matthew maton

Mariota leads list of OSA candidates

Oregon senior's captivating run to the Heisman heads annual awards ceremony
June 7, 2015

ESPN SportsCenter anchor and University of Oregon alum Neil Everett will host the 63rd Annual Oregon Sports Awards Thursday at the Tiger Woods Center at Nike World Headquarters.

The annual event will be celebrated in June for the first time, with the event following the academic calendar year rather than the calendar year.

Among the top Awards candidates are Marcus Mariota of the University of Oregon football team, and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers and West Linn’s Payton Pritchard.

Awards are handed out for Professional, collegiate and prep athletes with three finalists at each level.


Johnny Carpenter Prep Athlete of the Year

Osawaru Odighizua, David Douglas H.S. (Football & Wrestling)
Payton Pritchard, West Linn H.S. (Basketball)
Kellen Strahm, Sheldon H.S. (Football & Baseball)
Ella Donaghu, Grant H.S. (Cross Country & Track & Field)
Katie McWilliams, South Salem H.S. (Basketball)
Gigi Stoll, Beaverton H.S. (Basketball & Golf)

Bill Hayward Award
Amateur Athletes of the Year

Oliver Bjorkstrand, Portland Winterhawks
Edward Cheserek, University of Oregon (Cross Country & Indoor Track & Field)
Marcus Mariota, University of Oregon (Football)
Ruth Hamblin, Oregon State (Basketball)
Cheridan Hawkins, University of Oregon (Softball)
Martenne Bettendorf, University of Oregon (Volleyball)

Harry Glickman Award
Professional Athlete of the Year

LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
Mo Farah Nike Oregon Project (Track & Field)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Mary Cain, Nike Oregon Project, University of Portland (Track & Field)
Kim Hill, U.S. National Team, Portland Christian H.S. (Volleyball)
Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Canadian National Team, University of Oregon (Track & Field)

Maton runs to the record

Summit's standout senior set the meet record at state championships
Nov. 1, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

EUGENE - Mathew Maton did exactly what everyone thought he would do Saturday at the OSAA Cross Country State Championships, and the crowd at Lane Community College got a special celebration with it.

Maton, a senior at Bend's Summit High, broke Galen Rupp's meet record in the 5,000 meters by nine seconds, finishing the Class 5A meet in 14 minutes, 46 seconds. Following the race, organizers located Rupp via cell phone and he congratulated Maton, which led to individual medals being handed out by Rupp's high school coach - Alberto Salazar.

"It was a pretty difficult race going after the race, and I almost gave up on that," Maton said afterward. "It was in the middle of the race where there's no crowd and I didn't have anyone cheering me on.

"But, I was here, and this was my shot, so I just went for it."

Maton's win helped the Storm win their fourth-straight team title. The school's girls team also won the 5A team title - its seventh straight. Summit sophomore Olivia Powell won the individual title.

Individually, Grant junior Ella Donaghu repeated as Class 6A champion, while South Eugene won the team title.

Reilly Bloomer of South Eugene won the Class 6A boys title, and helped his team finish second to Central Catholic, which won its third-straight title.

At Class 4A, Valley Catholic won the boys team title, while Sweet Home senior Jakob Hiett won the individual title.

Phoenix won the Class 4A girls team title, with Henley junior Lexi Healy taking the individual title.

Fabian Cardenas of Umatilla won the Class 3A boys title, while Catlin Gabel won the team title.

Bandon freshman Sailor Hutton won the Class 3A girls meet, while Union/Cove won the team title for the fourth-straight year.

The meet was especially memorable for the Bloomer family - well past the Class 6A individual win. Delaney Bloomer finished 27th in the meet, but was the deciding factor in her team's victory as both South Eugene and Sunset scored 66 points among their first five runners. The sixth finisher breaks such a tie, and Delaney finished two spots - three seconds - ahead of Sunset's sixth finisher.


State will be chasing Summit again

The Storm dominated Class 5A with eight titles
Aug. 18, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

What a fall it was last year for the Summit High Storm.

What a year.

Sparked by four team titles in fall, the Storm won eight Class 5A titles to lead the state in overall OSAA team titles at any classification.

The Storm swept the boys and girls titles in cross country, soccer and swimming, then won the girls track and field title and girls golf.

Only two other schools - Jesuit (boys soccer, boys track and field, boys tennis, girls tennis) and Valley Catholic (girls soccer, boys cross country, boys basketball, girls track and field) - won as many as four.

