Here’s a nice little post from the Billings Gazette with lists of who has prequalified for state for all of the classes that have those standards.
Through great strategy and a balanced team the Bozeman Hawks won the Great Falls Optimist Invitational for the first time in many years. The “Chicks Meet” is a chance for all of the AA teams to come together for a State Meet Preview. For the second year in a row the conditions were awful with continuous snow, sleet, or rain. Team huddled on the concrete under the bleachers trying to stay dry and warm but consistently wandered out into the elements to cheer on their friends. Here’s a link to a story at the Great Falls Gazette.
The MT Standard in Butte had nice coverage of the boy’s meet with an emphasis on local sprinter, Dalton Daum. Looks like Butte had much nicer weather than Great Falls.
I don’t know why the Chronicle has had such poor coverage this year. Track had 225 athletes start this year and many of their parents are community leaders with businesses that used to support the paper through advertising.
2014–Winter Storm Bozeman
2014 was the strongest year ever for Montana girls with 11 sub 18 performers and a new state best of 16:33 by Makena Morley at the Class B State Meet. At the NXNNW Regional meet Makena returned with her sister Bryn along with Annie Hill of Glacier. All three challenged for leadership in the race and Annie Hill finished on top for Montana as they ran an impressive 4-5-6.. All three turned down their individual invitation to NXN to try for a Footlocker berth in the Mountain Region in December. Also placing in the exclusive top 21 was 11th place Piper Meuwissen for the 2nd year running. The race was won by 6A Oregon State Champ Ella Donahu who had been ranked 22nd nationally going into the meet.
In addition to the the state’s nationally ranked super stars, 15 of the top twenty girls from the Montana State Meet went to NXNNW where they made an impressive showing in all the races. Since the times were meaningless at NXN this year due to 10” of snow (yes really) I’ll just list each girl’s best three mile time this year for a well-established MT race, along with their place at NXN. Kaitlin and Sarah Latcham competed in the open race with their teams so their places are just estimates for the Championship race.
NXN Place Best 3 Mile Time
4 Annie Hill 9 Glacier 16:39 MW
5 Makena Morley 12 Bigfork 16:33 State
6 Bryn Morley 9 Bigfork 16:59 State
11 Piper Meuwissen 10 Bozeman 17:29 Butte
25 Samantha Sayer 12 Missoula Hellgate 17:30 Butte
28 Bailee Parker 11 West Yellowstone 17:30 Butte
33 Christina Aragon 11 Billings Senior 17:09 Billings
34 Bridget Creel 12 Bozeman 17:47 Butte
41 Molly MacDonald 10 Missoula Sentinel 18:21 Butte
42 Kenenni Wiegand 10 Bozeman 18:01 Butte
50 Amanda Nelson 12 Billings Skyview 17:25 7v7
54 Miranda Foster 11 Missoula Hellgate 17:40 Missoula
63 Sarah Foster 12 Bozeman 18:20 Butte
69 Kaitlin Wride 9 Flathead 17:55 Butte
95 Sarah Latcham 12 Whitefish 18:45 State
In 2014 5 varsity squads represented the Big Sky. AA Champs Bozeman were joined by Runnerup Hellgate in the Championship race, while Flathead, Billings Senior and Whitefish all brought teams to the Open race. In the 2014 regular season Bozeman bypassed some of the bigger invitationals that they have attended in the past. None the less at their opening meet at the Cardinal Classic in Soda Springs, Idaho the Bozeman girls bested 21 teams from Idaho, Utah and Wyoming without the help of Piper Meuwissen. Bridget Creel won the Varsity meet, while Maddie Vilhauer showed strength in the JV race that would earn her a varsity spot down the line. At the Mountain West Invitational the team took 2nd to Coeur D’Alene (110/121) once again without Piper who had a fall cold. Finally at the Butte Invitational the team ran their full varsity squad. The Missoula teams showed up in force along with Bailee Parker of West Yellowstone who had yet to face competition. Typically the weather in Butte for this meet is windy and cold, but on this day the weather conditions were ideal and personal bests, and course records fell as the top dogs tangled. Each of the Bozeman girls got into gutty races in their parts of the field. Marley May ended up as Bozeman’s fifth and nudged under 19:00 for the first time. Kenneni Wiegand and Sarah Foster each held their own in the hungry field and the team ran an 18:07 team average which I believe is the best average ever in a traditionally formatted race. Eventual state runner up Hellgate placed 2nd behind a strong showing by Samantha Sayer. All of the state’s leading teams met at the 7v7 Invitational with Bozeman taking the win, Hellgate, Flathead and Glacier were all quite close, but Flathead ended up 2nd showing how close the race for the podium was going to be at the state meet. The team race at the state meet ended up close, but it wasn’t between Hellgate, Glacier and Flathead–It was between Hellgate and Bozeman. Bozeman ended up winning State for the 8th consecutive year by just two points. Needless to say there was some nail biting before the results were announced. Hellgate’s Samantha Sayer had the lowest stick of the two teams while Phoebe Jacques from Bozeman finished one place in front of Hellgate’s 5th in the twentieth slot showing that cross country really is a team race all the way to the 7th runner. Flathead took the 3rd podium position behind a strong 7th place finish from freshman Kaitlin Wreide. Bozeman’s 18:35 team average tied Billings Senior for fourth best in the state ever, while Hellgate’s crew moved into the 7th best ever with their average of 18:39.
