Winter doesn’t afford many opportunities for prep runners to test their training, but a contingent of Sisters Outlaws track athletes trekked to the Boise, Idaho, area to do some racing at one of the few indoor track and field meets available to high school athletes in the northwest on February 8 and 9.
Friday’s schedule included the boys two-mile — 16 laps around the 200-meter track at the Jackson’s Track/Ford Idaho Sports Complex.
Many athletes represented their home high schools, while others competed unattached or as part of a club.
John Peckham led a trio of Sisters athletes in the event, finishing in second place in a fine early season time of 9:52. His time converts to the equivalent of 9:08.1 for 3,000 meters (1.8 miles) which is the distance at which Oregon runners typically compete. Peckham, who won the state title in cross-country last November, is clearly one of the top 4A distance runners coming into the outdoor season. He set his personal best at the distance last year of 9:03.6 while finishing fifth at the state meet.
“For him to run that time indoors in mid-February is impressive,” said Dennis Dempsey, a long-time volunteer coach for the team.
Will Thorsett, third at state in cross-country, came through in 10:12 for eighth place and Ethan Hosang finished nineteenth overall, with a time of 10:44 among 44 total entrants.
The winner, Tristian Merchant from a club in Alaska, won the race in a red-hot time of 9:28.65, which equates to 8:45 for 3,000 meters.
Sam May mixed it up in a very competitive 800-meter field that included 28 runners under 2:10. He finished in a lifetime best of 2:08.55. Kaleb Briggs, running in his first track meet of any sort, clocked 2:33.42.
Freshman Ella Thorsett, also a state champion in cross-country, tried out the one-mile race, finishing in 5:37.5.
Garrett Kersavage, who entered the meet with a lifetime best of 13 feet, had a rough go of it and did not clear a height. The winner of the event cleared 15 feet nine inches.
“What a great experience for these kids at a wonderful facility,” said Dempsey, who traveled to the meet with fellow coaches Sarah Thorsett and Jim Anderson.
“They competed hard and found out where their training is at this point.”
Thorsett said, “The great results are a reflection of the off-season commitment to making the 2020 season their best one yet. The meet was a good opportunity for them to ‘dust off the cobwebs’ and get reacquainted to the feeling of racing.”
The outdoor season kicks off officially in Oregon on Monday, March 2. Sisters High School students interested in joining the team can register online at Register Here and click on the “Register Here” button.