Harper ends track season with trophy, claims third at state

Harper freshman Ryan Talbot (center) and sophomore Corbin Palmer (far right) race in the 300 hurdles event at the 1A track and field state championships held at Western Oregon University last weekend. (Photo by Steve Talbot)

MONMOUTH — Harper Charter School took third place overall among boys teams in the Class 1A state track and field championships last Saturday.

The Hornets did it with only three athletes on the team: Morgan Butler, Corbin Palmer and Ryan Talbot. 

They ended the competition tied for third with Sherman, behind Dufur in first and Joseph, second.

Butler won the discus, finished third in the long jump and placed fourth in the 200 on a wet, rainy day. The Harper senior did all that despite feeling a little sick on race day.

“I didn’t feel so good, so that’s why I didn’t do as good,” Butler said. “I think I ate something bad that made my stomach hurt.”

Meanwhile, his teammates had a great day and posted new records.

Talbot, a freshman, won the 110-meter hurdles with a new personal best of 15.91 seconds. He also placed eighth in the 300 hurdles and fourth in the triple jump.

“It was an interesting experience. As a freshman, I really want to become a four-time state champion. I’m really going to go for that,” said Talbot. 

He was really proud of his win in the 110, and noted he got to race with his best friend Palmer. He said he was equally happy for Palmer, who finished fourth in the event and placed sixth in the 300 hurdles.  

Ron Talbot, Harper’s athletic director and Ryan’s father, was proud of the boys for going to state and placing third out of 38 teams.

“The last time we placed in state at track was in 1997,” Talbot said, looking up at the school’s track records displayed at the high school gymnasium. “And we placed fourth that time.”

Talbot said he’s especially amazed by Butler, who broke five school records despite having had two knee surgeries during this school year.

“Morgan broke the school record in the 200, 400, triple jump, discus and the 4×400 relay,” Talbot said. “He almost broke the school record in the long jump, but maybe his knee got in the way. But after repeated injuries and two knee surgeries, he’s a two-time state champion in discus.”

Harper track and field athletes (from left) Ryan Talbot, Morgan Butler and Corbin Palmer pose with their medals at the 1A district meet held at Baker City a week before heading to the state championships. (Submitted photo)

Harper freshman Ryan Talbot took the 1A state title in the 110 hurdles event last weekend. (Photo by Steve Talbot)

Harper sophomore Corbin Palmer finished sixth in the 300 hurdles, fourth in the 110 hurdles and eighth in the long jump. (Photo by Steve Talbot)

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