By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.—The two friends who have been training with each other all season long had another strong race Thursday at the Stayton/Regis Invitational at Stayton Middle School.
The two had a speedy start as they pulled away from Chemawa’s Clement Afterbuffalo and the rest of the pack by the time they enter the wooded part of the race where they battled the hills at hand.
For Matt Frazeur, the second-mile slowdown hit as he tried to keep up with Ben Kirby as they enter the final mile of the race.
“Longer runs, changing it so that in the middle of my longer runs it’s more of a tempo part so I can learn how to cruise and relax at Mile 2 instead of hauling balls at the end,” smiled Frazeur.
Those hills, though, challenged Hailey Notman as the sophomore won the girls 5K race with a time of 20:16.8, nearly a 37 second win over Oregon Episcopal’s Alma Nye for first place.
“There’s a lot of hills, it made it harder,” said Haley Notman as Skyla Anderson finished fifth and Alyssa Cudd was 15th with the Lady Eagles squeaking out the First-Place Trophy by two points over OES.
Cailyn Riordan finished 30th with a time of 24:01.01.
As Frazeur and Kirby came back into view of the finish-line from the tress, the Senior Frazeur had a slight advantage over Kirby coming around the corner when Kirby tried to slingshot himself around Frazeur coming down the homestretch.
“I just kind of tried to slingshot around him but he had another gear that I didn’t have which is how it’s been all year with the workouts,” said Kirby. “I’m not surprised that he got me there on that one. I just got to rest more and get my legs feeling good, I was a little tired today.”
“I feel like he’s one of the strongest runners I’ve ever seen, he’s my best friend. No doubt that he’s my best friend but I think if it comes down to a dead sprint at the end I think I got him,” smile and laughed Frazeur of Kirby. “I think we all came to that conclusion, we both came to that conclusion that no matter the sprint I think I got him.”
Frazeur timed his friends maneuver out just right to time out his kick as Frazeur pulled away from Kirby for the 16:30.0 win, a full 1.7 seconds ahead of Kirby who finished second at 16:31.7.
Dylan Cudd finished sixth (17:59.4), Mason Reidman was 24th and Zach Holloway was 27th. Riley Craig and Riley Nichol were 31st and 35th respectively as the Eagles Boys too finished first in the Invite as a team.