From the Register-Guard: Sheldon sprints away from the field

Article and pictures are from the Register-Guard newspaper.  Please click here for the full article.

Garrett Calhoun came to TrackTown USA from Boise expecting an easy race in the boys 1,500 meters Saturday at the Marist Track Classic.

That idea quickly dissipated after the bang from the starting gun.

Calhoun and Sheldon’s Jackson Mestler finished neck-and-neck, with Mestler crossing the finish line 0.01 seconds ahead of Calhoun at Willamette High School.

“It was hard,” Calhoun, who is committed to run for Oklahoma State, said of the last 100 meters. “I was dead and I was spent. I used all my energy passing him on the backstretch, trying to put some distance on him, but he went with me and eventually passed me.”

Going into the race, Mestler said he was excited. Unlike his counterpart, he knew Calhoun had speed and he knew he’d be in for a close race, something that doesn’t happen often for the reigning Class 6A state champion in the 3,000 and 1,500.

“I thought, ‘Oh, good, I get to race someone good,’” said Mestler, who won in 3 minutes, 58.72 seconds. “I was really happy about that.”

Mestler, who is committed to run next year at Oregon, was one of many Sheldon athletes to succeed Saturday. Sheldon won 22 of 38 events, leading to team victories on both the boys (179.5 points) and the girls sides (157 points) in the nine-school meet. Also competing in the meet was Calhoun’s school, Timberline, which made the trip to Eugene from its home in Boise.

Sheldon and Willamette were the two lone Class 6A schools competing. Marist came in second on the boys side and the Marshfield girls were runner-ups to Sheldon.

For Sheldon coach Erin Regali, Saturday’s meet was a good primer for larger invitationals later on. The crowded fields forced her and her coaching staff to make decisions on which athletes fit in what races. Her team’s performance met her expectations.

“At a meet like this, you want to see which kids are ready to take the next step and really shine,” Regali said. “They did a very nice job today.”

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