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You can’t miss Cody White at Hayward Field — the Estacada senior is the one with the cowboy hat and the 3 medals

“This week has been an amazing feeling overall.”

By René Ferrán 

It was hard to miss Cody White as he walked around Hayward Field during the OSAA track and field state championships. 

It wasn’t just that the Estacada senior stands 6-foot-7, 265 pounds — befitting a man who powered the Rangers to the Class 4A football title and will head to Oregon State University in the fall.

Wearing a cowboy hat and an ear-to-ear grin everywhere he went, White was a gigantic, gregarious presence throughout the meet, which ended with gold medals for the discus and javelin joined by a bronze for the shot put draped around his neck.

Was this how he expected his final track meet to go?

“I had no idea,” he said. “Going into this year, I thought I had a chance to win the shot, but I didn’t think I had a chance for the discus. The jav, I knew I’d place top three, but going into the Jesuit meet, my PR was 172 feet.”

Cody White photo Rene Ferran

That late April day, he ran into his good friend, Sherwood senior Austin Milton, who gladly allowed White to borrow his javelin. 

The result? White threw a 24-foot personal best, going 196-2 to finish second behind Milton and stamp himself as the 4A favorite in the event. 

But Saturday, White found himself stuck in a rut, throwing in the 170s and trailing North Bend’s Keegan Young entering the final round.

“I had been side-arming, so the jav wasn’t going as flat, and in this arena, if you don’t keep it at a good angle, it’s going to flat-line and die,” he explained.

That’s when White broke out Milton’s javelin one more time. With his buddy watching and waiting for the 6A competition to begin, White promptly sent the borrowed spear flying 192-2 to soar to his second title — just like he did Friday, when he waited for his final attempt to win the discus.

“That was super nice of him to let me use it again,” White said, smiling. “That last throw, like discus yesterday, I just said, ‘Screw it!’ I knew what I had to do, and I let it fly.”

While White didn’t get a PR in the javelin, he did in the discus Friday morning — a big one, in fact, of more than 11 feet to 159-5, jumping from third place to the title on his final throw.

“It felt really nice,” White said. “The last one, I knew it was my last one of my senior year, so I threw it as hard as I could. I brought my hips around, and it just kind of went.”

Interestingly, it was the event he figured entering the season was his best chance at a gold medal where he came up short. Like in the other two, he got off to a slow start in the shot put, sitting in 11th through two rounds before popping a 48-footer to qualify for the finals.

He couldn’t muster any Hayward Field magic once there. He briefly took the lead with a 50-4½ throw in Round 4, but first Nathan Neveau of Pendleton and then eventual champion Myer Whitmore of La Grande passed him in the fifth round, and the order didn’t change on their final throws.

So, in a week during which he received his championship ring for football, he concluded by showing off his gold medals to the crowd.

“This week has been an amazing feeling overall,” he said.