Sports Zone

Bulldogs take big bite of SD4 tourney

During the district track championships, eight Bulldogs qualified to compete in the state 3A championships this weekend. From left: District Champion Nick Bronson, Payden Criddle, District Champion Gauge Smith (with the Bulldog boys’ district championship trophy), Christian Tucker, Josiah Lee, Andrew Cox, Kendyl Seiber and Shelby Lamm. Gini Davis/The Creswell Chronicle

Three individual titles. One team title. Eight athletes going to state in 12 events.
It all adds up to one terrific season for the Creswell Bulldogs track and field team.
Nick Bronson and Gauge Smith won individual district titles, the Bulldog boys claimed the district team championship and eight Creswell athletes qualified for state during the 3A Special District 4 Track and Field Championships, held May 10-11 in Sutherlin.
”I am so proud of our kids and the work they put in this year to be able to achieve such a great accomplishment,” said Creswell Head Coach Jonathan Ferguson.
Bronson won the district championship in both the 110-meter high hurdles, with a time of 16.07a and the 300-meter intermediate hurdles, with a time of 42.66a.
Smith won the district championship in the 400 meters with a time of 51.19a.
Creswell won the boys’ district team title with 122 points, edging second-place Cascade Christian with 118. In third, Pleasant Hill was one point back in the nine-team field with 117.
”After the meet, I was talking to Pleasant Hill Coach Gary Smith and he told me that in the 42 years he’s been coaching at Pleasant Hill, he has never seen Creswell win a team title in track and field,” Ferguson said. ”It was a complete team effort from top to bottom, and I am grateful to have shared this experience with my team.”
The top two finishers in each event medal and automatically qualify for state. In addition to his district championship in the 400m, Smith earned automatic state bids by placing second in three more events: the 100m in 11.45a, the 200m in 23.58a and the 300m hurdles in 42.88a.
Josiah Lee placed second in the 800m in 2:08.69a and Christian Tucker placed second in the 1500m in 4:26.82a (SR) to automatically qualify for state.
But the Bulldogs’ achievements don’t end there: Three boys and two girls also qualified for state in six events as ”at-large” qualifiers.
”It’s the first year they’re doing at-large qualifiers, which means you finished third or even fourth but had one of the best marks in the state,” Ferguson explained.
At-large qualifiers with third-place finishes include Tucker in both the 400m in 53.35a (PR) and the 3000m in 9:52.23a (SR), and Payden Criddle in the high jump at 5-08 (PR).
Andrew Cox also earned an at-large bid by placing fourth in the triple jump at 39-09 (PR). ”It just depends on the rest of the state,” Ferguson said. ”Our league is really good at the triple jump.”
In other scoring finishes, Grant Marshall placed third in the 800m in 2:10.42a (PR) and eighth in the triple jump at 38-03; Brandon Moehlmann placed fourth in the 3000m in 10:10.73a and seventh in the 1500m in 4:37.16a (PR); and the 4x400m relay team of Bronson, Devin Johnson, Cox and Tucker placed fifth in 3:41.85a.
Cox placed sixth in the 100m hurdles in 19.59a; Johnson placed sixth in the 200m in 24.28a; the 4x100m relay team of Johnson, Cox, Criddle and Bronson placed sixth in 46.99a; Cam Nguyen placed eighth in the 1500m in 4:44.28a; and Lee placed eighth in the high jump at 5-00.
No Creswell girls placed first or second, but Shelby Lamm and freshman Kendyl Seiber turned in third-place finishes that earned at-large state bids: Lamm placed third in the 100m in 13.47 and Seiber placed third in the 300m intermediate hurdles in 51.33a (PR).
In other scoring finishes, Lamm placed fifth in the 200m in 21.12a; Seiber placed fifth in the 100m high hurdles in 19.21a; and another freshman, Harmony Goodman, placed seventh in the 1500m in 6:02.48a.
St. Mary’s won the girls’ team title with 167 points. Sutherlin placed second with 127.
Qualifying Bulldogs will represent Creswell at the OSAA 3A State Track and Field Championships on May 17-18 at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.
In addition to the athletes’ hard work, Ferguson credits his coaching staff with helping them get there.
”A huge shout-out to all my assistant coaches, Devon Larson, Evan Lybarger, Olivia Powell, Hope Powell and Larry Powell for all their hard work during the season,” Ferguson said. ”They volunteer so much of their time to helping our Creswell kids succeed and I am so thankful for all that they do.”



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