|9/24/2013 12:37:00 PM|
Outlaws flex muscles at Seaside
|By Charlie Kanzig|
Tradition is the name of the game when it comes to the Sisters cross-country team traveling to the Seaside Three Course Challenge every September. Established by legendary Seagull coach Cornelius Branson over two decades ago, the event now draws more than 2,000 runners from throughout the Northwest. The Outlaws have attended every year since 1994.
The Three Course Challenge is named for the unique format: Varsity runners draw from a tin can a white, blue, or red poker chip to determine which of the three courses they will run. The white course is considered "easy," the blue course "moderate" and the red course "difficult." None of the courses are measured for distance, but Branson assured teams that nothing went beyond 5,000 meters.
Runners' places are tallied from each of the three races to determine the team scores.
The Outlaws did quite well, placing second in Division 4 for both the boys and girls teams.
The easy course is no cakewalk, but is relatively easy compared to the moderate and difficult courses that feature a huge mud hole and some quad-busting uphill sections in loose sand.
Dyut Fetrow drew the easy course and placed third among Division 4 boys and 24th overall to lead the Outlaws in the first race of the day. Gabe Rice scored for the Outlaws in the easy course as well, finishing 18th among 416 runners.
In the moderate course, Shea Krevi and Ian Baldessari placed seventh and eighth respectively, before Devon Calvin came through with a victory among Division 4 runners in the difficult course, followed by Brandon Pollard, who finished 10th after running through the other two races to make the day his personal three-course challenge.
On the girls side, freshman McKenzie Banks paced the Outlaws, finishing fourth in the division, one spot ahead of Betsy Ausman, who earned the fifth-place medal.
Madison Boettner and Macadia Calavan stayed within five seconds of each other in the moderate race, finishing fourth and fifth respectively in a very strong showing. Mary Stewart and Natalie Marshall felt no intimidation on the difficult course, running just two seconds apart to place third and fourth.
The Three Course Challenge serves as more than just another meet for the Outlaw team, according to Coach Rima Givot.
"We come over the night before and have a team dinner and an evening of team bonding that includes skits, baked apples, and other fun," she said. "While we do race hard, we also form some great unity and create wonderful memories."
For the record, Givot won the open women's race, setting a fine example for all of the Sisters athletes about the wonders of running as a lifelong sport.
The Outlaws will be busy this week as they are scheduled to compete in the Harrier's Challenge hosted by Cottage Grove High School on Thursday, followed by the inaugural Outlaw Invitational on Saturday at Sisters High School starting at 9 a.m. The meet includes teams from all over Oregon including Crane, Lakeview, McLoughlin, Junction City, McNary, Springfield and Paisley.
"We look forward to showing off our team to the home fans at our school site," said Coach Josh Nordell, who missed the Seaside meet due to family commitments. "We hope to have a lot of fans come out and cheer on the mighty Outlaws."
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