Track team breaks the ice at first meet


Last updated 3/21/2023 at Noon

The Sisters Outlaws’ first track-and-field meet of the season turned into a marathon event that lasted well past 9 p.m. It gave the team a chance to “knock off the rust” and get into the competitive groove.

Teams from Gilchrist, North Lake, Paisley, Wheeler, Yoncalla, Culver, Madras, Redmond, Ridgeview, and Caldera also took part in the meet hosted by Crook County.

The team has a real mix of experience, so for a lot of the athletes this was their very first high school level meet, while the veterans got a chance to check their conditioning, according to first-year Head Coach Jonathan Kelly.

Highlights for the girls’ side included an all-time best for Ella Bartlett in the 1,500 meters, where she ran away from the competition to finish in 5:11.8. She came back with a fourth-place effort in the 800 (2:39.56). Freja Pedersen, an exchange student in her first track meet, picked up a point for the team in eighth place (2:51.29).

As an individual Gracie Vohs picked up a win in the high jump (five feet) and placed second in the pole vault (eight feet). She joined Delaney McAfee, Lilly Sundstrom, and Ila Reid in the victorious 400-meter relay (54.25) and teamed up with Reid, Nevaeh McAfee, and Brook Duey in winning the 1600-meter relay (4:30.47).

Other top placers included Lilly Sundstrom, who finished second in the 300 hurdles (55.32), Duey, who was second in the long jump (14-feet 4-inches), Kiara Martin, who got third in the pole vault (eight feet), Lizzie McCrystal, who finished third in the javelin (80-feet 3-inches), and Kathryn Buller, who placed fourth place in the high jump (4-feet 6-inches).

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For the boys team, Taine Martin (11 feet) and Spencer Tisdel (36-feet 4.5-inches) took third place in the pole vault and triple jump respectively. Martin also picked up a fifth place in the high jump (5-feet 6-inches).

Kelly said, “It was a great way to kick off the season, and it was a ton of fun to see how much the athletes helped and reassured each other during the meet. There were many athletes who were either brand-new to track-and-field or trying events for the first time, and everyone was so willing to just go out there and give it a go.”

He added, “Despite being relegated to largely indoor practices for the first two weeks, many athletes surprised themselves with personal records across different events which is a really motivating way to start the season.”

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Longtime volunteer coach Dennis Dempsey pointed to the positive leadership of the upper-class members of the team.

“We saw some outstanding performances for the first meet in cold conditions and witnessed great leadership by juniors and seniors. Gracie Vohs, Ella Bartlett, and Lilly Sundvall had great first meets along with Taine Martin,” he said.

The Outlaws return to action Saturday, April 8, when they host the six-team Sisters Invitational. Field events begin at 11:30 a.m. followed an hour later by running events.


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