SILVERTON – Brock Rogers is a quick study.
Best known as a hurdler on Silverton High School’s track and field team, last year he picked up the open 100-meter dash about two weeks before the district meet.
In that short amount of time he went from novice to the Mid-Willamette District champion and a state placer in the event.
Just as he was a quick study in the hurdle races on the track a few years ago, Rogers will complete his high school graduation requirements and his associate degree in June.
“He’s very studious. He’s very smart,” Silverton sprint coach Mary Hayden said. “He’s already got a lot of college credit and whatnot. Not only is he athletic, but he’s a hard worker.”
Rogers was home schooled until enrolling at Renaissance Public Academy in Molalla in the eighth grade.
In his junior year of high school, he enrolled at Clackamas Community College and has since commuted over 40 minutes each way between Silverton and the Oregon City campus two to four days each week.
Rogers is planning on attending George Fox in the fall with a goal of getting a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and he plans on running in track and field.
“Athletics are very much part of his personality and his life,” Hayden said. “If he’s not on the track, he’s definitely doing some strength training and working on that. He will be a very successful student athlete in college.”
While Rogers has spent a lot of the past few years outside of town, his track and field exploits – and his involvement in church – have helped connect him to the Silverton community.
“He’s positive, and gosh, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say anything negative,” Silverton coach Erik Cross said. “He’s just a great guy. I think that’s really helpful.”
Though Rogers has never had any problems running in four events in nearly every meet in which he has competed, he elected to take a weight training class for the first time in his life this year.
He’s always responded well when new physical challenges have been thrown at him.
His weight training has already paid off as he has set a personal record in the open 100 of 11.37 seconds.
“We’ve been careful with him as far as training to keep him healthy at the end of the season even if we’re sacrificing some speed,” Cross said. “He’s kind of just been up for whenever.”
Rogers got his start in the hurdles as a freshman because an assistant coach who was coaching the event was also coaching him in JV soccer.
He found out quickly that he was good at the hurdles.
Well, it was a combination of that and the first event he chose, the high jump, wasn’t working well for him physically.
“I just kind of stopped because it was my first year and I started getting shin splints really bad,” Rogers said. “They were just super jarring along with the hurdles. I liked it, and I did long jump, too, but I just slowly started transitioning to like hurdle events and sprints.”
The truth is that Rogers has the athletic ability to do any event he wants.
Though he’s known as a hurdler, he’s also the fastest sprinter Silverton has.
“He’s a hurdler. He has definitely fast legs,” said senior sprinter Lance Cline. “Honestly him and (Austin) Haskett both if they wanted to could pick any event and do well at it.”
There’s a reason Rogers has earned a reputation in the hurdles.
He won the Mid-Willamette championship in the 110 hurdles the past two seasons, and placed sixth in the state in the 110 hurdles as a sophomore.
But it was his performance at the 5A state meet as a junior that really stood out.
He placed second in the 110 hurdles with a personal record of 14.85 seconds and followed that with a seventh place finish in the 300 hurdles with another personal record of 40.23 seconds.
“It just makes me excited for this year because I know that this year, I have worked a lot more in the offseason this year,” Rogers said.
“I knew I wanted to do stuff in the offseason more than previous years because this is my last year and I just had fun with it.”
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com or Twitter.com/bpoehler
Boys track and field previews
Greater Valley Conference: West Salem is the defending district champion and returns a lot of components from its team that placed fifth in the state last year. The Titans return state pole vault champion Micah Masei, two-time state cross country champion Ahmed Muhumed, state placing relay runners in Jacob Miller and Brennen LeBel, and have a good group of athletes including Cole Rumrill, Keonte McMurrin and Brenden Cassanova who make the Titans the team to beat in the league again.
McKay has some impressive athletes in district champion sprinter Israel Garza, Avori Miranda, Leo Silva, Zach Hammack and Shaton Daniels and will challenge for a top three spot in the district. McNary sprinter Brendan Van Voorhis was a state placer in the 400 last year and has the potential to win a state championship.
Sprague senior Austin Kleinman was a state placer in the shot put and discus last year and will contend at the state level, as will South Salem junior Alex Sanchez, the district champion in the shot put last season. North Salem has some upperclassmen who will contend for district champions in Adam Foreman, Quille Bonner, Michael Bolen and Jason Backer and will contend to finish in the top half of the league.
