Crater's Jack Galpin points to his supporters in the crowd after winning the Class 6A boys 400-meter race on Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene. - Andy Atkinson

Galpin doubles his pleasure

EUGENE — When a couple of sprinters from the north end of the state grabbed attention prior to the track and field state championships, Crater's Jack Galpin didn't mind.

"I don't like hype," said the senior. "That's what coach P (Chris Parnell) tells me to do. Just come in, do your business and get out. It's not about hype or popularity; it's about doing your best."

Galpin's business is to run fast. The writing on his calling card should be blurred.

And if some weren't aware of his vocation prior to the 6A meet this weekend at Hayward Field, they are now.

Galpin stole the spotlight Saturday with a stirring victory in the 400 meters, then followed it with a stride-for-stride triumph in the 200. Both victories were over Arthur Delaney of Barlow, one of the Portland-area standouts many clamored to see and, like Galpin, a University of Oregon recruit.

The other top sprinter, Aloha sophomore Thomas Tyner, injured a hamstring in winning the 100 and was a scratch for the 200.

Galpin put on a final kick down the homestretch of the 400 to pull ahead of Clackamas' Jordan Bergstrom and Delaney and win in 47.75 seconds. The time was a whopping eight-tenths of a second faster than his previous best, set at the Grants Pass Rotary Invitational.

The 200 was tighter, Galpin getting a foot and lean in front of Delaney at the finish line, which the former crossed in 21.25 seconds. It was a shade off the meet record of 21.20 he set in the preliminaries Friday. Delaney's runner-up clocking was 21.30.

Galpin transferred to Crater from tiny Bonanza High prior to last season. As a sophomore in the Class 2A meet, he had four runner-up finishes. Last year, with Crater competing in the 5A ranks, he won the 400 and 200 and was on two triumphant relays.

His relay team didn't fare as well this time. Galpin anchored the 4x400 relay in the final race of the meet, and the Comets placed fifth in 3:25.38. His teammates were Jason Braxton, Hunter Sanders and Neil Seibert.

Regardless, this performance stands alone.

"Today is so much better than past years," said Galpin. "In the years before, the competition was good, but not like this. Arthur is so good, so fast. To be on the top here means so much more."

A preview story in the Eugene Register-Guard hailed the 100 and 200 matchup of Delaney and Tyner as perhaps the best sprint showdown in state history, and for good reason. Delaney was a two-time 100 champ and Tyner owns the state record in that race of 10.35.

As much as Galpin didn't mind them getting their due, he could barely contain himself at the prospect of joining the mix.

How badly did he want to compete against them?

"Bad," said Galpin. "I wanted Tyner and Delaney right there on both sides so bad. That's all I thought about all night and all today. I'm lucky Arthur was there."

Galpin spoke with Tyner before the 200. Tyner had pulled up at the end of the 100, which he won in 10.48 seconds to Delaney's 10.62.

"He couldn't hardly jog," said Galpin. "I know he's for real. He raced really hard yesterday. I'm impressed. He's a sophomore. He's a freak. That kid's gonna go places."

Galpin's first race was the 400. He was so nervous, he said, he got sick in the morning and felt numb as he prepared to get into his blocks. Even his arms felt weird, he said.

He and Delaney had only begun communicating on Facebook in the previous week or two, and the two future Ducks wished each other well.

"I didn't even know he was that fast," said Delaney, referring to Galpin's record time in the prelims. "That was crazy."

Galpin got off to a slow start, as is his style, then picked it up after the first turn. He was running with Bergstrom, who would edge out Delaney for second place.

Off the final turn, Galpin found the other gear he seems to have and pulled ahead in front of wildly cheering fans in the grandstands.

Galpin looked up at the giant video screen that flashed his time and put his hands to his mouth as if to say, "Oh my gosh!"

He then turned to the stands with a raised fist in salute.

"I was not expecting 47, or that low in the 47s," he said. "It was really exciting."

He'd been thinking about 47 all year, he said, but not until he ran a 47-second split in the 4x400 relay at district did it seem likely.

His time was shy of the meet record of 47.09, set in 1986 by Gus Envela of McKay.

Bergstrom and Delaney each were clocked in 48.24, but Bergstrom won when the time was carried out further.

Parnell, the Comets' sprint coach, beamed after he put the gold medal around Galpin's neck in the awards ceremony.

He knew Galpin was close after the relay splits 11/2; weeks earlier. Throw in the steep competition, and the time was right.

"He's one of those guys, the faster the heat is, the faster he'll be," said Parnell. "He's always been able to have a switch to turn up and get going. We knew he was like that when we had Kelley (Beck) and those guys. It's pretty amazing. It feels pretty doggone good to sit here and watch him do what he does."

In the 200, Delaney, off his 100 and 400 losses, was itching to defend his 200 crown.

He had Galpin until the last five meters or so, when the Comets' burst won out.

Galpin credits "desire" for his ability to close.

"You've just got to want it," he said. "That's how track is. Whoever wants it the most is going to win it. Everyone out here has the talent and ability to go far. It's whoever wants it the most."

Galpin helped the Comets to 34 points, good for a fifth-place tie with Aloha. Sunset won with 58, and Roseburg was second at 55.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479, or email

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