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David Fuiava of North Medford ‘made a promise’ to win a state title … and then he walked the walk

“I kept my word.”

By René Ferrán 

EUGENE — One of the most highly anticipated three-way battles of the OSAA track and field state championships played out just as expected Friday behind the south entrance to Hayward Field. 

Roosevelt senior Nywaun Campbell, Sandy junior Lander Marak and North Medford senior David Fuiava entered the Class 6A boys discus competition with career bests within 2½ feet of each other.

They met once before in the same discus ring at the Oregon Relays a month earlier, when Fuiava narrowly edged Campbell for second place behind Centennial (Idaho) junior Kai Twaddle-Dunham.

Friday’s competition was just as taut. Campbell grabbed the lead on his opening throw, then improved upon it in the third round as Marak comfortably qualified for the finals.

Meanwhile, Fuiava was struggling. He fouled on his first two throws — “I kind of slipped, but it’s no excuse,” he explained — meaning he had one last chance to ensure his spot in the finals, coming through with a 146-footer to advance.

Their placings didn’t change during the first two rounds of the finals, although Fuiava had improved to 150-11 to move within two inches of Campbell’s top throw.

Then came the fireworks. Marak went first in the final round and popped a 154-4 to jump from third to the lead.

Fuiava was next, and as he entered the ring, he thought, “I just had to trust my footwork, trust my coaching, and just make it happen.”

The result — a toss of 155-8 that propelled him to the lead for the first time.

That left Campbell with one final chance to catch him, and while he threw his best of the day, it wasn’t enough — a 154-0 that left him third.

“Last year, I didn’t make it to finals,” said Fuiava, who has signed to play football at Western Oregon. “So, I’d made a promise as a senior to Coach (Pieter) Voskes that I was going to win state, and I did. I kept my word.”

David Fuiava photo Rene Ferran