Sisters runners hit the mud


Last updated 9/5/2023 at 10:07am

Photo by Jack Turpen

Spencer Tisdel battles through the mud pit at the Ultimook Race outside Tillamook.

On a course that included a gnarly mud pit and two river crossings, a group of nine Outlaw runners experienced true cross-country at the Ultimook Race held at the Hydrangea Ranch outside Tillamook on Saturday, September 2.

Ultimook has become a favorite early season meet for teams throughout Oregon for its uniquely challenging course. Over the span of the day over 2,000 runners splashed, slid, and ran through the 5,000-meter course. Sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s made it a perfect day for competitors and fans alike.

"I offered the race as an option since it was over the Labor Day weekend, and I was pleased some of the kids could make it," said Coach Charlie Kanzig.

Five Outlaw girls toed the line for the 1A-4A race, including two freshmen, knowing that in less than a mile they would have to navigate 60 feet of knee-deep ,muddy water turning their uniforms to brown and having their shoes face the threat of being sucked off their feet, potentially lost forever.

Sticking to the sides of the mud pit, all five girls managed quite well with the obstacle, with the river crossings up ahead in the next mile, which they also navigated successfully. The course mellowed out in the second half, with paths looping through acres of hydrangeas, but as a whole the runners found the terrain to be a challenge indeed.

Afterward, freshman Josie Ryan asked, "How can a 5k course be that hard?"

Senior Ella Bartlett finished tenth overall, earning a spot on the podium and a bouquet of flowers. The top 10 included a "who's who" of the best returning runners in Oregon. Bartlett crossed the line in 21:30. Ryan was next, in twenty-sixth (22:31), followed by fellow frosh Kolby McMahon in thirty-sixth (23:04) among 186 finishers.

Juniors Mae Roth (23:38) and Kiara Martin (29:42) completed the team score for the Outlaws, who finished seventh among 21 teams.

4A Philomath won the girls' team race just nineteen points ahead of 3A Oregon Episcopal, which had the top two individuals in the race who crossed virtually together in 20:04.

Four Outlaw boys, all juniors, ran among a field of 258 in the 1A-4A varsity race. Spencer Tisdel made it to the finish first for Sisters in 38th place in a time of 19:28. Colton Middlestetter came through next in 19:54, followed by John Berg (20:10) and Jack Turpen (23:51).

Newport won the boys' team title by a wide margin with 74 points.

The full Outlaw squad will compete next at the Stayton Invitational on Saturday, September 9.

"We are looking forward to having the entire team together for the first time," said Kanzig. "This year's teams appear to have tremendous potential."


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