Runners round a corner at Camp Howard that overlooks a vista.
Runners round a corner at Camp Howard that overlooks a vista.
CYO long desired a cross-country program. For a variety of reasons, it did not happen until the year of the pandemic. Cross-country was perfectly suited for these difficult days and remained a sanctioned sport in Oregon throughout the tumultuous times.

CYO staff and volunteer commission members teamed up with Tom Rothenberger and Stumptown Running to present a four-week cross-country series that saw action two weekends at Jesuit High School and two weekends at Camp Howard. The sport quickly hit capacity within two weeks of opening. More than 400 youths participated in the venture.

Meets at Jesuit included opportunities for participants to run distances including 3,000, 1,500, 800 and 400 meters. At Camp Howard the 3,000 and 1,500 courses included spectacular vistas. Runners commented on how wonderful the Camp Howard course was and how different from most others.

Isaac Forquer, Mac Lavier, Liz Dooley, Jennifer Adamy and Randy Dollar — CYO track and field commission members — were all stars helping with the presentation of the sport. The CYO staff is very grateful for the talents the volunteers brought to the events.

Great care was taken through the efforts of Stumptown and CYO to follow protocols laid out by the state and Multnomah County. This same effort will carry over into the upcoming CYO track and field season, summer camp and cross-country in the fall.

CYO plans to run a fall cross-country series beginning after Labor Day with four Saturday races followed with a championship. Locations will be announced closer to the series. Diane Robinson will facilitate the sport for CYO this fall.

The writer, a Sister of St. Mary of Oregon, is executive director of CYO/Camp Howard.