Cross-country teams ready for racing
Last updated 3/2/2021 at Noon
The long wait is over for the Sisters High School cross country teams; they have official meets on the schedule for the first time in months and are ready to test their training.
A strong core of experienced runners return for the Outlaws and they look ready to make the most of the shortened season offered up by the OSAA during this pandemic-impacted year.
On the boys team, seniors Ethan Hosang, Will Thorsett, John Peckham, Sam May, Vicente Rebolledo, along with junior Max Palanuk, return from a team that came within seconds of the state championship in November 2019.
Peckham is the reigning state champion for 4A and Thorsett finished a close third, which clearly indicates an exceptional one-two punch up front. Added to that strength is a resurgent Hosang, who ran shoulder-to-shoulder with his two teammates in unofficial races during the fall.
“Our top three can pretty much match up with any runners in Oregon,” said Head Coach Josh Nordell.
After beating Oregon West rival Philomath for the district title last year, the Warriors turned the tables and edged the Outlaws by five points at the state meet. Nordell sees the two teams as the top two in the league once more, as Philomath also returns most of its squad.
Who will round out the top seven for the Outlaws remains to be seen, according to Nordell.
May and Palanuk are looking strong and likely in the top five, according to Nordell, while Rebolledo, Hayden Roth, Caleb Briggs, Evan Eby and others also will battle for varsity spots.
“We have some very dedicated kids on this team who are doing everything they can to become better, which is all a coach can ask for,” he said.
Ella Thorsett, a sophomore, returns as the 2019 state champion, and the leader of the girls team. Senior Pearl Gregg, junior Sasha Stolasz, and freshman Ella Bartlett have trained consistently, along with Thorsett, over the past many months giving the Outlaws a solid lead group. Time will tell on how the remainder of the team will develop, according to Nordell.
“Those four girls have been impressive with their loyalty to the team and working to improve themselves as runners,” he said. “We have some new team members that I think will work themselves into varsity positions before long.”
With such a short season, the Outlaws currently have just four meets scheduled, but Nordell remains hopeful that a state championship-level meet can be added.
Currently the OSAA does not have official plans for a state meet, but has left the door open for different classifications to potentially put a championship meet together, according to Nordell.
“We are doing all we can to help make that happen,” he said.
The first meet of the season is set for Friday, March 12 in Bend, against Summit, Bend, and Mountain View. A home meet is planned for Thursday, March 18.