Due to a number of various ailments afflicting the team, the Bruins haven’t had the smoothest season so far.
“I’ve never had this many kids with aches and pains,” said head coach Terry Axel. “I blame lack of conditioning in summer.”
To compensate, Axel has had the Bruins compete in the junior varsity races in the last two meets. And judging by the team’s eighth-place finish at the Woahink Lake XC Invitational last weekend, it may be a while before they compete in a varsity race once more.
With the exception of sophomore Zachary Abblitt, who finished first with a time of 18:24.79, most Bruins finished in the middle of the pack of the 208-man race.
Axel noted that Abblitt had actually gotten lost in the course of the race, but was far enough ahead that he was able to backtrack and still win.
“The Siuslaw kids even came up and asked ‘Why is Zack running in this race?’” Axel said. “Well, cause of my team.”
The next closest Bruin behind Abblitt was junior Andrew Enos, who took 47th with 20:30:18. Enos was followed by senior Christian Steendahl (21:25.41) in 83rd place. Freshman Josiah SpearDenham (23:06.07) brought up the rear in 155th place.
According to Axel, the Bruins are still a bit behind where he would like them to be at this point in the season.
“If (they’re) not running under 20, (they’re) not lettering,” Axel said. “(The) guys need to be running (there).”
The Bruins will compete later today at the Hidden Valley Mustang Invitational at the Valley of the Rogue State Park.
At the Woahink Lake XC Invitational, the Panthers entered three runners in the boys and girls junior varsity race, and two competitors in the girls varsity field.
In girls varsity action, senior Avi Gaston (22:28.15) took 34th place, and was closely followed by fellow senior Beth Myers (22:42.80) who placed 39th.
In the boys junior varsity 5,000 meters, sophomore Tandy Martin finished 61st with 20:51.67. Senior Dawson Martin clocked in at 24:00.66 to finish 170th. In girls junior varsity, freshman Anna McCann (24:04.23) finished 18th of 126 runners.