May 12, 2022 — Friday saw the return of the Ciochetti Invitational in Cottage Grove, one of the premiere 4A track and field meets in the State of Oregon each year. The event, which saw 14 different schools participate, is named after former longtime Lions head coach Wally Ciochetti.
The day was not always filled with blue skies and sunshine, much of the afternoon and evening portion of the invite was dark cloudy skies filled with heavy rain and hail that affected the participating athletes.
Senior Ty Kishen finished second in the triple jump event while in the men’s 3000m race, Cottage Grove’s Jaden Owens, a junior, took first with a time of 9:25.52. Freshman Carter Bengtson finished third, while Junior Ethan Petersen finished 6th and got a personal record.
One of the other standouts of the day for Cottage Grove was senior Isaac Stere. Finishing second in the long jump at 20’ 0.5 behind Eli Hayes of Henley, Stere has his eyes sets on districts and state in the next few weeks.
“I’m hoping that I can make state in all my events, and at state finish higher than what I am even ranked right now,” Stere said. “I’m first in the high jump, but I’m looking to take first in the long jump as well.”
Steer has been dominant this season. Stere and Philomath’s Micah Matthews battled in the high jump event in the Philomath invite back on April 14th. Stere got bested by Matthews, finishing in second place. It was the only time this year Stere has not won the high jump at a meet, but Friday saw a different result. With a 5’10 jump, Stere finished tied for first with Philomath’s Micah Matthews.
The Lions’ track and field teams has dealt with weather issues nearly every week. On April 2 at the Marist invite, Stere finished with 6’2 jump, a personal record. It was one of the only days the Lions have seen the sun out during a meet this season.
For the Creswell Bulldogs, junior Jack Nguyen had another good day. Nguyen won the 300m hurdles and finished second in the 110m hurdles, just ahead of the Lions junior Tyler Russell, sophomore Brycen Cameron, and freshman Hayes Valley. Philomath’s Matthews won the event.
For the Cottage Grove women senior Gracie Arnold was a highlight, finishing 2nd in the high jump with a 4’10 jump. Overall the Cottage Grove women finished 9th. In other news for the Lions women, Leah Schiewe has signed with Bushnell University, located in Eugene to continue her track & field career.
The Cottage Grove men finished 4th. The Bulldogs men finished 11th and the women finished 13th.
The Lions men were without junior Brennen Murphy for the second straight week. Murphy, who has dealt with an injury, often excels at several track events and is a big asset for Cottage Grove. The Lions expect he will return in time for the Sky-Em league championships next week at Junction City High School.