“I had only been up McCulloch Peak once before.”
Ryan Frederickson echoes the experience many of the boys on the CHS varsity Cross Country teams.
Yet by the end of the summer, the boys team had ascended the 2,178-foot hill in McDonald Forest over seven times. It became almost an expected challenge when practice was at Oak Creek.
In the middle of the summer, while many CHS students were sleeping in and relaxing, the boys and girls cross country teams were doing just the opposite. They were driving to trails at Oak Creek and Peavy Arboretum to be at practice at 8am Monday-Saturday.
All this training together led to a team dynamic not always found in cross country.
The team went to Humboldt Redwoods State Park in California in August for a 5-day running camp. Then, when senior Gavin Bomber announced that he was not able to go, nobody complained. Instead, the boys team planned their own running trip to Sunriver at a time when Gavin could go.
Senior Jesse Marley reflects, “What was unique about this team was the strength of our bond. We were bonded not by any real similarities in character, but by complete devotion to running”.
Above: Senior Gavin Bomber hits his stride during the 2015 Harrier Classic.
Yet the teams still had to overcome mountains of their own. At one time or another, everyone on the boys varsity team was injured. Over the summer, sophomore Ian Vickstrom missed more than a week with a foot injury. And junior Doug Burris fractured his foot on a run at Peavy Arboretum. The girls team ran through most of July without a full complement of seven runners.
Below: Freshman Geneva Wolfe recorded one of the fastest times amongst all female competitors.
Now, the boys and girls cross country teams have reached the pinnacle of their season. Both placed 6th at state. Corvallis Freshman Geneva Wolfe recorded the second-fastest time among all Oregon 5A freshmen, running the district course in 19:15.5. And the boys team had five runners under 17:00, a feat only matched by a few teams in the state.
Although the cross country season is over, the CHS teams are still seeking new challenges. “Watch out for us on the basketball court”, senior Jesse Marley declares.