News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Outlaws host meet for first time at BBR

Ethan Hosang chocked up his second victory in as many tries at a home meet held Thursday, March 18, on the scenic Big Meadow Golf Course at Black Butte Ranch.

The event marked the first time the cross-country team held a race at BBR, and the move proved tremendously successful as coaches, athletes, and fans raved about the beauty and quality of the grassy course.

“We can’t possibly express adequately to the generous people at Black Butte Ranch how well this worked out for all of the teams,” said Head Coach Josh Nordell. “Jeff Fought could not have been more helpful and accommodating.”

Unlike last week, when Hosang bided his time for two miles before pulling away from Summit’s top runner, this time he pushed the pace from the outset and was never challenged.

Hosang crossed the line 33 seconds ahead of Mason Kissel in time of 16:12.

Will Thorsett, who placed third at last year’s 4A state meet, is recovering from foot pain. He returned to action, and ran conservatively in his first outing of the season — yet placed second for the Outlaws in 17:52.

“It was so good to see Will back on the starting line,” said Nordell.

Sam May appeared to be rounding into racing form, according to Nordell, as he recorded his best time of the year (18:02) as the Outlaws’ third placer.

Max Palanuk (19:17) and Hayden Roth (19:38) completed the top five scoring for Sisters, which finished a distant second to Summit (22 points) in the team race with 67 points, but ahead of Bend (77), Mountain View (80), and La Pine (106).

Other finishers for Sisters included newcomers to the team Cole Jervis (19:58), Erik Ryan (20:07), Kaleb Briggs (20:31), Vicente Robelledo (20:42), Eli Palanuk (23:15.5), Jackson Griffin (23:15.7), and Vincent Rosiello (36:04).

Pearl Gregg paced the girls team for Sisters in 16th place, as Summit, the reigning 6A champions, placed 12 runners in the top 15. Gregg’s time was 22:02.

“Pearl has raced the past two weeks while still dealing with residual pain from a preseason injury and has shown a lot of toughness on the road to recovery,” said Nordell.

In her first career race, junior Brooklyn Liddell finished 18th in 22:38. Sasha Stolasz came through next for the Outlaws in 23:31, followed by Mary Root (24:51), Neya Kountchev (28:14), Annie Cohen (28:56), Dulce Dunham (30:30), Josie Berg (31:17), and Raven Miller (45:18).

Ella Thorsett, the team’s number-one runner, sat out to rest and nurse a sore leg, according to Nordell.

Looking at the progress of the team, Nordell and two volunteer assistants, Sarah Thorsett and Dennis Dempsey, all agreed that, despite the limited training many of the runners have had due to the abbreviated six-week season, the team is showing a lot of “heart and potential.”

“Normally we have about 14 weeks in a season, which gives new runners a chance to really build a base and adapt their bodies to running races that are 3.1 miles long,” said Nordell. “These kids have literally had to ‘hit the ground running.’”

The shortened season comes to a rapid close for the Outlaw runners with the Oregon West District Meet being the next race on the schedule on Saturday, April 3, at Sweet Home.

The top two teams and top five individuals at District will qualify for the 4A State Championship that has been organized with a grassroots effort by 4A coaches, including Chris Johnson of Siuslaw and Pat Zweifel of Tillamook.

“We are tremendously grateful that there will be a 4A state meet despite the impact of COVID-19,” said Nordell. “Our varsity kids have been anticipating a state meet for over a year now.”


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