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‘Push yourself to be better.’ Adrian sets meet record en route to 1A boys track and field team championship at Hayward Field

“This place is amazing. To be surrounded by the fastest people in the state ... is just a super cool feeling to me.”
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By Dan Brood 

The foursome from Adrian High School is fast. 

It’s also a winning, record-setting group of Antelopes.

But that’s nothing new. In fact, they’ve been doing it for a long time — and that paid off for them, in a very big way.

The Adrian boys team of seniors Gavin Bayes, Riley Griffin and Conley Martin and junior Jace Martin sprinted to the championship in the 4x100-meter relay event at the Class 1A track and field state meet, held Thursday and Friday at Hayward Field in Eugene. Not only did the Adrian squad get the title, but it did it in a meet-record time of 43.82 seconds. 

“We came in here wanting to (set a personal record),” said Conley Martin, who ran the anchor leg for the Antelopes in the 4x100. “We weren’t really shooting for the state record, but just a personal record for ourselves, so it’s really cool. We weren’t expecting it, but we were definitely looking forward to it.”

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“I think it means a lot to us four, running together,” said Bayes, who ran the second leg. “I think we’ve been running the same 4x100 since the Hershey track meets, when we were little kids. We’ve all run it together for a long time.”

That longtime chemistry seemed to benefit the Adrian team during Friday’s 4x100 finals. 

“That’s really important,” Bayes said. “We were looking back at pictures, and we were running the same exact legs that we were running as little kids. To keep that chemistry going and put it all together in our final year together in high school is pretty special.”

The Antelopes turned their chemistry into an impressive performance on the track at Hayward Field.

“It was great. We had great handoffs,” Conley Martin said. “It was one of our cleanest races this year, so it’s cool to PR on this type of track in this type of meet.”

“Coming into it, being ranked so high, and being ahead by a second and a half or so, made us less nervous,” Bayes said. “We knew we could come out here and know that, if we had good handoffs, we’d do pretty well. I just thought it was pretty exciting that we were able to get the state meet record as well as our school record in the same race. That’s super special.”

It was also special when the Adrian team realized they had just turned in a record-setting run.

“It was super exciting, watching Conley cross the line, and seeing how close it would be,” Bayes said. “I thought we were a little slower than the school record, but when I heard our time over the speaker, I was super excited.”

The record-setting performance in the 4x100 relay seemed to set the tone for Adrian in the rest of the sprint events at the state championships.

Jace Martin won the 100 in a time of 11.08, with his older brother, Conley, finishing second at 11.38. Jace Martin set a meet record in the 100 with his mark of 10.99 in Thursday’s preliminaries.

In the 200, Jace Martin triumphed in 22.35, tying his meet record that he set in the preliminaries the day before. Conley Martin placed second in the 200 at 22.85.

In the 4x400 relay, the Adrian team of junior Jesse Walker, Bayes, Jace Martin and Conley Martin ran to victory in 3:34.84.

With sprinters leading the way, Adrian earned the Class 1A boys team championship with a score of 74 points. Powder Valley was second at 52.5.

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Griffin added to the championship cause, running to second place in the 110 high hurdles in 17.08. Bayes was fifth in the 300 intermediate hurdles in 44.09, Walker was sixth in the 400 at 54.97, and freshman Colten Bayes was sixth in the triple jump with a distance of 40 feet, 4.25 inches.

“This place is amazing,” Gavin Bayes said. “To be surrounded by the fastest people in the state, to push yourself to be better, is just a super cool feeling to me.” 

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