Northwest A Divisionals - 2007

Northwest 'A' Divisionals
Silver Fox Golf Course, Pablo MT
Saturday, October 13, 2007

Girls Team Results:
1. Whitefish 30
2. Ronan 63
3. Polson 83
4. Columbia Falls 89
. Bigfork no score
. Libby no score

Girls Individual Results:
2. Lauren Kuennen Whitefish 19:23 All Conference
5. Stella Holt Whitefish 19:43 All Conference
6. Bailey Eaton Whitefish 19:43 All Conference
8. Loni Hanson Whitefish 19:50 All Conference
9. Clare Miller Whitefish 19:53 All Conference
11.Carly Schwickert Whitefish 20:08
12.Kelly Beiser Whitefish 20:19
13.Beth Donovan Whitefish 20:24
15.Jessica Sagen Whitefish 20:36
27.Hannah Wever Whitefish 22:08
28.Natalie Kearns Whitefish 22:19
30.Anne Miller Whitefish 22:24
35.Megan Shaver Whitefish 22:50
41.Alexa Holliday Whitefish 23:46
42.Maggie Wilson Whitefish 23:55
43.Mallory Phillips Whitefish 23:55
45.Elizabeth Stevenson Whitefish 24:03

Boys Team Results:
1. Whitefish 33
2. Columbia Falls 61
3. Polson 74
4. Ronan 118
5. Bigfork 155
6. Libby 175

Boys Individual Results:
1. Logan Torgison Polson 15:55
2. Drew Coco Whitefish 16:12 All Conference
3. Patric Jessat Columbia Falls 16:24
4. Shawn Whitman Columbia Falls 16:50
5. Erik Anderson Whitefish 17:05 All Conference
6. Tripp Gimbel Columbia Falls 17:08
7. Patrick McGunagle Whitefish 17:10 All Conference
8. Nick Donovan Whitefish 17:21 All Conference
11.Michael Samdahl Whitefish 17:34
12.Byron Bard Whitefish 17:35
16.Marshall Opel Whitefish 17:50
22.Dylan Rice Whitefish 18:05
25.Michael Harrison Whitefish 18:11
35.Baxter Graham Whitefish 18:52
37.Wes Beougher Whitefish 19:03
58.Tucker Chambers Whitefish 22:44
61.Dietrich Perchy Whitefish 23:11
62.Christopher Reyna Whitefish 23:12

Comments on the Meet:

As usual, the Northwestern A Conference Championship meet was a competitive one. The Whitefish High School Girls and Boys cross country teams were both looking for strong showings which would allow them to defend the titles they won last fall.

"We went in knowing that we probably had an edge in the girls portion of the meet, but we really weren't sure what to expect from the boys. In the end, it was a pretty good day for both teams as we were able to show off our depth by having nine girls in the top 15, and 6 boys in the top 12 places."

The girls team was led by the runner-up finish of senior Lauren Kuennen with a time of 19:23. Her performance helped the Lady Bulldogs to outdistance the defending state champion Ronan Maidens by a score of 30 to 63.

"Lauren ran fantastic today. She looked under control and confident the entire race. She is really strong on hilly courses, which the Silver Fox course is. I've been very impressed by her performances all season. She has been such a great leader for us both on and off the race course. With her leading our group next weekend, I feel pretty confident that we'll have another solid team performance."

Joining Lauren with All Conference performances (top ten places) were Stella Holt (5th in 19:43), Bailey Eaton (6th in 19:43), Loni Hanson (8th in 19:50) and Clare Miller (9th in 19:53).

"Wow, what a group finish. I'm not sure if it was our best run of the year, but it was certainly enough to take half of the top ten positions in the race. That's saying a lot considering how many great individual runners are in the conference this year. We had our top five under 20 minutes, which is what we'd like to see next weekend at the State Meet."

Carly Schwickert (11th in 20:08-), Kelly Beiser (12th in 20:19) and Beth Donovan (13th in 20:24) all ran well also finishing just outside of the top ten. Jessica Sagen was right there as well (15th in 20:36)

"I don't think that there's another team in Class A that has the ability to put their top five scorers under twenty minutes for each. That gives us a huge advantage since we only have to continue to run as we have to have a great shot at winning a state title. We'll certainly be watching out for strong teams from Hardin, Hamilton, Glendive and Laurel. One thing we aren't going to do is overlook anyone. We've been able to make it through the entire season without a loss to a Class A school and we sure don't want to give anyone a free shot at us at the biggest meet of the year."

"The only down side to the meet is that it was the end of the season for all the runners that will not be competing at State. We are allowed to have seven competitors and one alternate to travel to the State Championship meet. That's really unfortunate for runners such as Jessica Sagen, one of our fab four freshman. She ran a personal best time of 20:36 at the divisional meet to place 15th. That time would have gotten her All Conference last season on the same course. This year it's not quite enough to give her a spot on the bus. I think that if we had a couple more meets, she would been under twenty minutes for three miles. She's going to be a great one for us in the future."

The boys came into the meet not really knowing what to expect. They certainly did not want to be the team coming back to Whitefish without a championship trophy. They didn't disappoint as they ran a strong race to finish in first with 33 points. In second place was Columbia Falls with 61 points, while Polson finished in the third position with 74 points.

"We ran quite a bit better than we've have in the past three or four weeks. It's not that we've run poorly, but I think we may have finally come close to reaching our true potential as a team. Last weekend we defeated Columbia Falls by a single point. Today we finished ahead of them by 28 points. It wasn't that the Wildcats had a bad race, we just ran really, really well."

Drew Coco placed second to led the Bulldogs to their team title. He was joined Erik Anderson (5th in 17:05), Pat McGunagle (7th in 17:10) and Nick Donovan (9th in 17:21) as All Conference Performers with their top ten finishes. Teammates Micahel Samdahl and Byron Bard were not that far behind as they finished in 11th and 12th positions.

"Drew ran well to place second. I think he's ready to really turn one loose next weekend at the State meet. At this meet, Polson's Logan Torgison was a bit more familiar with the course, as he won here last season as well. Erik, Patrick and Nick all did a great job of competing with the best in our conference. It was great seeing them up front, running strong. They deserved their results as they've worked hard all season."

"Michael Samdahl and Byron Bard had great races as well. For them to finish so high at such a tough meet tells me that we may be ready for a good race at the State meet. If we can run as well as we did today, we can certainly compete for a State trophy (top 3 team finish). If we can have even a better race, we may have a chance for even better. Browning and Hamilton look really strong right now, but neither are so dominant that they are out of reach. Havre and Belgrade look pretty good also, and you never know about Columbia Falls. They've come a long ways since last season."

The State Cross Country Championships will be held at Helena's Bill Roberts Golf Course on Saturday. The Class A boys will compete at 1:10 PM, and the Class A girls will run at 2:10 PM.