By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– With nine teams taking part in the Darrel Deedon Cascade Invitational Thursday on the guys side of the race, Stayton held three of the top five spots by the time they got to the finish line and five in the top 10 to take the overall spot with a low-score of 24 team points.
“Three guys in the Top five and even more in the Top 20 and I think we had one guy who wasn’t in the Top 20,” said Casey Pugh, who finished second in the Varsity guys race, and was hanging with race-winner in East Linn’s Jedaiah Wasson until about a mile into the race when Wasson took off with the lead. “And so that’s kind of puts it in perspective how well we can do as a team if we put our mind to it.”
Ben Kirby, who finished fifth at 17:18 and 18 seconds behind third-place finisher and teammate Matt Frazeur, mentioned that it’s a good starting point for them as they start the 2017 trek this season.
“Well we all know it’s good because we were all ahead than we were last year,” said Kirby who PR’d in the race Thursday afternoon. “I know I just PR’d by like 40 seconds and I think Dylan’s (Cudd) 30 seconds faster than he was last year at this point at least and I know Matt and Casey were up with their best times. So it’s really great.”
Kirby points to them setting goals everyday to get better every time they go out to run.
On the girls side, freshman Hailey Notman, in her second 5K at the high school level, PR’d with a time of 22.40.0 as she was neck-and-neck with Emmily Cheek of Harrisburg until the final 300 meters when she found her final kick and pulled away like she was a veteran sophomore or junior runner.
Notman, who’s still gaining a grasp of how to run the 3.1 mile races, described the process on learning going from the 3K races in Middle School to the 5K races in High School as hard work.
“Better, but it’s hard work,” said the quiet freshman on the adjustment. “Like, just letting me know where to push it and how to keep up.”
Hey, there’s still plenty of races to go, but Notman has already showed that she can compete well at the High School 5K level two-races in.
Other notable runners for the Lady Eagles include Skyla Anderson (8th, 25:24) and Cailyn Riordan (15th, 26:24).
The Eagle Runners will be off until September 20 when they host the Stayton Invitational at Stayton High School.