Bozeman 2014 (Coach Clint May)
Piper Meuwissen 17:51
Kenenni Weigand 18:28
Bridget Creel 18:39
Sarah Foster 18:46
Phoebe Jacques 19:10
4th at NXN Northwest
Hellgate 2014 (Coach Anders Booker)
Samantha Sayer 17:47
Miranda Foster 18:27
Allison Monahan 18:49
Ellee Becker 19:00
Halle Smith 19:19
11th at NXN Northwest
Officially named Winter Storm Bozeman brought chaos to Boise in 2014. Top notch meet volunteers were working furiously to plow 10” of fresh snow from the course during Friday’s course walkthroughs. Because the start was so huge, after some modifications to the course this year, the crew left that alone and racers had to start through 400m of ankle freezing snow. Fewer teams were seeded in the Championship race to allow more high powered individuals than ever before and it made it difficult for spectators to figure out what was happening with the team scores. Fiftieth in the race was roughly 25th in team scoring. In most years you would just subtract out about 10 runners at 50th place. After the start the top 6 runners broke away while the rest of the racers were trapped in the crush looking for decent footing in the mashed potato snow. The course occasionally had decent footing, but girls in a pack couldn’t get to it. Bozeman’s Piper Meuwissen found a way to work her way up through the pack and finished 11th overall with a team score of 3. Bridget Creel and Kenneni Wiegand worked together to pass dozens of girls on both sides throughout the race. Once Sarah Foster and Marley way found a way to run through the snow with their long legs they too were moving up through the pack. Maddie Vilhauer ran a strong last mile and everyone on the team was charging hard to the finish line. Alas the team did not finish in the auto qualifying spots, but their 4th place finish gave the 5 returners a taste for more. Each of the girls ‘went into the tent’ to fill out the Nike forms with their shoe size, uniform size etc in case of the elusive at-large bid. Hellgate finished 11th in the Championship race. Camas, Washington, and Coeur D’alene, Idaho had impressive performances to take the team auto-qualifiers.
Dismissed at 12:05p depart at 12:30p—plan on simply wearing your school clothes on the bus. We will stop for a brief workout in Idaho Falls, ID.
Arrival, dinner in Pocatello around 6p.
Wake up and breakfast in the hotel at the continental bar at 8am. On the road by 9am. Lunch to be determined somewhere on the way to Boise. Arrive in Boise around 3pm. Head to the course light workout.
Dinner around 6pm dress nice then off to the ice cream social.
Lights out 10:30pm.
Wake up and breakfast in the hotel at 7:30am and on the road by 9:30am. 11am beginning of JV races. Varsity Races to follow. Races finished and head to Burley, ID to spend the night.
Wake up and breakfast in the hotel at 8:30am and on the road by 9:30am. Arrive in Bozeman around 2pm.
Packing List: (Some of the more important items, check yourself)
Racing shoes Spikes?
Training Clothes, warm weather, extra pairs, water, waterproof shells.
Racing Clothes, warm weather, WET weather, extra socks, etc.
Money—food ($60-$75) extra money for shirts, etc.—up to you.
Nice clothes for Friday Dinner
Swim suit/ towel
Personal Bag—toothbrush, deoderant, etc
Music, movies, and games—make sure they are appropriate and can be quiet
Part of your payment for Regionals will go towards snack foods on the bus. Please avoid thinking/planning on bus food being a meal yet we do want everyone to be fueled so snack away: fruit, bagels, snack bars, etc…
Payment: $175. Please pay ASAP. Checks to be written to: BHS Cross Country.
11/13—Best Western, Pocatello
1415 Bench Rd.
1575 S Meridian Rd, Meridian,
11/15— Super 8 Burley, ID
336 South 600 West
The website for the Nike Cross Regionals (NXNNW) is www. runnerspace.com/nxnnw. There are tons of details there on race times, historical results, and old videos. In past years there had been a live feed to the race, but so far I have not been able to find one for parents and fans that cannot be in Boise. NC
Thursday is the end of the year XC banquet at the south gym at BHS at 6:00. I hope everyone got their letters with the details from the school. Senior parents are likely busy putting together posters for their athletes and everyone is planning a healthy potluck dish or two. As parents we always like to recognize our coaches and Jill Hamilton will have some cards to sign along with some bags. There are five coaches this year.
As a parent I am so proud of both the Girls and Boys teams for their amazing accomplishment this year. Two young teams overcame incredible pressure and expectations to again deliver a STATE XC CHAMPIONSHIP to BHS. NC