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Cross-country: Wilsonville to reunite with rival Sherwood at Sandelie Golf Course

Teams meet two months after joint training camp


by: JOHN SCHRAG / PAMPLIN MEDIA - Taryn Rawlings and the Wilsonville cross-country team will race Oct. 11 at Sandelie Golf Course.Wilsonville cross-country coach David Barkley knows his school’s rivalry with Sherwood is often intense. But he doesn’t believe it has to be bitter.

So when his Wildcats arrive at Sandelie Golf Course for a 34-team meet Oct. 11, perhaps they’ll exchange pleasantries with the Bowmen. Maybe they’ll ask each other about their respective seasons, crack a few jokes and wish each other good luck.

Sherwood’s runners, after all, are not complete strangers. Wilsonville’s student-athletes began building relationships with them during a joint training camp in August, part of a competitive yet symbiotic framework that the two Northwest Oregon Conference contenders have created over the last decade.

In cross-country, anyway.

“Steel sharpens steel,” Barkley said. “But we really do it so the kids know that, after the race is over, the kids at Sherwood are really good people.

“After the district race is over in cross country, your competitors from districts are the folks that are pulling for you in the state meet. The kid you out-leaned, or vice versa, is likely the only one who really knows how hard you ran. Hence, we bring Sherwood along.”

The Wildcats and the Bowmen have come together for preseason training camps three times since Barkley took the helm at Wilsonville about 10 years ago.

The joint sessions didn’t start with Sherwood, though. They started with Lakeridge.

About 7 years ago, Wilsonville teamed up with the Pacers for offseason training and other activities because of a family connection between the schools. Jalen and Ty James, the sons of Lakeridge coach Ken James, both ran at Wilsonville.

“They have an excellent coaching staff,” Barkley said of Lakeridge, which will also take part in the upcoming meet at Sandelie Golf Course. “We swap ideas, and both programs have improved for it.”

Barkley has also formed strong bonds with Sherwood coach Wendell Otto and his assistants thanks to many years of crossing paths in the running world — even before the Wildcats and the Bowmen moved up from Class 3A to 5A in 2007.

So after Barkley saw the benefits of his program’s camaraderie with Lakeridge, he and Otto decided to bring a similar dynamic to the Wilsonville-Sherwood rivalry.

 “The rivalry adds a little bit of spice to workouts and runs,” Barkley said of the preseason training camps with Sherwood. “It is important for our athletes to recognize that the Sherwood kids are good people.”

For both the Wildcats and the Bowmen, the upcoming meet at Sandelie Golf Course is the final tune-up before the Oct. 23 district championships.

The girls varsity race will begin at 4:15 p.m. at the 9-hole golf course off Advance Road. The boys race will follow at 4:45 p.m. Parking costs $5 per vehicle.




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