GRESHAM — Seaside senior Gretchen Hoekstre knew it was a special throw right away, but she had to wait a few moments to learn just indeed how special.
Hoekstre was already tops on the leaderboard when she stepped into the discus ring for her first throw of the finals Saturday at the 4A state track and field meet hosted by Mt. Hood Community College.
She spun in a tight circle and flung the metal disc high into the air. It hung there for a long breath before landing deep in the sector. Fans packed onto a grassy hillside on the north end of the stadium erupted in whoops and hollers, and Hoekstre gave a fist pump on her way out of the ring.
She paused by the event signboard waiting for her mark to be displayed. The officials spun the dials to show 157-feet-even (official mark was 156-11). Hoekstre jumped away pumping her arms over her head, while rejoining the celebration with her fans across the track.
The mark beat the meet record, held by one of her heroes, Laura Bobek out of Astoria, by more than four feet.
“She had a goal, and she likes to get those records. She admires Laura, and that was a little motivator to push her through to that mark,” Seaside throws coach Krystal Pike said. “She was feeling good and relaxed, and everything just hit right when it needed to.”
Hoekstre spun another deep one out there on her final attempt, touching down at 155-3. Four of her six attempts went over 145.
Hoekstre climbed to the top of the awards podium, collected her first-place medal, then rushed off to the shot put ring to compete in her next event.
She won it on her first throw, sending the ball 43-8¾.
In a result from Day 1, Seaside senior Anna Huddleston finished 10th in the javelin final with a throw of 107-2.
On the boys’ side, senior Parker Conrad placed sixth in the 4A boys javelin final with a toss of 159-1, topping his district mark by one foot.