Monday, June 27, 2022
June 27, 2022

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All-Region boys track & field: Tobias Merriweather, Union

Merriweather meets his high school goals, ready for what’s next

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

When he arrived for a photo shoot and interview to document his final high school accolade, Tobias Merriweather lined up in lane 5 at Union High School’s track.

That was done purposefully. It’s the same lane Merriweather always practiced in, growing into a state champion on the track. Five is the number he wears in football, growing into a 6-foot-4 elite recruit at wide receiver with a different level of speed.

And for his final high school race at the state track and field championships last month, perhaps it was fitting lane 5 is where Merriweather, The Columbian’s All-Region boys track and field athlete of the year, won the Class 4A state title at 200 meters in a personal-best 21.80 seconds.

Five, without question, is always and forever, he said. But five is now out … at least on the track.

“Onto the next,” Merriweather said. “My mind wants the next thing, and I’m ready for it.”

Next is the University of Notre Dame. Ten hours after Union’s graduation ceremony Friday night, Merriweather was on a flight to Chicago, then a 90-mile drive to South Bend, Indiana. He starts summer classes and football workouts Monday at Notre Dame.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m ready to put on some ND gear, and get on the field. I’m here for it.”

But in his final week of high school, Merriweather reflected on accomplishments earned. In his vehicle sat what he called a sandbox — a time capsule of sorts he made three years ago featuring a list of academic and athletic goals, photos, and artifacts.

Goal No. 1 — win a football state championship.

Goal No. 2 — win a state title on the track.

Done and done.

“Just to go back on those things,” he said, “I did basically everything I said I was going to do. It was something that I’m really proud of.”

He also called his state title on May 28 one of the more special experiences he’s had. Instead of focusing on a football-only senior year, Merriweather’s motivation for track went beyond personal goals — including his father’s final season as Union’s sprints coach — but also what was missed. In 2019, Merriweather placed 10th at 200 meters. No state championships were held in 2020 and 2021.

“There’s one 4A state champion this year,” he said. “It’s just a blessing. I’m thankful.”

And how he won it is memorable, too.

Hamstring injuries plagued Merriweather in recent months. He re-injured his right hamstring the week before the state meet, but gritted out a pair of top-2 finishes.

Hours after placing second in the 100 (10.94), Merriweather crossed the finish line in the 200 with a facial expression filled with joy and passion.

“I don’t really know how to explain it,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a word for it. It was just everything I’ve gone through this season with injuries and not knowing where I’d be.”

And all of it coming, like it always has for Merriweather, in lane 5. That includes perseverance.

“Everyone around me knew that I had an in me,” he said. “It was kind of just me talking to myself saying that even no matter whatever it is, just go out there and try to do your best.

“I remember after the race, I couldn’t feel my leg. It was the longest 21.80 seconds.”

REST OF ALL-REGION TEAM

Daniel Barna, Columbia River

Had two top-3 finishes, personal-best races at 2A state meet in the 1,600 (4:15.77) and 3,200 (9:17.43).

Cody Wheeler, Hockinson

Ranked 14th nationally in the javelin (201-4) and finished second at 2A state meet. Set school and district meet records.

Cole Logan, Woodland

Saved his best 300 hurdle race for last: 39.81 at 2A state meet (third place). Also was sixth at 110 hurdles (16.01).

Juan Pasillas-Stanton, Mountain View

Only 3A freshman to hit 50 feet in the shot put this spring. Placed fourth at 3A state meet (49-4.75).

Enzo Oliverio, Hockinson

Ran two top-5 finishes at 2A state meet in the 100 (11.05) and 200 (22.68).

Aiden Montigny, Camas

Showed off talents across multiple events with three top-5 finishes at 4A state meet (200, 400, long jump).

Xavier Wubbena, Mountain View

Posted his personal-best mark of 13-6 his final three meets, including 3A state meet (sixth place).

Joseph Blanshan, La Center

League, district champ in the 1,600 and 3,200 placed fourth (4:20.50) and second (9:38.25), respectively, at 1A state meet.

Hewson Nguyen, R.A. Long

Had two top-3 finishes at 2A state meet (javelin, long jump) — days after competing at state golf.

Benjamin Haywood, Union

Sophomore placed fifth at 4A state meet in 300 hurdles, state qualifier in 110 hurdles and was district high jump runner-up.

Max Cox, Kalama

Won the 2B title in the javelin with a 13-foot personal best (175-6).

Aidan Montigny, Camas HS
Aidan Montigny, Camas HS Photo
Xavier Wubbena, Mountain View HS
Xavier Wubbena, Mountain View HS Photo
Joseph Blanshan, La Center HS
Joseph Blanshan, La Center HS Photo
Hewson Nguyen, R.A.
Hewson Nguyen, R.A. Long HS Photo
Max Cox, Kalama HS
Max Cox, Kalama HS Photo

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