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. 2017 Ultra Trail Runner of the Year.

Melody Fairchild 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 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 and  is now Head Distance Coach at Linfield College. 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 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 is also a superb artist with a brush.

Michael T. Smith 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.

Travis Floeck 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.

David Laney, races professionally for Nike Trail Elite, 2015 USATF 100 mile Trail Champion, 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifier 2:17.02, former Steens Camper from Central Catholic HS (OR).

Cole Watson, races for HOKA ONE ONE, 2017 Member of USA World Long Distance Mountain Running Team, former Duck and Steens Camper from Rogue River HS (OR).

Jenner Yriarte, a bright, young and talented TF Coach at Grants Pass HS, OR, in his short time as the Cavemen’s Head Coach, his boys TF team won the 2015 6A State Championship with 63.5 points, the program’s first title since 1947. 2017 Girls TF Team 3rd 6A State Championships – highest finish in the school’s history.

Other Guest Coaches and Athletes: TBA


Jeni Fellman, (RN, MS, CEN), 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:

May include: Michael Donaghu – Nike; Johnny “Wildhorse” Truax – Nike; Jenner Yriarte – Grants Pass; Mike Bojorquez – St. Mary’s; David Frank – C. Catholic; Pat Zweifel – Tillamook; Chris Johnson – Siuslaw; Steve Sheehy, Union; Jason Hofacker, Anchorage Christian. Hans and Pieter Voskes, N. Medford; Gerry Tinkle, St. Helens; Brent Hutton -Bandon; Mike Webster, MississippiHS (MS); PamBorg,Yreka, (CA); Anne Howard – Bainbridge Island (WA); Stan Goodell – Grants Pass; Thor Esbensen – Wilson; Ryan King – Ashland; Robin McGillis – C. Catholic; Chris Reed – Seattle Pacific; Bill Steyer – Lane CC; Chris Van Cauteren – S. Albany; Kari Strang – CORK; Terry Howard – Washougal (WA). (NCAA Rules prevent the “younger” college athletes from being listed.)