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‘Gold medals are forever.’ North Salem sophomore DeMari Thompson wins 2 sprint titles at 5A boys championships, promises more of the same next year in 6A

“I’m a champion. I can compete. I’m elite. ... This is only just the tip of the iceberg for my athletic abilities.”

By René Ferrán | Photos by Taylor Balkom 

It takes just a few seconds interacting with North Salem sophomore DeMari Thompson to see he has blossomed from a shy freshman to a bold butterfly ready to take on all comers. 

But yes, a year ago, Thompson had a freshman mindset when he arrived at the culminating-week Class 5A state meet, finishing sixth in the 100 meters and ninth in the 200.

“That was just a weird season, coming back from COVID and it being a half season,” Thompson said. “And I didn’t perform as well as I could. I was like, I’m seeded here, so I’m going to place here. That was my mindset, but that’s no more.” 

His coming-out party came this weekend at the OSAA track and field state championships, and Eugene's Hayward Field proved the perfect canvas.

Thompson roared to victories in the 100 in 10.75 seconds and the 200 in 21.76, with his time in the 100 setting both a meet record and the all-time 5A sophomore record.

DeMari Thompson North Salem Taylor Balkom 1