State A Cross Country Championships
Bill Roberts Golf Course - Helena, Montana
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Class A boys
1. Browning 76
2. Hamilton 84
3. Whitefish 133 *Won tie breaker
3. Havre 133
5. Hardin 153
6. Columbia Falls 163
7. Beaverhead County 174
8. Frenchtown 218
9. Polson 219
10. Belgrade 222
11. Laurel 245
12. Corvallis 352
13. Ronan 354
14. Dawson County 419
15. Libby 441
16. Billings Central 470
17. Park 537
18. Anaconda 555
5. Drew Coco Whitefish 16:26 All State
17. Erik Anderson Whitefish 17:22
21. Nick Donovan Whitefish 17:34
41. Michael Samdahl Whitefish 18:14
49. Michael Harrison Whitefish 18:24
50. Pat McGunagle Whitefish 18:24
53. Byron Bard Whitefish 18:27
Class A girls
1. Whitefish 50
2. Hamilton 146
3. Dawson County 166
4. Ronan 178
5. Fergus 181
6. Beglrade 203
7. Beaverhead 233
8. Frenchtown 244
9. Hardin 245
9. Laurel 245
11. Polson 255
12. Columbia Falls 314
13. Havre 350
14. Billings Central 357
15. Custer County 358
16. Park 438
17. Sidney 441
18. Anaconda 455
19. Browning 503
20. Libby 573
1. Loni Hanson Whitefish 19:28 All State
5. Lauren Kuennen Whitefish 19:46 All State
11.Bailey Eaton Whitefish 19:57 All State
16.Carley Schwickert Whitefish 20:13
17.Stella Holt Whitefish 20:15
23.Clare Miller Whitefish 20:31
27.Kelly Beiser Whitefish 20:44
Comments on the Meet:
The Whitefish High School Cross Country Team headed to Helena for the State A Cross Country Championships with high goals and a determination to reach them this past Saturday. The Girls had their eyes set on completing a successful season with the highest achievement - a team state championship. The boys were looking for a top three trophy. Both returned from the championship with the success that they were hoping for.
Loni Hanson led the Lady Bulldog team to the team title by winning the individual title. Teammate Lauren Kuennen finished fifth, while Bailey Eaton was 11th. Carly Schwickert and Stella Holt finished 16th and 17th to round out the top five for the Whitefish team. Clare Miller (23rd) and Kellly Beiser (27th) had fantastic finishes as well.
"Loni is the individual State Champion for Class A this season. That is amazing. She's done some great things this season, but to win the state title is simply unbelievable. There were so many great runners in our division and they all wanted to win. I don't think that many had Loni on their list as a potential winner, but she went in with a race plan and was able to see it through. She was not afraid to get out there early and hold her lead all the way to the finish. It was one of those perfect situations for her, and she took advantage of the opportunity and was rewarded with the individual victory."
Whitefish won Championship with a low score of 50 points. Hamilton was second with 146. Glendive outran two-time defending champion Ronan for the third place trophy by a score of 166 to 178.
"As the score indicates, we pretty much ran away from the competition. The conditions were less than ideal. It was really windy, and a bit colder than typical. Our runners seemed to be focused on what they wanted to achieve and went out and got it done. They went out hard, and were able to maintain their positions throughout the race."
"Lauren Kuennen had a fantastic race as well. She was unfortunate enough to follow a runner off the course early, but was able to come back through the pack to finish in the top five. It was a great finish for the senior co-captain. She's come a long way since when she first came out for the sport as a sophomore. She has proven that dedication and hard work will make a huge impact on results. She is the ultimate success story for our team."
"Our freshman did a great job as well. Bailey, Carly and Stella ran like veterans as they all finished in the top twenty. Bailey earned All State Status, while Carly and Stella just missed (top fifteen receive All State recognition). There's no reason to think that these three won't continue to improve as they mature. That's good news for our team, and certainly give us reason to look favorably to the future of the program."
"Clare Miller and Kelly Beiser both ran great races as well. They would have been in top three positions for every other team in the race, but on our strong team, they are not able to count in the team scoring. They were big parts of this teams success as they've been part of our top five at various times during the season."
The Boys team had a very good race as well, placing third in the overall team standings. Drew Coco led the Bulldogs with his fifth place individual finish. That was good enough for All State status. Erik Anderson (17th ) and Nick Donovan (21st) had great races as well. Their placing along with that of Michael Samdahl (41st) and Michael Harrison (49th) propelled the team into a tie for third place overall with Havre. Browning won the team title with 76 points and Hamilton finished in the second position with 84 points.
"We won the third place trophy on a tie breaker. Our six place runner, Patrick McGunagle, placed higher than Havre's sixth place runner. Basically, our team depth paid off. Both teams ran well, but we were able to come home with the third place and the trophy, while they ended up in fourth. I felt bad for the Havre team since they ran well, but our kids did what they had to in order to place in the top three."
"Last season we won the third place trophy by a single point. I was hoping that it wouldn't be as close this year, but regardless of the slimness of the margin, I was still proud of the way this team performed at the most important meet of the season. There were a lot of teams that overlooked us this season. I think these guys proved that was a mistake, as they were one of the better teams in the race."
"With the conclusion of the cross country season, there is reason to believe that the future of the Bulldog cross country programs is one of brightness. The girls team will lose only two runners from the team to graduation. Although we lose great team leaders, there are young talented runners looking for the opportunity to be on that top seven team. The boys will lose eight seniors. Five of the top eight will graduate, so next year will be a huge opportunity for young runners to step into contributing roles. We've been senior loaded for the past two seasons. It will be interested to see if our young runners will be able to step up into these important positions to allow us to continue to be competitive at the state level."