Among public schools, West Linn and Sunset led the list of schools that won two OSAA team titles. The Lions defended their title in boys basketball and also won in girls golf. Sunset won in girls cross country and boys swimming at the Class 6A level.

West Albany pulled off the sweep of football and volleyball in fall at the Class 5A level, as did Imbler at the Class 1A level. Crook County (Class 4A volleyball, wrestling), and Condon/Wheeler (Class 1A girls basketball, girls track and field) were the other schools to win two OSAA team titles.

Summit enters the year with a number of state title streaks, led by girls track and field. The Storm have won all Class 5A titles since the state expanded to six classifications in 2006-07. Only Crook County's volleyball program has a current string of eight titles.

In addition to girls track and field, Summit has current streaks in girls cross country (six), girls golf (six), boys and girls swimming (three each), boys cross country (three) and girls soccer (two).

Beyond that, the individual champions in cross country were both from Summit - and both return.

At eight straight, the  Summit girls track and field team and Crook County volleyball team are still six titles away from matching the David Douglas girls swimming program's dominance with 14 consecutive titles between 1967 and ''81.

High school games begin Aug. 29 with football games.



What a great day for Oregon

Fri, 11/08/2013 - 10:39am
Wanna Be Like Mike

This past weekend I had the chance to cover the Oregon School Activities Association Cross Country Championships, held at Lane Community College in Eugene.

It wasn't the first time I had attended the event; I was fortunate enough to run in the Class 4A race in both 2010 and '11, and it is definitely an experience I will never forget.

After seeing the meet through the eyes of a reporter, as opposed to those of an athlete, I realize just how amazing of an event it truly is.

While I was participating, I was focused on running at a peak level and helping my team. I was certainly never an elite runner and my team was never in contention for a state title, but I still always felt that the state championship meet had an importance about it that no other race had.

Saturday, when I was able to step back and watch all eight races with no rooting interest, I realized why.

The meet is one of the last examples we are given of experiencing running in its purest form.

Oregon is traditionally one of the top states in the nation for prep runners and Saturdays meet proved to be no exception.

Matthew Maton and Hannah Gindlesperger, both of Summit, were able to take shots at the course records during the 5A races, while the 6A women race featured two former state champions, and witnessed a new champion crowned when Elia Donaghu won in a time of 18:01.

Kyle Thompson of Central Catholic won his second 6A individual title in what was certainly the most exciting race of the day.Thompson battled Reilly Bloomer of South Eugene down to the 200 meter mark where he was finally able to pull away, winning in a time of 15:22.

These were some of the top high school runners in the nation competing in track and field's most historic city on a championship stage.

No sponsors.

No prize money.

Just a determination to win.

After crossing the finish line in the 6A girls race, South Eugene junior Sara Tsai triumphantly threw her arms in the air and anyone watching could not be blamed for thinking she had just won her second consecutive individual title.

She hadn't.

Tsai finished second 21 seconds behind Donaghu, but a second place finish for Tsai this season may just have felt as special as her state title last season.

After missing all of the 2013 track season with mononucleosis, Tsai spent the majority of this cross country season recovering from a stress fracture and didn't run in her first race until the George Fox Invitational on
Oct. 12. That she was even able to compete in the race, let alone perform so well in such a competitive field, is truly amazing.

Immediately after the race, Tsai was embraced and congratulated by Donaghu, as well as other top finishers.

“What she did is incredible. To get second with a stress fracture, I don’t know who else could do that,” Donaghu said. “She’s such an amazing competitor and I just wanna wish her the best.”

Tsai’s story is another chapter added to the illustrious history of distance running in Eugene

The way she was praised by her rivals and received by her hometown crowd is a first-class example of what makes the Cross Country Championship such a great event.

There will be plenty of compelling stories at next year's meet; Maton, the nation’s top prep runner, will return for his senior season with hopes of breaking Galen Rupp’s course record.

Central Catholic returns virtually its entire squad, with the exception of Thompson, and will be aiming for a third consecutive team championship. Summit's girls will be aiming for a seventh-straight title.

And of course, Donaghu will have to beat Tsai once again if she hopes to defend her title, which has been won by a sophomore three straight years.

The 2014 OSAA Cross Country Championship has potential to be one of the most compelling prep championships in recent memory.

Let’s hope that it's filled with the same drama, emotion and class demonstrated by the 2013 meet.

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