SEASIDE — And the award for best move of the week goes to … Seaside High School.
Meet organizers for the annual Daily Astorian Invitational decided (wisely) not to hold the meet in Saturday’s giant windstorm, rescheduling the event for Monday.
It turned out to be a great move.
Instead of sitting through the wind and rain, spectators enjoyed almost summer-like temperatures Monday, while athletes were setting personal or season-best marks all day, on the track and in the field.
Yes, it was well worth the wait.
“Thank God (the meet) wasn’t Saturday,” said Darian Hageman, Astoria’s all-star, Oregon State Beaver-bound jumper. “That would have been really bad. I’m glad it was today.”
Hageman certainly enjoyed her day, winning the high jump, long jump, triple jump and pole vault.
Seaside coach Jeff Kilday and a team of volunteers managed to pull things off in record time for a meet of its size.
“For a meet with a 3 p.m. start and an invitational that should have lasted all day, we made it quick,” Kilday said. “And we just kept it right on schedule. Of course without wind and rain, it’s a lot easier.”
In fact, Kilday and the Gulls brought the 30th annual Daily Astorian meet to a close in just under his 7 p.m. deadline, as the last event wrapped up at 6:57 p.m.
“We made a couple modifications that sped things up,” he said. “And all the teams that came brought a volunteer. We had a lot of kids, parents and coaches helping. I don’t think we could have made this meet half as good without all that.”
And, as always, the meet was a “Who’s Who” of some of the top athletes in the area.
Chances are, some of the athletes who were winning events Monday will be winning events at the state meet in May.
Astoria senior Tim Barnett had a solid day with a sweep in the discus, javelin and shot put.
His best mark in the javelin was 160 feet, 8 inches.
“That’s about in the middle of what I usually throw,” he said. “It was definitely better than the last meet.”
Barnett is ranked No. 1 in the state in the discus and shot put. “I’m looking for about 180 in the jav, but we’ll see. The school record is 184,” he said.
For Ilwaco, a school record did go down, when Marcus Connor threw the discus 147’9”, breaking Larry Richardson’s 1968 school record of 144’.
Elsewhere, Ilwaco’s Daniel Whiting won both the 1,500- and 3,000-meter races, topping Knappa’s Robert Pina-Morton in each race. Whiting’s times were 4 minutes, 35.08 seconds in the 1,500, and 10:19.74 in the 3,000, both personal bests.
Astoria freshman Sophie Long won the 800 meters in a personal best 2:35.50. The Lady Fishermen also swept the relays.
Seaside junior Gretchen Hoekstre scored wins in the shot put (40-1) and discus (129-8), with the Gulls’ Anna Huddleston taking the javelin (112-1, personal best). Naselle’s Lilli Zimmerman was second in the shot put at 35’5.5”, edging her State-winning personal best from last year.
Seaside senior Rafi Sibony won the 800 meters, then capped the meet by running the anchor leg for the win in a close finish with Astoria.
Note: For a report more focused on local athletes’ performances at Seaside, see next Wednesday’s Observer.