College of the Siskiyous track and field coach Shannon Maas says his team’s struggles with wet and cold weather this spring may have helped them during the California Community College state championships in Lancaster this past weekend.

The Eagles scored 20 points, had one of – if not the best finish in school history at the state meet, and returned to Weed with two All-Americans, decathlete Stephen Dickinson and discus thrower Donavon Cunningham.

The weather in Lancaster “was horrendous,” said Maas, who was raised in Weed. “I’ve never seen wind that was so constant and steady with gusts hitting up to 40 mph.

Discus throwers benefited “big time,” Maas said, adding that while other teams were “crying and whining” about the weather, “half our team was sun tanning and playing football... training in Weed gave us the mental advantage.” 

The Eagles finished ahead of Compton, Orange Coast, West Los Angeles, San Jose, East LA, and others. 

They had the seventh best team finish for a Nor Cal team and the highest finish among their fellow GVC schools.

Dickinson place 2nd in the decathlon with 6,459 points. He set personal bests in seven events “and competed about as hard as I've ever seen a kid compete,”?Maas said.

After he scratched on his first two long jump attempts, Dickinson went 22’ 1” on his final try. “A huge jump,”?Maas called it.

The second day, Dickinson scratched his first two attempts in discus, then threw 123' 8" to set a personal best by 6 feet.

If he had scratched a third time in either of those events, “game over,”?Maas said.

Helped this season by former Yreka pole vaulter Ryan Pyles, Dickinson cleared 11’ 6.25,” even though he hasn’t had the best poles to work with all season, according to Maas.

If he hadn’t smashed hurdle 5 in the 110m hurdles, Maas said Dickinson might have brought home the state championship.

“He’s an amazing athlete,” Maas said.

Cunningham skipped the 160 foot range and went from 158' 8" to 170' 5" in the discus in the Lancaster winds, finishing 1.5 feet away from the COS school record.

He also scratched on one throw that was in the 180s, because he “couldn't stop his momentum from carrying him out of the ring,”?Maas said.

Tylan Lang placed 6th in the state 100m in 10.61 in a race that saw the top two finishers in the 10.3 range, running with a tail wind of 3.3 meters. 

In the 200, Maas said the wind “ate up” Lang in lane 7. “He didn't get out as fast as we wanted, but his trademark kick down the homestretch was extremely impressive and he went from dead last to 5th place. His time of 21.69 was great in that wind, but well off his season best of 21.33. 

On the women’s side, the Eagles had a tough day.
Joanna Beem took a fall on the first water jump in the steeplechase and finished last.

“If that would have been me, I probably would have called it a day, but that girl is so tough and determined, she limped, bled and clawed her way through the wind to finish,”?Maas said. “I’m extremely excited to see what she can do next year. If she puts in a good summer, stays healthy, I think the sky’s the limit for JoJo, especially with her work ethic and her mental and physical toughness.”

The wind was at Katie Anderson’s back in the long jump, “which is great... if you can hit the board,”?Maas said. “She got her first jump in and went about 17' 2", but scratched her last two and didn't make it into the final round jumps. Katie's been a blessing for our program.  She has a great attitude, is always positive, always smiles and is a pleasure to be around. I can't wait to see what she can do next year.”