Outlaws XC battle tough competition


Last updated 11/8/2022 at Noon

The Sisters High School boys and girls cross-country teams discovered that moving from the 4A ranks to the 3A/2A/1A ranks did not lessen the level of competition at the state meet. Quite the opposite: the competition proved to be tougher.

The Sisters boys placed sixth and the girls eighth at the OSAA Championships held Saturday, November 5, at Lane Community College in Eugene.

The boys team toed the line with some familiar foes in Siuslaw and Valley Catholic, which both moved to the 3A classification as well. In last year’s 4A state meet Siuslaw won, Sisters finished second, and Valley Catholic fourth. All three teams fielded competitive squads again this year. In addition last year’s 3A champion Enterprise and fifth-place finisher Santiam Christian also returned strong teams.

“We knew there were at least five or six high-quality teams coming into the meet and that we were one of them,” said Head Coach Charlie Kanzig.

Siuslaw put together the best team effort to win the title handily with 52 points. Valley Catholic placed second (75), followed by Santiam Christian (84), Enterprise (91), Oregon Episcopal (105), and Sisters (117).

“For perspective, all of the top six teams had all of their scorers in the top 40 finishers, meaning that every place really counted head-to-head,” explained Kanzig. “So even though we were 26 points away from a trophy it was really like every second on the clock was a point and a difference of eight or nine seconds by a couple of our runners would have turned the tide.

“With all that said, the kids ran very well against very good teams,” said Kanzig.

Seniors Hayden Roth (17:00) and Cole Jervis (17:17) finished 11th and 14th to pace the Outlaws up front.

Missing the podium by just one place kept Roth from meeting one of his personal goals.

“Although I didn’t place as high as I hoped to, I felt like I left everything out there on the course, which is the best you can do,” he said. “In terms of the team, we made huge improvements across the roster this season. We have a group of guys who Vare dedicated, kind, hardworking, supportive, and fun to be around. I couldn’t ask for a better team for my senior year and I am thankful and fortunate to be a part of the Sisters cross-country program.”

Kanzig concurred with his lead runner.

“Hayden battled harder than I have ever seen him battle,” said Kanzig. “We were all pulling for him to get past just one more guy to make the top 10 and he did everything to make that happen.”

Roth’s time would have placed 10th in the 4A boys’ race.

For Jervis his last race was his best as well.

“Cole has a knack for bringing everything together in the last week or two of the season and he did it again this year,” said Kanzig. “Before the race I told him he belonged with the top dozen or so runners and he was there.”

The youngsters on the team did their part. Freshman Ace Chew (18:19), and sophomores Spencer Tisdel (18:20), and John Berg (18:23) packed in tight together to complete the scoring for the team.

“These three are going to be a force to be reckoned with as they continue their careers,” said Kanzig. “Their improvement this year was amazing and they will just get stronger and stronger.”

Juniors Eli Palanuk (20:28) and Finn Clark (22:10) also competed for the Outlaws.

“Both those guys showed tremendous improvement during the year and stepped into varsity positions when injuries and illness thwarted a couple of other runners on the team,” said Kanzig. “I am glad they got to experience the state meet and be positive parts of our team effort.”

Benjamin Bourne of Santiam Christian won the race in 15:57.


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