News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Boys impressive at Creekside meet

Over the 3.1 miles of a 5,000-meter course, most winners bide their time before putting down the hammer and separating themselves from the rest of the pack. That has been true for juniors John Peckham and Will Thorsett most of the season as the pair have come in at or near the top of all of their races this fall.

Until last Wednesday.

Before the first mile of the race was over at the Creekside Invitational, held at Creekside Golf Club in Salem, Peckham and Thorsett had pulled away from the 150-plus field of runners and never looked back on their way to establishing the top two times among all 4A runners thus far this season.

Peckham crossed the line in 16:01.2, just three seconds ahead of his friend and teammate Thorsett, who finished in 16:04.2. Third place came through nearly 20 seconds later.

“They just took charge of the race early and that was that,” said Head Coach Josh Nordell. “We worked hard on Monday at practice, but this just showed what great condition these two boys are in,” said Nordell. “I thought they might be a little flat, but they just dominated.”

The pair’s efforts weren’t quite enough for the team to hold off rival Philomath as Warriors won the team title with 55 points, eight ahead of the Outlaws.

Philomath got the advantage by placing four runners ahead of the Outlaws’ number three runner, Josh Liddell, who ran a lifetime best of 16:51.9 and all seven runners in front of Sisters’ fifth scorer, Sam May, who also ran a personal best (17:19). Ethan Hosang placed right behind May in 17:24.

“Philomath’s first four boys run in a very tight group and their five, six, seven guys do the same thing,” said Nordell. “For us it’s our top two way up front and the rest running in a good pack as well, so overall we are pretty much dead even with them when you add up the scores. Our two teams are so evenly matched, it’s going to be a barn-burner at District,” said Nordell.

Vicente Rebolledo (17:02) and Max Palanuk (17:47) also ran personal bests for the Outlaws, leaving Nordell smiling.

“All these guys have shown such improvement over the last few weeks,” he said. “They run smart and with heart.”

In the final coaches’ poll of the season Philomath is ranked number one and the Outlaws are ranked third, with Baker jumping up into the number-two spot.

The teams will square off once again at the Oregon West District meet on Saturday, November 2 at the course at Stayton Middle School. The varsity girls run first at 11:30, followed by the varsity boys at 12:15.

The top two teams at the meet qualify for the OSAA State Championships set for the following week, November 9, at Lane Community College in Eugene.


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