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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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Hatton makes it 4 top-10 finishes

BANKS — At the conclusion of the OSAA 4A/3A/2A/1A state golf tournament, Taft’s Maya Hatton found herself in a familiar spot — near the top of the tournament leaderboard. Hatton capped off her high school career with a fourth-straight top-10 finish at the Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks. She shot aN 85 the first day and aN 87 the second day to finish 28 over par, good for tenth place in the 70-plus player field. “The first day I played really well,” Hatton said. “I had literally only one bad hole and it cost me about six strokes. But other than that, my first round went really well. The second day I played I played with girls who shot 40 strokes higher than I did so it was hard to stay focused. My second-day scores were only two strokes higher, but it felt a lot higher.”

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4 straight for Cubs

For the fourth straight year, the Newport boys track and field team captured the Oregon West Conference title. With a combined score of 256, no team came within 100 points of the state runners-up from a year ago. It’s the second year in a row that the Cubs have finished with a 100-plus point cushion. “I was really happy from our sprinters, to our distance runners, to our throwers to our jumpers,” said head coach Kurt Hargett. “I just thought we had a great meet.” What’s the secret recipe that has turned the Cubs into a track and field juggernaut over the past four years?

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Playoffs begin for Newport baseball and softball

NEWPORT — Thursday, May 17 the Newport softball and baseball teams will put their respective seasons on the line in the play-in round of the 4A OSAA state tournament. With 16 wins, a top-16 ranking and an outright second place finish in the Oregon West Conference, the Cubs softball team was guaranteed a postseason berth. They will host Marshfield at 4:30 at Yaquina View Elementary. While the softball team had its postseason locked up with several games left on the schedule, the same couldn’t be said for the Newport baseball team. Entering the final game of the regular season, the postseason fate of the Newport baseball was still very much in the air. Due to the team bus breaking down on the way to face Stayton the season’s last game was delayed, by the sixth inning word had gotten to head coach Ken Riley that all the seven-win Cubs club needed to punch their postseason ticket was complete the season sweep of the Eagles.

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Round Up: Waldport sends 13 to state

It comes as no surprise that Waldport’s Addison Stephensen dominated the Sunset Conference district meet. The senior won each of his four events — 100 meters (11.73) discus (126 feet, 10.75 inches) long jump (20 feet, 6.75 inches) and triple jump (41 feet, 3 inches) — and qualified for the state meet. What may be surprising is the depth that the Irish track team showed during the Sunset Conference district track meet on Saturday, May 12. Waldport had 20 members compete in the two-day meet. Of those 20, as many as 17 could compete at the state meet, and 13 have already qualified. Freshman Lillian Simon finished first in the 200 with a time of 29.17. Dylan Yakes won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 18.52 and Chas Walch cleared 4 feet, 8 inches to win the girls high jump. Also, qualifying was Yakes in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 46.13, Daniel Alvarado in the discus with a toss of 119 feet, 9.5 inches, and Ceirra Topete will also compete at Hayward field in the shot put after a 29 feet, 5 inch heave.

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McLane sweeps both hurdles

The difference in expressions between Cascade’s Faith Craig and Newport’s Izabella McLane as they both crossed the finish line in the 100-meter hurdles couldn’t have been more different. Craig, a senior, was ecstatic, having clinched a spot at the state meet. McLane, on the other hand, walked off the track with the look of someone who had just missed out on standing atop the podium. But then something dawned on her. “At first I thought that she won,” McLane admitted. “But then I thought there’s no way, I don’t know why I thought that.”

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Bulter makes it official, signs with Southwestern

SILETZ — Three hats — a Southern Oregon University, Clackamas Community College and Southwestern Oregon Community College — were waiting to be picked up. In front of a packed gym at Siletz Valley, senior Isaac Butler grabbed the black and red Southwestern hat and placed it on his head. He then signed his letter of intent to wrestle for the community college 111 miles from Siletz in Coos Bay. The school’s first-ever state champion wrestler became the first Siletz Valley athlete to sign to compete in a sport in college. “I remember coming here my freshman year and saying that I wanted to compete in college, I want to win a state title,” Isaac Butler said. “I never thought I would be the first one to complete it, but now I’m here in this position and it feels amazing.”

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Hatton breaks two school records, Taft, Waldport advance to state

LINCOLN COUNTY — Heather Hatton, Taft’s golf coach, couldn’t help but get teary-eyed as her daughter walked off the 18th green on the final day of the district tournament on Tuesday, May 8. In 36 holes, Taft’s Maya Hatton took down two school records at her final district tournament as a high school golfer. The College of Idaho commit shot the school’s lowest score for a two-day tournament at Santiam Golf Course and became the first Taft golfer to win three consecutive district championships. “As a mom and coach I’m still in awe of what I witnessed the last two days from Maya,” Taft head coach Heather Hatton wrote to the News-Times. “I’m also so over-the-top proud of my team putting together a team score day (two) 26 strokes better than day (one) with a 380. That is in the top 5 all-time best team scores in school history.”

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300 for Coach Riley

In 2002, two games into his head coaching career, Newport head coach Ken Riley thought he was going to get run out of town after starting his debut season with two straight losses. The first victory of his career came in game No. 3, an 8-6 win over Reedsport. “I still have the game-ball, it was a special day,” Riley said. “I don’t remember a lot of them, but I remember the first one.” Sixteen years later, and Riley still hasn’t been run out of town. A 10-4 victory over Stayton on Tuesday, May 7 wasn’t just a win that kept the Cubs’ postseason hopes alive — it was Riley’s 300th win of his career at Newport. “300 just means that you’ve coached a long time,” Riley said, “and I have. I guess it’s a neat number to get to, a major league pitcher wants to get to 300 wins. I know it’s a neat deal and one day I’ll look back and say it was a neat deal.” To be in position to get to 300 this year, the Cubs would have to win two of their final three games coming off of a 17-day break from action, last playing on April 19. Typically, Riley is not a fan of the long hiatus, but as the Cubs entered a must-win series the extended break allowed the team extra time to practice and heal — specifically, junior pitcher Jacob Dobmeier. “After the Cascade series my shoulder had a little tendonitis so it was bugging me,” Dobmeier said. “I went to physical therapy, took a break (from throwing) and now it’s feeling good.”

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Additional Articles

  • Column: Nine questions heading into track districts

    Track — like cross country, swimming, wrestling and golf — all comes down to one final competition: the district meet. All the eggs are in one basket. It doesn’t matter if you ran a sub-10-second 100 meter during a meet or heave a shotput a quarter-mile. If you don’t show up at the district meet, none of that matters. And in Oregon, the stakes are even higher: have a top-two finish and you get the chance to race in Track Town, USA and share the same track Olympic track athletes have competed on, that has to be in the back of each track athlete’s mind this weekend. Here are the nine questions that I have going into the district meets this weekend:

Video News

Newport 2018 State Track and Field

The Newport track and field competed in the 4A state track and field event at Hayward Field in Eugene on Friday, May 11 and Saturday, May 12. The Cubs boys team finished seventh while the girl's team finished 21st.