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Marshfield's West keeps nerves in check as he prepares for a spin at state meet.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

Tyler West had a much better experience at the district meet this season, so now the Marshfield senior will make his first trip to state.

West won the discus title and placed second in the shot put last week at the Midwestern League district track and field meet to qualify for state in both events.

"I'm excited about that definitely; I've never been there before," West said. "Hopefully, I can keep my nerves under control when I get there."

West was unable to do that last year at district, and it cost him any chance he had to get to state. West was one of the contenders in the discus but placed 10th and was ninth in the shot put.

"I forgot my discus shoes, so I was nervous, I didn't have my shoes and I was using tennis shoes," West recalled. "I scratched on two throws and didn't make the finals and I think I was ranked about third coming into it. In the shot put I didn't do too bad, I just didn't come into it very high."

West was the top qualifier in both the shot put and discus entering this year's meet and he won the discus with a toss of 140 feet, 1 inch and was second in the shot put at 46-1.

"Tyler definitely has a competitive maturity that he did not have in the past," Marshfield coach Fran Worthen said. "In the past, he'd get tied up when he got ready to compete. This year he learned how to get loose, focus, and not let his mind play games with him. He's that kind of athlete if he is relaxed."

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound West was a first-team all-league selection in football as an offensive lineman. He has been offered a chance to walk on to the football team at Western Oregon University but said he may choose to go to school part-time next year and compete in both football and track the following year.

West has a season best of 142-1 in the discus and his district-winning mark qualifies him seventh out of 12 competitors entering the 5A meet Thursday through Saturday at Hayward Field. West will compete in the discus at 3:15 p.m. Thursday and the shot put is 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

West has a best of 47-3 in the shot put and his district mark made him the No. 8 qualifier out of 12 competitors in that event.

"I think I'm ranked about eighth in both events, so I want to move up," West said.

Worthen said West has a chance to be near the top at the end.

"He's been a really hard-working athlete and he is more focused than ever as a senior," she said. "I'm excited to see what he can accomplish at state. I think he is ready for some big PRs and I think he is capable of throwing with the big boys."

West said he is considering making some changes to his technique in the shot put at state to integrate a spin move during the start of his throws. He said the technique is similar to that used in the discus.

"I'm going to try to spin the shot put," West said. "I've done it twice in practice and I threw it farther than I ever had before without even practicing much. So I'm going to take all week to get that down. A lot of the better throwers in the nation spin when they throw."

Marshfield has several competitors who hope to contend at state in the field events.

Senior Andrew Simpson and junior Greg Eckes have the top 5A mark in the pole vault after clearing 15-2 at districts. Simpson won his second straight district title based on fewer misses and he returns to state where he placed in a tie for third last year.

"I'm confident I can get to 16 feet, hopefully by (this week)," Simpson said.

Eckes already has exceeded his expectations this season.

"It's amazing, my goal for the season was 14 feet and I made that right off the bat," Eckes said. "One of my goals was just to make it to state. I never thought I'd be doing this good right now."

Marshfield's Justin Kirk also made it to state by reaching the qualifying standard of 14-1 while finishing third at district.

Caleb Kruse is seeded third in the triple jump after winnings district with a leap of 44-4. His season best of 44-6 1/2 ranks second in the state.

"I'm just going to go out there and try to PR big-time," Kruse said. "Our school record is 45-9, that's what I'm aiming for and I just want to have a good time."
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Title Annotation:Sports; Deck goes right here deck goes right here deck goes right here
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 16, 2007
Words:798
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