Warrenton senior Mark Warren made his college choice official Thursday, signing a letter of intent to compete in track and field at Lane Community College in Eugene.
Warren signed at a ceremony in front of his house, with a line of vehicles parading past, including those from the Warrenton police and fire departments.
A month ago, Warren said, “I’ve been training since football season ended. My throws are looking great. In February I changed from the glide to the rotational throw in the shot put and my distance has improved by 3 feet, marking 56 feet in practice throws.
“I’ve also had huge gains in my discus by 23 (feet) and hitting 160 consistently in practice,” he said. “Both of those would have been new school records,” beating his own record in the shot put.
Warren will be throwing the shot and discus at Lane, where the shot put school record is currently 58-11 (Curt Denny, 1983) and the discus record is 169-9 (Al Shibley, 1976).
Warren hopes to pick up where he left off in 2019, when he was the 3A state shot put champion.
“It has been a challenge not being able to take the field and get those marks coaches were looking for,” Warren said, shortly after this year’s season was canceled. “I am sad … but I have to move forward because my dream doesn’t end here.”
Warren’s signing is at least the sixth Warrenton senior who will continue an athletic career beyond high school.
“Mark is an outstanding athlete who has dedicated a ton of time, effort and energy into his field events,” said Warrenton Athletic Director Ian O’Brien, who served as Warren’s football coach.
“Mark is certainly one of the most decorated track athletes Warrenton has ever had,” he said. “I have really enjoyed watching Mark over the past three year and working with him in the weight room and football field. He was recently selected to play in the East-West Shrine game, and it would have been nice to have seen him strap it up one last time. Our entire staff is proud of Mark and we look forward to following him as he heads to Lane CC to continue his academic and athletic career.”