After a one-year hiatus, the Outlaws cross-country team toed the starting line once again near downtown Portland for the annual Portland to Coast High School Challenge, held in conjunction with the Hood to Coast Relay August 23-24.

The Outlaws have been participants in the event since near its inception in the 1990s, sometimes fielding two teams, but they had to take last year off due to scheduling conflicts.

A total of 50 teams from throughout Oregon and southwest Washington took part in the relay.

Following last week's running and rafting camp, Portland to Coast offered a second stage of extra fun on the run for 12 members of the Sisters squad.

The Outlaws finished 13th in the coed division, with four boys and eight girls comprising the team. The squad covered the 133-mile route from Portland to Seaside in 18 hours and 30 minutes.

Team Twert out of Lake Oswego won the coed division in 15 hours and 53 minutes.

As a team, the Outlaw runners averaged 8:35 per mile through rain, darkness, and lots and lots of vans on the roadway.

"Portland to Coast was a blast," said junior Aria Blumm. "Sleep deprivation helps you get to know your teammates in a whole new way!"

For Brandon Pollard, the relay was the chance to test his fitness after a full summer of training.

"I felt good about covering my first seven-mile leg in 43 minutes, and my second leg of six miles in 36 minutes," he said. "I was proud of the 'Thunderhorses; which is what we unofficially called our team."

Team members included Blumm, Pollard, Megan Calarco, Natalie Marshall, Zoe Falk, Maddi Boettner, Sonja Lund, Betsy Ausman, Mary Stewart, Devon Calvin, Gabe Rice, and Ian Baldessari.

In commenting on how the team is looking in pre-season training, Nordell had nothing but praise.

"These kids have the perfect balance of knowing how to work hard and how to have fun at the same time," said Nordell. "We are going to have a memorable season, that's for sure."