Sweet Home team takes seventh out of 49 in Portland to Coast relay

A team of mostly Sweet Home High School runners finished seventh overall in the Portland to Coast High School Challenge Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25-26..

Despite almost missing the start because of a shooting on Interstate 5 north of Albany Friday afternoon, the Huskies and three other runners, two from Cascade High School and one from Philomath, finished the 127-mile course in 15:01.01. They were third in their category, a mixed team of boys and girls.

“We had a heck of a time getting to the start line because of the I-5 shoting, then almost didn’t make the first exchange,” said Sweet Home cross-country coach Billy Snow, who accompanied them. “Once they settled in, though, they ran great and had a lot of fun.”

Jessica Trautwein captained and organized the team, which was named Back of the Pack. The other runners were Jake Smith, Nikki Smith, KC Hanscam. Jess Keys. Dakotah Keys, Kambria Schumacher, Cassandra Schumacher, Robert Callagan, Kym Hunt of Cascade, Jakson Clark of Cascade and Louis Donadio of Philomath.

The annual Challenge, part of the Hood to Coast Relay series, is open only to youth 18 and under who can choose to compete in one of three categories – all girls, all boys, and a mix of boys/girls. The 127-mile course from Portland to Seaside is made up of of 24 running legs varying in distance from four to six miles. Teams can be as many as 12 runners, but fewer can do it. Each runner runs at least two legs.

Teams cannot compete directly from schools, but runners can form their own teams and coaches can assist as volunteers, according to OSAA rules.

The winning all-boys an team, also the overall winner, was Pen Island of Tigard, which finished in 13:19.39. Team Dandylions of West Linn was the first girls team, finishing 15th overall in 16:26.04. The Blue Line of Hillsborough was the first mixed-team finisher, running 14:42.29,

Volunteers Lela Danforth, Adel Hanscam and Christine Smith assisted the Sweet Home team. Transportation was provided by Glen and Genevra Schumacher and Snow.