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Taking one for the team Sunday, May 27, 2007

Gresham High School students admire their work May 23 after waxing the first strip of hair off Coach Chris Koenig's chest in the training room at their school.

After the boys 4x400 relay team finished third at the state meet in 2006, Coach Chris Koenig agreed to let the four returning members—Peter DeBois, Gavin Reidel, Spencer Clark and Shaun Lambert—wax his chest if they won in Eugene this year. The team sprinted to the gold medal with a time of 3:20.37, a new school record.

"Either way, it's a win-win," Koenig recalls thinking when he agreed to the procedure. "If they win, it's great, I'll endure it. If not, nothing happens."

May 23, the bet came due. Armed with an electric razor and waxing kit loaned by a local salon, the relay team and more than a dozen others crowded into the tiny training room and waited for their coach.

The equipment may have been professional quality, but the technicians were not. In fact, the boys gathered for the event freely admitted that they had no experience with waxing whatsoever.

The few women and girls on hand gave instruction and assistance to the boys, and after a few tries they started making progress on the thicket that lay on the table before them.

After enduring 40 minutes of haphazard, inexperienced treatment that left his hirsute chest a patchy clear-cut, coach Koenig decided that the bet had been honored.

How will he top this prize if the team wins next year? "I guess it's the back," he says.

Gresham High School track and field coach Chris Koenig, before (left) and after (below).

To see Coach Koenig's reaction during the waxing, pick up a copy of the May 26 edition of The Gresham Outlook and turn to the Sports section.