News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Outlaws runners are getting into rhythm

The second race of the season shone light on the progress being made by the Outlaws cross-country team. The runners produced a solid performance at the Northwest Classic held Saturday, September 18, at Lane Community College.

But the season is young and further improvement is certainly expected in the weeks ahead, according to the team’s coaches.

The boys varsity team, which included two freshmen running their five-kilometer debuts, placed fourth overall in a field of 17 teams, mostly from the 4A ranks.

Siuslaw High School, the defending State champions, won the team title by a landslide with just 59 points by placing all seven runners in the top 28. Valley Catholic finished second with 112, followed by Philomath (138) and Sisters (157).

Alexander Garcia-Silver of Marshfield won the race in 15:54.

Assistant Coach Sarah Thorsett pointed to the team’s close “packing” as an indication of future success.

“All seven ran relatively close to one another, and as they all move up in time they will be a competitive force,” she said.

For the second week in a row, junior Hayden Roth led the team, finishing 20th in a time of 17:45, a new personal best. Roth is running nearly two minutes faster this season than last spring in the COVID-shortened spring mini-season.

Seniors Max Palanuk (18:12) and Kaleb Briggs (18:26) crossed the line next for the team in 29th and 32nd place.

Junior Cole Jervis (18:40), in his first race of the season, placed 40th, and freshman George Roberts used very even pacing to finish 50th in 19:09.

Freshman Spencer Tisdel (19:22) and senior Evan Eby (19:28) rounded out the top seven for Sisters.

“Overall, a good effort,” said head coach Charlie Kanzig. “The key for us is continued conditioning and work on pacing, but for us to place fourth is a very encouraging sign.”

For the girls team, the challenge is literally a numbers game, according to Kanzig.

“We are making the best of our smallest team in twenty years,” he said. “Our top two girls are running fantastically and our new, inexperienced kids just need more time to develop.”

Ella Bartlett, a sophomore, had a breakthrough race in a number of ways. Not only did she run a new personal best of 20:40, placing ninth, but she beat all of the other runners from the Oregon West conference other than the winner, Adele Beckstead, of Philomath.

Senior Sasha Stolasz also lowered her personal best on her way to 19th place in 21:39.

Nevaeh McAfee (25:02), Delaney McAfee (26:25), Mae Roth (28:00), Dulce Dunham (28:23), and Kiara Martin (32:40) made up the rest of the varsity team for Sisters.

“Since the junior varsity race was also 5,000 meters, we decided to group all the girls together despite their relative inexperience, and I am proud of them for their efforts,” said Kanzig.

The Outlaws placed ninth among 16 teams with 240 points. Siuslaw edged Philomath 68-71 for the team title.

The varsity boys’ team, along with Bartlett and Stolasz on the girls’ side, will compete Saturday, September 25 at Nike Portland, allowing the rest of the team a long stretch of training before the Oxford Classic on October 2 in Bend.


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