With a sweet thud, a 31-year-old track and field record fell on Tuesday.
HRVHS senior Eli Fults added a half-foot to his personal record in the shot put, going 51 feet, 2 inches to top Hubert Henry’s record of 50 feet, 6.5 inches, set in 1982. Fults is the defending Columbia River Conference shot put champion.
“I’ve been trying to get 52 feet. It’s what I set out to do at the beginning the year, and I was gradually getting closer,” Fults said. “This is pretty exciting.”
Other Eagle athletes came close to setting school records on the day, which featured near-perfect weather conditions in the four-way pre-district meet against CRC opponents The Dalles-Wahtonka, Hermiston and Pendleton, at Henderson Field at HRVHS.
“There was virtually no wind, which is huge. It’s super-rare to have no wind,” said Donnie Herneison, the third-year head coach. For this mid-season event, Herneison mixed things up, assigning some athletes to events they were not accustomed to.
Hermiston won the boys and girls meets. The Bulldogs boys scored 258 points to 168 for HRV, 134 for TDW and 65 for Pendleton. For the girls, Hermiston had 219.5, HRVHS 174, TDW 128 and Pendleton 38.5.
“We’re at the point of the season where our training starts to change from higher volume, lower intensity work, to lower volume and higher intensity work ... so we’re hoping to see athletes rapidly progressing and putting up better marks,” Herneison said.
Next up for the Eagles are duals at The Dalles-Wahtonka on Tuesday and the Summit Invitation on April 27. HRV hosts the CRC district championships May 17-18.
On Tuesday, Jestena Mattsen was striving to break the school record (5-4) in the high jump and easily got her personal record and the win at 5-2. Junior Zoe Peterson took second, at 4-10.
Mattsen, the defending 100-meter state champion, cruised to wins in the 100 and 200 with times of 12.66 and 26.30.
Lydia Gildehaus was uncontested in the 1,500 meters. She broke the five-minute barrier and set a personal record by more than 10 seconds, finishing in 4:58 — 22 seconds ahead of Emily Morin of TDW.
The boys 4-by-100-meter relay team took first in 43.94 to get within .14 of the school record (43.70 seconds), set two years ago.
The quartet of Connor Normand, Parker Kennedy, Wyatt Webber and Cesar Rodriquez also won the 4-by-400 in 3 minutes, 32.52 seconds.
Freshman Lauren Robinson improved her 800-meter personal record by five seconds on Tuesday to win the race in 2:39.47.
A number of Fults’ teammates and friends, along with his coach and father, Dave Fults, surrounded the shot put ring to see if Fults would break the school record.
“It felt great, I’ve been trying to do this for four years,” Fults said. In fact, he passed a bemused smile to his teammate, Dylan Jones, who patted him on the back and said, “Man, that took you four years!”
Fults threw what would have been a record on his previous attempt, but he scratched by stepping out of the ring.
The next one, Fults said, “Just felt better. I got a good push on it.”
When did he know he had the record?
“When it hit,” Fults said.
He said his training regimen has been the same as previous years. “I’m a little older, a little stronger.”