A fond farewell

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Blaser walking on to Pac-12 basketball

NEWPORT — Newport’s Kye Blaser will continue his basketball career after high school. The Oregon West Conference Player of the Year will walk on to the Oregon State men’s basketball team this season after leading the Cubs to their first conference title in 15 years and a third-place finish at the state tournament while scoring over 6,000 points in his four-year career. “(Head OSU coach Wayne Tinkle) said he was excited for me to join the Beaver family,” Blaser said. “And they’ve treated me really well.”

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Boomers go from doormat to dominant

TOLEDO — Just a few short years ago, playing in games was a secondary activity that the team looked forward to during trips to play in tournaments. It was more about staying in hotels, going to Dutch Bros. and swimming. It was mostly an opportunity for a group of friends to hang out with one another. “When I would wake up in the morning I wasn’t excited about playing the games,” said sophomore Rylee Richards. And for good reason. With a bulk of the Toledo softball team playing together since they were 8 years old, the wins were few and far between. Once, when they were 12 years old, they lost to a team of 10-year-olds, head coach Howie Richards recalls. “When we were little we lost every single game,” said junior Jenny Elmore. “We never won, and if we won we were ecstatic.”

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Column: Track grew on me

EUGENE — If I’m being honest, I’ve never been much of a track guy. When I was told that I either had to choose baseball or track at a young age, it was an easy choice for me. Turns out, if you cover high school sports in a county that has a pretty good track record in track and field you should probably learn a little about it. And as I went to the meets. my interest started to increase. I enjoy the simplicity of the sport. There isn’t a week’s worth of game planning or secret play that fools an opponent. It’s an individual battle to see who can run, throw and jump — or a combination of all three — the best. And a lot of the time, you’re competing against yourself chasing a PR. You could see the excitement of a fifth-place finisher when they set a perfect on Oregon high school track and field’s biggest state. It’s as if they won the race. But this weekend, at the state meet in Eugene at Historic Hayward Field that interest was amplified.

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Athletes ready for pressures of Hayward

LINCOLN COUNTY — At 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, the Taft track and field athletes loaded into a bus to begin a 113-mile trek from Lincoln City to Eugene. On the other end of that drive is Tracktown, USA and the iconic Hayward Field — the host of the past three Olympic track and field trials and numerous U.S. track and field championships. For three days it will serve as the host of the Oregon high school state championships. Taft went down a day early to scope the facility and test out the track that they will compete on over the weekend.

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Arce-Torres’ final run

This year, on any piece of paper that he could find, Gabe Arce-Torres scribbled a note to himself that would serve as a constant reminder. “It didn’t count unless you do it twice.” Taft’s senior sprinter was referring to repeating as the 3A 200-meter champion. A year ago at Hayward Field, Torres capture the title with a time of 22.47. But he wanted another one. All was well for Arce-Torres in the preliminary rounds of West Valley League district track meet this past weekend. He posted the top times in the 100, 200 and the 400. He was even on pace to set a personal record in the 200, his strongest event before he felt his hamstring tighten up in the final 20 meters.

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