Track champs: Regis boys track and field team takes state 2A title

June, 2016 Posted in School, Sports & Recreation
Regis track team wins Class 2A state title.

Regis track team wins Class 2A state title.

By James Day

The Regis High School boys track and field team won a state Class 2A team title in the most dramatic way possible May 20 at Hayward Field in Eugene.

The Rams, trailing East Linn Christian by 7.5 points heading to the final event, scored an impressive victory in the 4×400 relay to claim their third boys track and field title.

Brendan Woodcock went first and he had Regis in second place after the first leg. Then, Sam Nieslanik, who participated in four events in the final 2.5 hours of the meet, ran a blistering second leg to give Regis a 10-yard lead. Ethan Lulay, running third, maintained the ledge and anchorman Eric Gustin extended it.

Gustin broke the tape in 3:31.14, nearly three seconds better than runner-up Lost River. The relay win boosted Regis to 59.5 points, 2.5 ahead of East Linn Christian, which did not have a team in the relay.

“Besides good performances by all, a lot of good things fell our way and our kids kept plugging away doing the best that they could,” Regis Coach Mike Bauer told Our Town. “In general, they stayed in the moment and focused on their events and let everything unfold without the pressure of expectations.”

Bauer now has 12 state titles in cross country and track and field in his 42 years at Regis.

Nieslanik, a lanky senior who debuted corn rows for the state meet, perhaps stayed in the moment more than anyone. He had to. He was terrifically overbooked.

registrack02At 6:40 p.m. he ran to a fourth-place finish in the 110 high hurdles in 16.61. At 7 p.m. he began work in the triple jump. After three attempts Nieslanik led the competition at 42-4, but he was due at the starting line for the 300 intermediate hurdles at 7:58. Nieslanik produced a third-place finish in the 300 then headed to the awards stand to get his second medal.

He scurried back to the triple jump area in his bare feet, medal still dangling around his neck. Mike Mitchell of Reedsport grabbed the lead with a 42-9.25 effort and when Nieslanik fouled on his final try, he had a second-place medal to go collect. Unfortunately, there was a snafu between the triple jump crew and the pressbox and the results were late in getting there.

Thus, Mitchell, Nieslanik and the other placers in the triple jump stood and stood and stood on the awards platform waiting for the announcement. Finally, it came, and Nieslanik scurried away to prepare for the relay, which ran at 9:21. At about 9:22 he put Regis in the lead and you already know the rest of the story.

“I was a real whirling dervish out there,” Nieslanik told Our Town. “I didn’t even have time to cool down. At times I thought (the schedule) was going to overwhelm me. But it was Hayward magic … or maybe the corn rows did it.”

Nieslanik scored the most points for the Rams, but there were clutch performances everywhere. Gustin took third in the 400 (50.86) and 200 (23.10. Josh Mumey finished second in the high jump at 6-3. Woodcock was fifth in the 100 in 11.61 and fifth in the 400 in 51.71. Connor West tied for sixth in the pole vault at 12-0.

Mumey credited the weather conditions for giving him a boost as well as between-leap coaching sessions from assistant Paul Bentz. After each attempt Mumey jogged to the edge of the track where he would receive instructions (both verbal and hand gestures) from Bentz in the front row of the south bleachers.

Again, it was Mitchell of Reedsport who kept the team race close. The meet’s top 2A boys scorer, Mitchell pushed Mumey into second with a leap of 6-4.

“Each of us did our job,” Nieslanik concluded.  “We all competed the best we could.”

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