News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Runners race at Nike PDX

Varsity runners for the Outlaws cross-country team traveled to Nike Portland for the largest cross-country meet to be held in Oregon this year on Saturday. And they came home with some new perspectives.

An estimated 2,500 runners took part in the meet, which included 18 different races and featured schools from all classifications and a number from other states. Some of the top high school runners in the nation raced over the 5,000-meter course and produced eye-popping times.

The meet was broken into four varsity divisions and numerous junior varsity races.

For the Outlaws it was a chance to not only see the best of the best, but to be part of a big-time meet, which can be extremely helpful in preparation for championship races, such as the OSAA State Meet, which will take place on November 6.

Results were mixed for Sisters, in part due to temperatures at race time that reached into the 80s.

Four of the seven varsity boys actually ran personal bests at the meet and two ran season bests, but most reported feeling a little flat after the race, according to coach Charlie Kanzig.

A three-hour bus ride and unseasonably warm temperatures may have contributed to slower than expected times, but Kanzig views the team’s progression as being on target.

“Of course everyone wishes they could get a huge PR on a course like this, but it’s not uncommon to sort of plateau a bit at mid-season,” he said. “We’re healthy and getting stronger.”

Hayden Roth once again led the Outlaw team, finishing 37th among over 150 racers in the Division 2 race in a time of 17:46.

Cole Jervis ran his best time of the season to place 59th in 18:07, just one place ahead of Max Palanuk (18:11).

Kaleb Briggs came through next in 18:25, a personal best, and freshman George Roberts completed the scoring by dipping under 19:00 for the first time in 18:58.

Freshman Spencer Tisdel lowered his best time to 19:10 and Colton Middlestetter finished in 21:39.

Senior Jackson Griffin competed in the Division 3 race and clocked 22:31.

The boys’ team finished in 13th place among 23 complete teams and third among 4A teams.

In the Division 2 girls race, Ella Bartlett and Sasha Stolasz finished neck-and-neck in 21:46.4 and 21:47.1 respectively, to place forty-ninth and fiftieth.

For perspective on the variety of runners at the meet, the pair were the fifth and sixth finishers in the race from the Oregon 4A classification. The rest of the field was comprised of much larger schools from around Oregon, Washington, and California.

“We tried some different things with pacing that were informative,” said Kanzig. “Finding the balance between positioning and even pacing is something that is hard to perfect.”

In related cross-country news, Ella Thorsett, who spent her first two seasons at Sisters and is now running for Summit High School in Bend, placed 14th in the star-studded Danner Race, the elite race at Nike Portland, in a time of 17:59, to help the Storm to a second-place team finish behind Cherry Creek High School of Colorado. She crossed the line third for her team. The two schools were the top two ranked teams nationally in the preseason poll, according to Dyestat.

The Outlaws’ entire team will be in action on Saturday, October 2, in Bend at the Oxford Classic, hosted by Bend Senior High. The meet has a new venue this year at Rockridge Community Park near Skyview Middle School in northeast Bend.

The meet begins at 10 with junior varsity girls. There is no charge. Parking is available at Skyview Middle School.


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