Whitefish/Frenchtown Dual - 2005

Whitefish/Frenchtown Dual
Campus Course
Oct. 8, 2005

Girls Team

1. Beth Donovan, 9 - 19:47
2. Clare Miller, 10 - 20:23
3. Lauren Kuennen, 10 - 21:16
5. Janna Rozar, 11 - 21:38
6. Loie Russell-Templeton, 11 - 21:50
9. Natalie Kearns, 9 - 22:09
13. Megan Shaver, 9 - 23:07
18. Ashley Hustwaite, 10 - 25:01
19. Mary Kohnstamm, 11 - 25:01
20. Danielle Rogers, 11 - 25:20
21. Stephanie Woodbeck, 12 - 25:42
22. Holly Cullen, 11 - 27:47
24. Cassie Shell, 11 - 48:24

Boys Team

2. Ian Mallams, 11 - 16:11
3. Drew Coco, 9 - 16:22
7. Jacob Fern, 11 - 17:39
8. Joseph Alexander, 11 - 17:51
9. Kellen Bodily, 11 - 17:55
10. Blake Bjornson, 11 - 17:56
12. Austin Troiano, 12 - 18:01
14. Nick Donovan, 10 - 18:06
15. Michael Harrison, 10 - 18:18
17. Dylan Rice, 10 - 18:42
19. Joey Guerri, 10 - 18:48
20. Jon Cameron, 10 - 18:48
22. Pat McGunagle, 9 - 19:18
27. Shane Hanson, 11 - 20:57
28. Luke Knight, 11 - 21:27
29. Gentry Darkenwald, 9 - 21:55
30. Erik Swanson, 11 - 23:21

Comments on the Meet

The Whitefish High School Cross Country teams tuned up for the upcoming Northwestern A Championships with a dual meet against Southwestern A opponent Frenchtown. It was a nice change from what we typically have for a competition. The dual meet is kind of a forgotten competition in cross country. It was popular back in the 70's and 80's, but has lost favor in comparison to the huge multi-team invitational meet.

I really wanted to have a home meet this year. I felt that the kids deserved it. They've worked hard at becoming a respected program, and I felt that they were worth the extra effort in hosting a meet here in Whitefish. The toughest part of hosting the meet was in finding a course suitable for cross country. It's not hard finding a place to run, but it is tough finding a place to run a three mile race with mostly grass underfoot. It turned out that a suitable course existed right near our own campus. We were able to utilize the grassy practice fields and campus to develop a three-mile course that was not only spectator friendly, but also, very fast.

The girl's teams began the competition with Beth Donovan and Clare Mller going right into the lead with both pressing the pace. I think that surprised the Frenchtown girls, as we're usually not known as front runners. At the mile mark, the Lady Bulldogs looked solidly in command as they passed in the 1-2, and 4-5 positions. I could tell that the girls were a lot fresher this morning as they had the opportunity to sleep in this morning, as opposed to getting up at 4:30 am to board a bus.

In the end it was Beth that led us with her first place time of 19:47. She pretty much did that on her own. That's pretty impressive for a freshman. In second place, Clare Miller was rewarded with a huge personal best time of 20:23. Clare's getting really close to going under 20 minutes. This was a step in the right direction for her confidence. I really think she can be there on the state championship course with a run similar to this one.

The team victory was sealed when Lauren Kuennen swept past Frenchtown's number one runner in the final half mile to finish third with a time of 21:16 for the three-mile course. The nice thing about dual meet scoring is that if you sweep the top three places it's impossible to lose if your final two runners finish the race. Lauren had a fantastic day. Her improvement this season has been very motivating to watch.

Rounding out the top five for the Lady Dogs were Janna Rozar (5th in 21:38) and Loie Russell-Templeton (6th in 21:50). Loie was one the few, on our team, that went out a little more conservatively. She really ran that final mile well to get past four Frenchtown runners to help us take five of the first six positions. Natalie Kearns (9th in 22:09) and Megan Shaver (13th in 23:03) both ran personal best times as they finished up the Varsity finishing places for our team.

After the conclusion of the young women's race, it was time for the young men to have their opportunity to race. Frenchtown's Chris Bick went right into the lead. Chris placed third at the State Championship meet last fall, and looks to be ready to compete for the overall spot this year, so it wasn't a surprise for us to see him setting the pace. The surprising part was that our number one and two runners, Ian Mallams and Drew Coco were so close. Ian and Drew were within eleven seconds at the two-mile marker and they held the distance to the finish.

Ian has been looking for faster times, and I think he found out how to achieve them. That's to get out there and race with the runners who are putting in those times. He did that and was rewarded with a personal best time of 16:22. I think that as we see Ian become more comfortable with racing along with the top runners we'll see his times continue to fall. It wouldn't surprise me to see him go under 16 minutes with the right race.

Freshman Drew Coco continues to have a great season as he set his sights on running up front as well. At two miles he was within a stride of Ian. His strong last mile insured him of a fantastic time (16:27) and a third place finish in the meet. Frenchtown is a solid team, with a lot of good runners. For Drew to finish a minute up on their number two runner was quite an accomplishment. There's no doubt that he's one of the top freshman runners in the state. In our classification, he's one of the top runners period.

Jacob Fern (7th in 17:39), Joseph Alexander (8th in 17:51), Kellen Bodily (9th in 17:55) and Blake Bjornson (10th in 17:56) finished in as a blanket of gold and green as they all finished in the top ten to nearly pull out the team victory. The Bulldogs fell by the slim margin of two points, 27-29. Austin Troiano finished up the Varsity team placing with his 12th place finish in 18:01.

It was great to see these athletes crack into the 17's. It's been a goal they've been aiming for all season. We also had five sophomores break into the 18's this meet as well. This boy's team seems to be really coming along. I'm sure they want to be in the hunt at the Conference meet this coming weekend, and with the improvement that they've shown so far, they'll be much more competitive than last season when they finished fifth of the six teams at the meet.

The entire girls and boys teams ran fantastic. There not much better than running well in front of your home crowd to send you into your championship part of the season. I was really impressed by the number of hometown fans that we had watching our event. I know the runners and their coaches really appreciated their attendance.