By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.—Saturday was a unique day for Cascade’s Cami Oliva.
Some call the feat the Deion Sanders-effect in reference to Sanders playing in a baseball and football game. As challenging as Saturday was, Oliva made do with running a 5K in the AM and was part of the Cougars Volleyball Gold Bracket Championship run in their home-tournament in the PM.
“I want to run track in college and I think doing cross country, maybe potentially doing it in college as well, will help me get there and help my body get ready for that next level,” Oliva said.
Oliva finished ninth in the 4A State Track and Field prelims in the 400-meters while helping the Cascade 4×400-meter relay to a State Title this past Spring as a junior.
Saturday at the Stayton Invitational was her second 5K race. Ever. Finishing seventh, a place behind Scio’s Athena Lau who was a State qualifying racer at the 3A/2A/1A level this past Spring for the Loggers.
A handful of the runners in the race Saturday with Philomath’s Ingrid Hellesto (third), Sisters Ella Bartlett (fifth) and Lau (sixth) were State Qualifying runners this past Spring for their respective schools. Oliva was within a minute of those three with a time of 21:32.
“I tell myself to run my own race and do the best that I can. It helps to have those girls that have experience and are pretty good runners to help push me to compete so it’s really nice.”
Oliva bolted the 15 minutes or so over to Turner and joined the Cascade Volleyball team. She was on the bench in uniform for their second pool play game against North Marion as the Cougs defeated Tillamook, Cottage Grove and Harrisburg for the Tournament Title.
As for juggling the two sports. It’s difficult but she has the support from her coaches through this challenge.
“It helps because my coaches are super supportive and that they know that I want to run in the future, so my volleyball coach is like ‘do what you need to do and then come to volleyball’. She’s really supportive and just balancing my workouts,” Oliva said. “Like making sure I’m running and eating, playing hard volleyball and putting effort into both.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald