|9/3/2013 1:25:00 PM|
Outlaws cross country up and running
By Charlie KanzigWith 12 of the top 14 runners returning for the boys and girls cross country teams, coaches Josh Nordell and Rima Givot have plenty to be excited about as the season gets underway with a kick-off meet this weekend.
The girls team, which won another Sky-Em League title last year and placed seventh at state, return an enviable crew of experienced and talented runners, led by senior Zoe Falk who is considered one of the top 4A runners.
Falk, who placed second in the 800-meter final at the OSAA Track and Field Championships last May, expects to redeem herself after a disappointing finish in last year's state cross country meet in which she placed 21st after placing ninth as a sophomore.
"Zoe has shown tremendous growth in the past few months, which should translate into an exciting and satisfying senior season," said Nordell. "She is highly motivated."
Juniors Aria Blumm and Maddi Boettner, along with sophomore Natalie Marshall joined Falk last weekend in a half marathon and look to be a tremendous supporting cast as the Outlaws seek to be in championship-level form again this season.
Also returning after a stellar freshman season is Macadia Calavan, giving the Outlaws six of the top seven runners from last year's state meet team, which finished just 19 points away from a trophy on an overall off day for the team.
A crop of new freshmen along with other returnees give the Outlaws a depth that no other teams in the Sky-Em Conference should be able to match.
The boys team should be equally strong as Brandon Pollard, like Falk, returns as one of the top overall 4A runners. After placing a close third in the 1,500 meters at the state track meet, Pollard is poised to improve on his 14th place state cross country finish from last year.
"Brandon runs with intelligence and grit," said Nordell. "I can't wait to see him progress through the season."
Fellow senior Devon Calvin returns as a strong support that should help the Outlaws repeat as Sky-Em League champions and improve on the team's ninth place team finish at state. He finished third at last year's league meet.
Senior Ian Baldessari and junior Shea Krevi provide leadership and experience to the team as well, according to Givot.
Sophomores Dyut Fetrow and Gabe Rice are back stronger than ever, according to Nordell. The pair ran varsity last year and showed further strength in track, giving the team more power than last year.
"We are missing the third sophomore, Izaak Kanzig, who is in Korea with his family, but no other team has 10th graders like these two guys," said Nordell.
Givot believes that the team, 43 strong thus far, is gelling and looks well-prepared as the competitive season approaches.
"With the first two weeks under our belts I have been impressed with how well the team is taking care of itself, how hard they are working and how eager they are to get to know each other," she said.
The team will test its conditioning at the Breese Memorial Ranch Stampede this Saturday, hosted by Crook County High School.
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