Just imagine that Cottage Grove High School’s all-time record holders in track and field could have been magically transported to Hayward Field and competed in the State of Oregon Meet on May 20 and 21. How well would they have competed against current high school athletes, and to take it a step further, what would be the results of the CGHS “dream teams” versus the teams that won the state championships?
Sports fans sometimes speculate on who would come out on top if the best athletes or teams of different eras were able to compete against each other. Would the Jordan-led Chicago Bulls be able to be the current Golden State Warriors, or would the 1961 Yankees still dominate the World Series against today’s pitching? Would Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers have a chance against Belichick’s Patriots?
Of course, these questions can never be answered, but in track and field the comparisons are much more objective as we have times on the track and marks for the throws and jumps. The argument can certainly be made that track athletes’ from the past would have better times since there have been improvements in shoes as well as the actual track material, which is now synthetic rubber instead of cinders.
I did not take that in account in my comparisons as I “formed” out a hypothetical meet between CGHS’ greatest against the state of Oregon’s top performers at the recent state meet in both the 4A (the Lions’ current class division) and 6A (the highest division which the Lions did compete against in the 1950s through 1970s).
In a high school track meet there are 17 track and field events. Let’s begin with the best Cottage Grove boys all-time competing head-to-head against the best state of Oregon 4A times and marks from the May 20 and 21 state championship meet. What would be the result?
The Lions would actually win an incredible 12 out of the 17 events! First places would go to the following Lions with their name, year, event, and time or mark followed the actual winning time or mark from the recent 4A state meet. In these 12 cases, the CGHS athlete’s time or mark would be greater than (>) the winning time or mark from this year’s state meet.
On the track
Jim Easley-1961 (200 meters, 22.04>22.24 ); Bob Boustead-1970 (400 meters, 49.64>50.40); Dyrol Burleson-1958 (1500 meters, 3:53.5>3:53.54); Mark Reynolds-1977 (110 hurdles, 14.24>15.76) and Reynolds-1977 in the 300 hurdles (38.34>40.78); 4 x 100 relay team of Michael Tharpe, Connor Howard, Jacob Woods, and Brynden Howell-2016 (43.72>44.20 ); 4 x 400 relay team of Boustead, Kevin King, Dan Davidson, and Bob Kingsett -1970 (3:24.5>3:27.82).
Throws and jumps: Alan Richards-1964 (shot put, 62-05>55-0.75); Daryl Dapron-1983 (discus, 192-07>177-0); Tom Barr-1984 (high jump, 6-06.5>6-03); Charlie Olds-1964 (long jump, 23-00.75>21-02.25); and Chris Spriggs-1984 (triple jump, 48-02.75>44-00.25).
In the remaining 5 events Jacob Woods (2018-10.92) would have placed second in the 100, Ray Shoptaw (1968-14-8.5) would finish second in the pole vault, Bruce Davidson (1984-8:35.39) would take second in the 3000, Aaron Schwartz (2002-185-04) would place second in the javelin, and Dyrol Burleson (1958-1:55) would have finished third in the 800.
Adding up all the points from those finishes, the Lions would have accumulated an incredible 158 points. This year’s top 4A team, Marshfield, scored just 57 points.
Pitting the CG dream team against this year’s 6A competition produced dramatically different results in terms of points. Instead of 12 first places, there would be just three, all in field events: Alan Richards in the shot put, Charlie Olds in the long jump, and Chris Spriggs in the triple jump. However, those 30 points would be complemented by second place finishes by Mark Reynolds in the 110 hurdles, Daryl Dapron in the discus, and Tom Barr in the high jump. Reynolds would add 6 more in the 300 hurdles to bring the CG total to 60 points. Bob Boustead would add three points in the 400 and Jim Easley two in the 200 to give the Lions a total of 65 points for the mythical meet. Cottage Grove’s 65 points would earn the Lions the state title, as this year’s 6A team champion was Central Catholic with 55 points!
