This interesting tidbit comes from one of Oregon State coach Kelly Sullivan’s emails.
Fifty-one years ago this week, barefooted Dale Story won the 1961 cross country championship and led the Beavers to the team championship. It was Oregon State’s only NCAA title — in any sport — until the baseball team won back-to-back College World Series crowns in 2006 and 2007.
Story continued to impact the running community in eastern Oregon as a coach for many years and a new generation has begun to emerge. His granddaughters, Kara and Krista Story, are key members of the Coeur d’Alene Idaho team that won the NXN Northwest Regional. It was something of a surprise. Idaho had never qualified a team before to the national championship.
NXN, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is the Nike-sponsored national championship for high school cross country. At least it is for all but a few states with hyper-restrictive state associations (like Michigan and Ohio).
The girls race features a for-the-ages match-up between 2011 champion Sarah Baxter of Simi Valley, Calif. and Mary Cain of Bronxville, N.Y. Cain, who smashed the high school record in the 1,500 meters over the summer, is training independently of her school and is taking trans-continental coaching advice from Alberto Salazar.
One of the more incredible parts about a Baxter-Cain race is that both are only juniors. Throw in Amy-Eloise Neale of Snohomish, Wash. and a few others and this could be one of the best races in meet history.
The meet is Saturday at Portland Meadows.