The top athletes who compete in the shot put are able to master the combination of muscular strength with technique and balance. In recent years at Philomath High School, the Rust family has represented the event well with Hunter, Kane and Mia all winning state medals and ranking in the school’s all-time top 10.
On Friday and Saturday at the state meet in Florence, Class 4A’s top competitors squared off and to no one’s surprise, Stanford-bound Kaiah Fisher of Hidden Valley won with a throw of 45 feet, 9 inches. PHS senior Mia Rust’s top distance of the day came on her third throw at 37 feet even, which was good for third place. The finish represented Philomath’s top placing at the Siuslaw-hosted meet.
“It was my PR (personal record) for the season but two years ago, I threw 37-7,” Rust said. “With the season so short, I don’t know if I got my form back; it was kinda off because we were off for so long and then I had soccer and that was really competitive. Overall, I was happy with the way it ended.”
Clint Rust worked with the program as a volunteer assistant to help his daughter with technique. His qualifications certainly warrant the job with himself possessing an impressive past in the shot put. In 1991 as an athlete at North Valley, Rust had a best distance of 58-11.5, which ranks No. 6 all-time in the 4A record book.
Overall, Philomath tied for eighth in the team standings and won seven medals at the state meet, which was organized by 4A schools with the Oregon School Activities Association not hosting official meets during this pandemic-impacted academic year.
Junior Sage Kramer had a successful meet with fourth in the javelin (107-9) and sixth in the discus (106-10) to wrap up her first full track season.
“I was going to do it last year and switch from softball to track because it was a little more friendly with my club basketball schedule,” Kramer said. “Coming around this year, I thought I probably won’t do it, I’m a junior now, but my dad and some of the track people talked me into it and I’m so glad I did because it’s just been so fun. It’s just a different dynamic than any other sport I’ve played.”
PHS coach Joe Fulton said Kramer experimented a bit to find her events.
“It was pretty clear she wasn’t going to be a sprinter and she wasn’t a distance runner so she went out and started playing with the field events and I think the throws are definitely where she’s going to excel,” Fulton said. “She might pick up the shot next year and drop the triple jump, we’ll see.”
Elsewhere, senior Alivia Pittman won two individual medals with fourth in the 300 hurdles (49.92) and fifth in the 100 hurdles (16.49). Senior Amey McDaniel cleared 9-3 to place fourth in the pole vault. She placed seventh in the pole vault as a sophomore.
Philomath’s 4-by-400 relay didn’t win the state title for the first time since 2017 but still placed with fifth in 4:18.67. Sophomore Ingrid Hellesto, freshman Ellie Morton, Pittman and senior Melia Morton ran legs on the relay.
“Melia has been injured so she hasn’t been able to run what she was capable of a couple of years ago,” Fulton said. “But her little sister came in and helped us take about 5 seconds off our season best.”
In other results, the 4-by-100 relay just missed placing at ninth in 53.32 with Hellesto, junior Haviland Eves, Melia Morton and Pittman. Junior Emery Boutilier was ninth in the pole vault at 8-6. Kramer was 13th in the triple jump at 29-4.5.
4A State Track and Field Championships Friday, May 21-Saturday, May 22, at Siuslaw HS, Florence
1. Hidden Valley 82; 2, Siuslaw 50; 3, La Grande 47; 4, Cascade 43; 5, North Valley 34; 6, Sisters 33; 6, Mazama 33; 8, Philomath 32; 8, Baker 32; 10, Gladstone 31.5; 11, Marshfield 26; 12, Astoria 22; 13, Junction City 21; 14, Cottage Grove 19.5; 15, Marist 19; 16, Newport 18; 17, Ontario 17; 18, Valley Catholic 16; 19, Sweet Home 14; 20, Phoenix 13; 21, Molalla 12; 21, Tillamook 12; 23, Estacada 11; 23, Henley 11; 25, Stayton 8; 26, Woodburn 2; 26, Banks 2; 28, Madras 1; 28, Elmira 1.
Winners & PHS Results
1. Jada Hurley, Hidden Valley, 12.23
1. Jada Hurley, Hidden Valley, 25.45
1. Jada Hurley, Hidden Valley, 59.70
1. Brea Blankenship, Siuslaw, 2:24.36
1. Anika Thompson, Junction City, 4:39.87
1. Anika Thompson, Junction City, 9:46.89
1. DeShanae Norman, Gladstone, 15.21
5. Alivia Pittman, Philomath, 16.49
1. Karlee Touey, North Valley, 47.20
7. Alivia Pittman, Philomath, 49.92
1. Hidden Valley (Paige Cordero, Jada Hurley, Abbigail McClintock, Jaaden Steele), 50.82