Mid-Willamette Conference: Lebanon will be tough to beat this year, but Silverton has the best shot at it. The Foxes return a solid senior class including state champion high jumper Coleton Myers and state runner-up hurdler Brock Rogers. Dallas returns district pole vault champion Jacob Deming.
Oregon West Conference: Cascade has a deep team that should challenge Newport for the district championship. The Cougars return district champion hurdler Brandon Martin. Stayton returns district champion distance runner Casey Pugh.
PacWest Conference: Jefferson, last year’s district champion, is a force in the distance events behind brothers Hassan, Suleiman, Abdi and Ahmed Ibrahim. But Blanchet is the favorite in the conference with a strong group of seniors in Kevin McCarthy, Jared Myers, Patrick Tuttle, Zion Steiner and Drew Spear. Scio has some strong athletes in state placing thrower Wyatt Means and Colby Borresen, who was on the team’s state championship 400 relay team.
West Valley League: Amity has the athletes to knock Taft off its perch as district champion including Jaycen Nelson, Curtis Turnidge, Will Keen, Jonathan Mather, Tyler Parr, Robbie Morrison and Benjamin Hayes.
Tri-River Conference: Regis is the defending state champion, returns three legs of its state championship winning 1,600 relay in Brendon Woodcock, Eric Gustin and Ethan Lulay along with state runner-up high jumper Josh Mumey and will contend for a state championship again. Kennedy has three event state runner up senior Bishop Mitchell along with experienced athletes in Noe Jines, Brandon Rendon, Christian Reyes, Jeremy Kliewer, Lewis Butsch and Nick Perez and will be a contender at the district and state levels.
Casco League: Crosshill Christian has a good group of athletes and should be competitive.
Girls track and field previews
Greater Valley Conference: West Salem continued its domination of the conference last season and has the athletes to improve on its eighth place state meet finish. The Titans return state meet athletes in Keira McCarrell, Ella McCrae, Taylor McCarrell, Lucy Jolivette, Ayle Armstrong, Elisabeth Goodrich and Cari McCrae and have an impressive group of freshmen who have the potential to take the team to new heights.
North Salem returns defending 200 meter dash state champion Rebekah Miller, a sophomore, along with district championship contenders in Madison Willhoft, Aaiyah Fitzke, Manya Mendrin and Ashley Clark and will contend for a top three finish in the league again. Sprague will be strong in the distance races with a healthy Ginger Murnieks, the district cross country champion in the fall, and Kaylee Mitchell, a state champion in the 400 relay and state runner up in the 800 and 1,500 at Astoria last season.
McKay has a small team including Cecilia Munoz, Raquel Williams, Steffani Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Green and Marquita Ignacio Ritchey, but should improve on its fifth place finish in the conference of last season.
Mid-Willamette Conference: Silverton has a strong team that will challenge for the district championship with state qualifiers in Madi Arrington, Desiree Sinn and Jori Paradis.
Oregon West Conference: Cascade is the favorite to defend its district team champion with a group including state champion pole vaulter Amanda Wiebenga and district champions Elisa Kanoff and Kalulu Ngaida.
PacWest Conference: Blanchet, which has won the past seven district championships, has the athletes to continue its dominance of the conference with athletes like state medalist Leilani Salang, Sophia Heyman, Emily Collier, Trinity Phipps, Bailey Hittner and freshman Shelby Gwyn. Scio returns state placers in Olivia Bennett and Katelyn Gray.
West Valley League: Amity is the defending district champions and has a big group of athletes, including a huge point scorer in junior Amy Kraemer, the defending state champion in the 100 hurdles and triple jump. Santiam Christian returns two-time state champion sprinter Rebeka Preston.
Tri-River Conference: Kennedy has a solid group of state placers in Kaylin Cantu, Alejandra Lopez, Abby Frey, Sarah Therkelsen and Alyssa Eklund, but with state favorite East Linn in the league has a challenge.
Casco League: Willamette Valley Christian returns the first state champion in the school’s history in senior Sarah Falardeau.