Hayward Field at the University of Oregon is the Mecca of track and field in the United States. It has hosted numerous NCAA Championship meets, Olympic Trials, US Championships, the only US hosted Diamond League Meet – The Prefontaine Classic, the World Junior Championships, and in 2021 – the World Championships. But each spring it hosts the most important meet to high school athletes in Oregon: the OSAA State Championship Meet. Thousands of athletes and supporters travel to Eugene seeking personal records, places on the podium, and the ultimate, a state championship.
16 Spartan track athletes qualified for this year’s state championships, the most of any Spartan team since 2007 when 17 athletes qualified.
Here are highlights of the Spartan Boys Track Team performances at the 2017 OSAA State Championships
Seeded 8th and running from lane 1, the Spartan 4 x 100 meter relay of Daekwon Mitchell, Kobie Mendoza Daniels, Trevor Fernstrom and Isaiah Dirienzo ran and inspired race to finish 3rd (43.35 6th Hilhi all time).
Similar to 2016 when the relay team was seeded 7th and finished in 4th, the Spartans surprised the over 7,000 in attendance with precise hand offs and focused running.
For the Spartans, it was a happy ending to the season — and to the high school careers of Fernstrom and Mendoza Daniels, who were first-time state meet participants, along with their two junior teammates.
After setting a personal record in both the 100 (11.07 7th in school history) and 200 meter dash (22.41 – 4th in school history) on Friday, Daekwon Mitchell qualified for Saturday’s finals in both events.
In the finals Mitchel finished in 5th in the 100 Meter Dash (11.25) and 4th in the 200 Meter Dash (22.56). This capped of a strong junior campaign where he won both sprints in the NWOC Championships the week before.
Kobie Mendoza Daniels garnered a state meet bid via a wildcard and he made the most of his opportunity. In Friday’s prelims in the 110 Meter High Hurdles he qualified for the final in 15.76. On Saturday, Mendoza Daniels ran a strong 7th place finish (15.83) to earn a state meet medal.
The boys team finished off the 2017 State Meet with the 4 x 400 Relay. The team of Daniel Popovych, Imani Jamali, Josh Jones, and Isaiah Dirienzo (alternates Daekwon Mitchell and Stephen Rufus) finished 10th in the team’s 2nd best time of the season 3:34.84.
The boys team finished with 17 points at the OSAA State Championships and finished in 18th place.