Camp staff from session two, 2017

Camp staff from session two, 2017

Camp Director

Harland Yriarte, Southern Oregon University (B.S. Education, 1972). University of Oregon (M.S. Education 1982). He founded this wonderful camp in 1975 while coaching at Brookings Harbor High School. He then became Head Track and Field / Cross Country Coach at Lane Community College before serving as the school’s Athletic Director from 1991-2002. Known for his stirring speeches relating the majestic Steens Mountain to running and life, Harland has touched countless lives. He is assisted by his wife Kay, several of their adult children, and an experienced and caring staff.

Steens Camp Headliners include:

Max King. To put it simply, Max is one of the premier runners in the United States. As a collegian, he was an All-American in the Steeplechase for Cornell. After college, Max worked full time as a chemical engineer. Eight years later, he retired in order to focus all of his efforts into his running, and it has undeniably paid off. A three-time Olympic Trials qualifier in the steeplechase (including a 6th place finish in 2012), Max is known better for his off-track exploits. He is a three-time Xterra World Trail Run Champion and has represented the U.S.A. in four World Cross Country Championships. Max is an absolute class act, an inspiration to many.

Melody Fairchild. Melody is widely regarded as the greatest high school runner in U.S. history. She twice won Footlocker Nationals, including a course record 16:39 her senior year (a record that has not yet been broken). At Oregon, Melody won a national championship in the indoor 3000. She continues to run professionally, and was just recently a member of the Gold Medal Mountain Running Team, where she had a top-ten individual finish. Melody operates the Fairchild Running Camps in her hometown Boulder, Co. She has a stunning ability to reach into the spiritual side of running with words both powerful and eloquent.

Ron Smith. Recently retired, Ron was a fantastic high school coach for the Henley Hornets. He once led his girls team to 24 points at the cross country state meet, still a 3A record for lowest score. As a coach, Ron led 14 teams to State Championships and also had 10 runner-up finishes. He also coached 57 athletes to individual state titles. In 2009, Ron was named Girls National High School Track and Field Coach of the Year. He currently serves as Camp Director for Steens.

Matt McGuirk. He was an accomplished steeplechaser in college, running to All-American status while at Oregon. He ran 8:26 at the 1992 Olympic Trials, where he placed 7th. As a coach, Matt started at Wilsonville High School, turning a program that had not seen much success into a perennial state power. He now coaches at Willamette University, where he is a two-time recipient of the NCAA DIII National Coach of the Year award. Matt was the collegiate coach of two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds.

Mike Blackmore. A sub 4-minute miler while at Oregon, Mike works as a sports masseuse in Eugene. After coaching at Churchill High School, he was named Head Cross Country Coach at Lane Community College in 2012. Mike is undoubtedly one of the best masters runners in the nation, highlighted by his double National Championship in the 800 (2:02.12) and 5000 (15:25.79) in 2010. In the spring of 2012, Mike ran 15:16.77 at the ripe age of 50 to shatter the M50 American Record in the 5000.

Marty Beauchamp. Marty had a phenomenal high school career, finishing second in the Kinney (currently Footlocker) National Championships. On his way there, he won the Regional meet in 15:15.9, a record on the extremely challenging course in Van Cortlandt Park, NY. Only eventual NCAA Cross Country Champion Josh McDougal has since bested Marty’s time on that course. Marty ran at Florida, where he was an all-conference performer in XC. He also ran at Lane for Harland Yriarte. Marty, a superb artist, currently coaches at Hermiston High School.

Michael T. Smith. Michael has run races of seemingly every distance imaginable. He has coached and taught in the Salem area for three decades, and currently coaches at Cascade High School. Michael is known for his unique ability to recall races, places, times, and dates, and always has a story to tell. He frequents scores of meets throughout the year, always with a camera by his side. Micahel’s presence at this camp is evident by his passion, thoughtfulness, and of course, his infamous Port-A-Potty speech.

Jeni Chambers . One could not find a better individual to serve as Camp Nurse. Not only is she a highly-qualified nurse (she is an Emergency R.N. in Eugene), but Jeni has an astute understanding of the investments and stresses necessary in order to succeed in the sport of running. She has completed six Ironman Triathlons and over 20 marathons.

Jeremy Lewis. Every year, Jeremy travels a considerable distance to be a member of the staff (Tempe, AZ). This year, however, Jeremy comes to us from China, where he has lived the last few months. A knowledgeable and experienced Athletic Trainer, Jeremy is a family-oriented, caring person. He leads the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) during each session.

Travis Floeck. Travis ran at Southern Oregon University before setting out to pursue a coaching career. Jobs at Lane Community College, SOU, Siuslaw High School, and Oregon State University led him to his current position as Head Cross Country/Assistant Track & Field Coach at the University of Idaho. Along the way, Travis was one of the founding members of He uses those interview talents to stir motivating panel discussions year after year. Already a Steens veteran at a young age, Travis continues to provide encouragement and expertise.

Tom Heinonen. Head Women’s Coach at the University of Oregon from 1977-2003. A 2006 inductee to the USTFCCCA Hall of Fame, Tom has an unbelievable résumé as a coach. Beyond the obvious challenge of establishing a reputable team in an era when women’s athletics weren’t much more than a footnote, Tom’s teams were overwhelmingly successful. Tom coached three teams to National Championships, and 14 of the athletics under his tutelage won individual titles. Add 17 Olympics appearances, three American records, and the 134 All-Americans and he coached, and it’s no surprise that Tom won two National Coach of the Year and eight Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards. He now serves as Head Coach of the UO Running Club and is fast becoming one of the premier track announcers in the West.

Kevin Jantzer. As a high schooler, Kevin was a two-time district champion and a two-time Borderclash qualifier. He now coaches at his alma mater, Phoenix High School. As Camp Photographer and Webmaster, Kevin has revolutionized the look and feel of this fabulous website. His photos are spectacular, and his vision stimulates a modernized approach and keeps all those associated with the camp connected.

Other Guest Coaches and Athletes: TBA


Jeni Fellman, (RN, MS, CEN); Jeremy Lewis, (ATC) Athletic Trainer, will head up our medical treatment staff and be available and to help campers prevent potential “owies”.

Other Top Notch Coaches and Talented College Athletes may include:

Mike Donaghu, Grant; Mike Bojorquez, St. Mary’s; David Frank, C. Catholic; Kristin Uhler, Hood River Valley; Chris Johnson, Siuslaw; Pat Zweifel, Tillamook; Steve Sheehy, Union; Jim Peterson, Hanford; Greg Letts, Centennial; Jason Hofacker, Anchorage Christian; Bob Williams, St. Helens; Dave Mills, Boise (ID). Hans and Pieter Voskes, N. Medford; Gerry Tinkle, St. Helens; Don Stearns, Mt. View; Mike Webster, Mississippi HS (MS); Bill Steyer, Homer(AK); Pam Borg, Yreka, (CA); Kate Lilley, Chicago Bulls College Prep (ID); Ann Howard, Bainbridge Is. (WA); Bobbi St. Clair, Grants Pass. (NCAA Rules prevent the “younger” college athletes from being listed.)