Monday, November 21, 2011


For those of you that caught the NCAA XC Championships this morning then you know what it takes for those young men and women to compete at such a high level.   The majority of the men's field finished under 31 minutes for a 10k and the women ran 20 minutes for 6k.

But before any of them ever though of racing at nationals they busted it out at events like the NXN regional in Boise during their formative years.  

Their website describes the competition as, eight regional championships qualify both teams and individuals into one race for all the marbles over the whoop-dee-doos and hay bales at Portland Meadows.  But everyone now knows that it rivals the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships as the de facto HS race in the country. 

As couple of  South Medford runners headed to the meet under the auspices of the Panther Track Club to garner some valuable racing and came out with some great times.   

Camden Stemple ran 17:40 a week after qualifying for the state meet in Eugene and only a couple hours prior to that the family was heading an aid station at Lithia Loop.  Lela Stemple also got to battle it out with a 20:57 in this super competitive field and gained some invaluable experience that will certainly pay off in the years to come, I just know it.   

I commend both of these young runners for their determination and effort.  It seems like yesterday that they walked into the store, no more than 5 feet in stature, grinning from their Friday runs up and around the trails in Ashland. 

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