The Summit Invitational attracted 30 teams from across Oregon, and even a few from Idaho. The meet included depth of talent rivaling the 4A state meet — which is what Coach Jeff Larson loves about the event.

“Truly, each event was deeper than our state meet field will probably be in May,” he said. “It was an excellent mid-season test for our kids.”

With so many schools involved, multiple heats were necessary to get everyone to the starting line, resulting in a meet that took about nine hours to complete.

“It’s a huge long meet,” said Larson. “We experienced the reality of having to warm up and cool down several times. All the little things like staying off your feet, eating light snacks and hydrating are magnified when you’re at an event for that long.”

With such a competitive field, top places were few and far between, but the Outlaws did have two boys make the podium on the day.

One of the most impressive was John Peckham in the 3,000 meters, who according to Assistant Coach Dennis Dempsey “ran a really smart race” resulting in a huge personal best and a second place finish, just one second behind the winner. Peckham clocked 9:12.5, knocking nearly 18 seconds off of his previous best time set last year as a freshman.

Peckham is now ranked third among 4A runners behind two seniors, Leo Johns of Newport and Carter Kunert of Tillamook.

Fellow sophomore Ethan Hosang ran a season best in the 3,000 with a time of 9:47.71 to finish 11th among 35 finishers.

Skyler Larson soared to a fourth-place finish in the high jump, clearing six feet. Earlier this year Larson established a personal best of 6 feet 1.25 inches in the Summit Decathlon/Heptathlon.

Will Thorsett slashed his personal best in the 1,500 to 4:26.82, an improvement of over nine seconds. He finished 28th among 58 competitors.

“It’s great to see Will having such success after being injured in cross-country,” said Assistant Coach Josh Nordell. “He’s really coming along well in his progression.”

Senior Ben Johnson ran another solid 100 (11.71) and set a new best in the long jump with a leap of 20 feet 1.5 inches. He sits atop the Oregon West Conference thanks to his time of 11.32 set at La Pine April 13.

Tenth-grader Hudson Jones got a PR in the discus with a toss of 127 feet 10 inches, and Sam May lowered his best in the 800 meters to 2:10.14.

The 4x100-meter relay team of Korbin Sharp, Ben Johnson, Hayden Sharp and Brody Anderson showed they are for real as they placed fifth overall coming out of the second heat with a time of 44.05, the squad’s best time of the year. They have the fifth-best time among 4A teams so far this year as things start to heat up. Mazama High owns the best 4A time at 43.77.

“The sprinters really start coming on about now as the training kicks in and the weather improves,” said Larson.

For the girls personal bests were a bit more scarce, but Emma Singleton cracked a barrier in the 800 meters with a time of 2:29.87, an improvement of four seconds, as one highlight for the team. Senior Meghan Greaney spun the discus four feet further than ever before with a mark of 88 feet 1 inch, and freshman Ana Cole dropped her 100 time to 13.91.

“We had lots of good performances along with some disappointments,” said Larson. “That’s the nature of track.”

The Outlaws will shift back to purely 4A competition on Wednesday with an Oregon West Conference meet hosted by Cascade and including Philomath and Woodburn. On Saturday, April 27, athletes who met qualification standards will take part in the Meet of Champions at Sweet Home High School. The meet includes top athletes from 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A schools.

“It will be a good week for us since everyone will be able to compete Wednesday and then Saturday will be another great competitive meet which should result in improved performances.”