News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Records fall for track athletes

The Outlaws track and field teams have been busy over the past two weeks and many on the team are achieving tremendous early-season success, including school records.

At a meet at Summit Wednesday, April 21, two current Outlaws’ girls’ high jumpers took possession of the Sisters High School record in the high jump. Senior Anya Shockley and junior Hollie Lewis followed the lead of Summit jumper Isabella Sanderi — who won the event at 5 feet 5 inches — by each clearing 5 feet 3 inches to break the school record of 5 feet 2 inches held by three former athletes.

“It was great to see Anya and Hollie break the record on the same day,” said high jump coach Dennis Dempsey. “You could see their potential in previous years but having lost last year’s season they didn’t get the chance to improve. Both girls work hard at the event and are coachable, so they have plenty of potential to go even higher.”

Lewis also had a personal record in the long jump at 16 feet 5 inches to place third in the event. Shelby Larson (9 feet) and Gracie Vohs (8 feet) went 1-2 in the pole vault as an extension of a good day for jumpers on the team.

Other top performers for the girls team included Lexie Miller with a first-time-ever mark over 30 feet in the shot put for second place. Ella Thorsett led throughout the 1500 meters and cracked five minutes for the first time with a clocking of 4 minutes 58.09 seconds.

The boys team did not break any records, but had a strong showing that included victories in five running events and two field contests.

Brody Anderson provided a pair of wins for the Outlaws in the 100 meters (11.99) and the 200 (23.87), while Sam May took the top spot in the 800 (2:02.89) and Ethan Hosang earned first in the 1500 (4:12.05).

Cameron Wessel uncorked a lifetime best by over 18 inches to win the shot put at 35 feet 6 inches, and Hayden Sharp notched a season best in the long jump, winning with a measurement of 20 feet 3.5 inches.

Other strong performances for the boys included Hayden Roth’s second-place finish in the 3000 (10:33), Taine Martin’s 10-foot-6-inch effort in the pole vault, and Will Thorsett’s personal record in the 1,500 (4:17.11).

Distance Coach Sarah Thorsett said, “These runners had to switch gears quickly from cross-country to track and they did just that. Our plan was to ‘get our feet wet’ with no real expectations other than to get out and feel what it’s like to race on the track again.”

Considering that every single one of the Outlaw distance runners ran a lifetime best indicates they are ready to race.

“It doesn’t get any better than that!” said Thorsett.

Thorsett took a moment after the meet to reflect on how grateful she is that the track and field team is actually getting a season this year:

“Today proved that these athletes will cherish every opportunity in the next few weeks to step to the line and compete.”

Sisters hosted McKenzie, Gilchrist, and Cascades Academy in a meet on Friday, April 30, which was truncated a bit due to a low number of athletes present from the 1A schools. No hurdles races were contested and most heats of running events combined boys and girls together.

“Still,” said Jeff Larson, “it gave the kids experience in competing and many of them turned in lifetime bests.”

Pearl Gregg, with some pacing from teammate Ella Thorsett for the first four laps, ran alone the rest of the way to a personal best of 11:34.41 in the 3000 meters. Lexie Miller uncorked a 95-foot throw in the javelin to improve her previous best by over 11 feet, and Chloe Wessel improved by nine feet in the discus to win the event with a toss of 74 feet 8 inches. Hollie Lewis added an inch to her best in winning the long jump at 16 feet 6 inches, and Annie Cohen knocked nearly four seconds off her 800 time with a win in 2:55.12.

For the boys team, Kaleb Briggs took the 800 with a personal best of 2:25.07, Hayden Roth captured the 1500 in his fastest time ever of 4:54.24, Hayden Sharp cleared 5 feet 10 inches in the high jump, Taine Martin matched his best in the pole vault with mark of 11 feet and Collin Fischer dropped his best 100 time to 12.16 seconds.

Another school record fell at a “The Distance Twilight” held at Phoenix High School in southern Oregon. The meet featured just two events: 800 meters and 3000 meters and attracted some of the best runners from all classifications, including four from Sisters.

Ethan Hosang rode the jetstream of three runners — two from Ashland and one from South Medford, who ran three of the fastest times in Oregon history — to break the school record with a time of 8:47.65. Taylor Steele held the record at 8:49.03, which he set in 2011.

Will Thorsett broke the nine-minute mark as well with a time of 8:59.06, which moved him into fourth on the all-time school list. The pair placed fifth and seventh, respectively.

Cameron Stein of Ashland won the race in 8:18.89 as the top three runners all moved into the top-10 all-time in the state of Oregon.

“Wowza,” said Sarah Thorsett. “That was some race!”

Ella Thorsett took charge early and won the 800 in a time of 2:22.2, a personal record. Sam May established a personal best in an epic battle in the boys 800 where he placed second by .2 seconds in a time of 2:00.69, which is the ninth-best time in school history.

“I am so grateful these distance runners got the opportunity to come to this meet,” said Thorsett.

The Outlaws host a home meet on Friday, May 7 against North Lake and Ridgeview beginning at 4 p.m. Some of the team will travel to the Wally Ciochetti meet in Cottage Grove the same day.


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