For the Cottage Grove girls the results against the best of the 4A for 2022 would be similar to the boys. Against 4A competition, the best of the Lion girls would finish first place in 16 of the 17 events! The all-time CG girls’ team would have scored 168 out of a possible 170 points! Here’s the list:
100 Meters: Celena Schirmer-1975, 12.14>12.37; 200 Meters: Asha Mootz-2014,25.03>25.17;
400 Meters: Kristine Dunn-2013, 56.64>58.83; 800 Meters: Dala Ramsey-1974, 2:14> 2:21.71;
1500 Meters: Melanie Woodworth-1980,4:38.2>4:45.56; 3000 Meters: Melanie Woodworth-1980, 9:55.5> 10:31.00
100 Hurdles: Katie Rowlett-1994, 14.84>15.68; 300 Hurdles: Katie Rowlett-1995, 45.10>46.19
4 x 100 relay: (B. Wilkinson, Maddie McClung, Brittan Hemenway, and Alex Lewis)-2008, 49.52>50.48
4 x 400 relay: (Chelsey Bottorf, Breanna Wright, (Asha Mootz and Kristine Dunn)-2013, 3:59.66> 4:03.64
Shot put: Lynda Gansel-1981, 39-06.75>35-07; Javelin: Jordan Brunetti-2010, 154-07>120-07
Discus: Michelle Thurston-1994, 135-07>110-11; High jump: Robin Harthill-1976, 5-5> would have been second place to this 2022’s exceptional jump of 5-11 by Cascade’s Emma Gates.
Long jump: Bobbi Jo Krals-1984, 17-06.5>17-03.5; Triple jump: Stephanie Johnson-1995, 36-02>35-01.75; Pole vault: Emily Korth-2004, 10-3>10-00
The best of the CG girls versus the top 6A athlete in each event would be similar to the boys. Instead of 16 girls scoring 10 points each, there would be just one Lion girl, Jordan Brunetti in the javelin, who would have finished first. However 12 more CG girls would have scored in the 6A meet. Next after Brunetti would be six points by Kristine Dunn in the 400, six by Dala Ramsey in the 800, six by Katie Rowlett in the 100 hurdles, six by Michelle Thurston in the discus and six by Robin Harthill in the high jump. Next would be five points by Katie Rowlett in the 100 hurdles, and five by Stephanie Johnson in the triple jump. The 4 x 100 relay team from 2008 would add 4 points with a fifth place finish, and Lynda Gansel would also score 4 points in the shot put. Melanie Woodworth would add three points in the 3000 as would the 2013 4 x 400 relay team. Finally, two points would be scored by Celena Schirmer in the 100, Asha Mootz in the 200, and Bobby Jo Krals in the long jump.
At this year’s state meet, Lake Oswego won the 6A team title with 77 points. The Cottage Grove girls would have taken second with 70 points ahead of Oregon City, which scored 62 points.
What can we conclude from these comparisons in time? It’s obvious that the 6A competition of track and field is at a higher level than the 4A, which is generally true in all sports in Oregon. I do wonder why a larger pool of students makes that much difference in the quality of the performance. The other conclusion is that the best all-time performers Cottage Grove has produced are quite impressive. Any young boy or girl who has track and field aspirations can see, because of the Lions who have paved the way, that great performances can be attained, even from a relatively small school like CGHS.
100 meters: Jacob Woods, 10.92 2018
200 meters: Jim Easley 22.04 1961
400 meters: Bob Boustead 49.64 1970
800 meters: Dyrol Burleson 1: 55 1958
1500 meters: Dyrol Burleson 3:53.5 1958
3000 meters: Bruce Davison 8:35.39 1984
110 Hurdles: Mark Reynolds 14.24 1977
300 hurdles: Mark Reynolds 38.34 1977
4 x 100 relay: (Michael Tharpe, Connor Howard, Jacob Woods and B Howell 43.72. 2016
4 x 400 relay: (Bob Boustead, Kevin King, Dan Davidson, Bob Kingsett) 3:24.5 1970
Shot Put: Alan Richards, 62.05 1964
Javelin: Aaron Schwartz 185-04 2002
Discus: Daryl Dapron 192-07 1983
High Jump: Tom Barr 6-06.5 1984
Long Jump: Charlie Olds 23-00.75, 1964
Triple Jump: Chris Spriggs, 48-02.75 1984
Pole Vault: Ray Shoptaw 14-08.5 1968