-Steeves, 19-10.25.
High jump — 3-Conaway, 5-10.
Triple jump — 2-Steeves, 45-09.25.
Pole vault — 2-Conaway, 12-03.
3,000 — 4-Lewis Whiting, 9:39.63; 5-Gus Titus, 9:42.27.
Team scores: 1-Southwest Christian, 57; 2-Crane, 50; 3-New Hope Christian, 47; 4-Pacific, 45; 5-South Wasco, Imbler, 38; 7-Triad, 37; 8-Damascus Christian, 30; 9-St. Paul, North Clackamas Christian, 26.

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