Ronan’s Heiner wins XC race on home course
RONAN — Ronan Chief Brant Heiner was the first individual to cross the finish line during the Ronan Cross Country team’s hosted Canal Bank Run on Friday afternoon.
Heiner won the boys race on his home turf with a time of 16 minutes, 44 seconds.
“I did not expect Heiner to break into the 16’s this early in the season,” said Ronan Cross Country head coach Noelle Winebrenner. “But given all the training he’s put in since the end of last cross country season, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. That kid has logged thousands of miles.”
Heiner, along with fifth place finisher Zarec Couture (18:26), led the way for a Chiefs team that scored 83 points and finished in third place with more than 60 boy runners from Mission, Polson, Charlo, Frenchtown, Corvallis and Hamilton.
Olivia Heiner was the top finisher for the Ronan Maidens’ squad, placing fifth among 40 girl runners with a time of 23 minutes, 09 seconds.
“I was very pleased with how well some of our kids ran,” Winebrenner noted. “Our boys are going to be tough this year and I’m excited to see how they progress through the season. The girls are coming along, despite a few injuries.”
The Polson Lady Pirates placed two runners in the top ten to help them score 53 points for a second-place finish in the team standings.
For the Lady Pirates Karli Owens placed sixth with a time of 23 minutes, 31 seconds and Halle Heninger finished eighth with a time of 23 minutes, 52 seconds.
Ryan Dupuis was eighth in 18 minutes, 50 seconds for the Polson Pirate group that finished fourth in the team standings with 96 points.
The Mission High School boys cross country team put on a good showing with two top ten finishers in Andrew Rush (18:30) for sixth place and Thomas Nuila who placed seventh with a time of 18 minutes, 41 seconds. The Mission Bulldogs scored 101 points for a fifth-place finish in the team standings.
Kooper Page got 19th on the girls side with a time of 26 minutes, 42 seconds.
Top finishers for Charlo were Hayden Smith with a time of 24 minutes, 14 seconds for the boys and Guinevere Contraras with a time of 27 minutes, 29 seconds for the girls.
While last week was the first week for many cross country meets throughout Montana, for many of the runners it was their first race in about 10 months, due to the spring high school track and field season being canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
As a COVID-19 safety measure, Friday’s race had split start times, with a new group of runners starting every two minutes.
The race was run on a warm fall afternoon and with course temperatures ranging between the mid to high 80’s. Many of the race finishers treated themselves to a post-race cool off plunge into the chill waters of the canal.
Canal Bank Run at Ronan
Boys Team Standings
Hamilton 28, Corvallis 80, Ronan 83, Polson 96, Mission 101.
Top 25 Individual Standings
1, Brant Heiner, RON, 16:44; 5, Zarec Couture, RON, 18:26; 6, Andrew Rush, MIS, 18:30; 7, Thomas Nuila, MIS, 18:41; 8, Ryan Dupuis, POL, 18:50; 12, Mason Sloan, POL, 19:31; 15, Drifter Skillicorn, POL, 19:44; 16, Zoran LaFrombois, MIS, 19:48; 23, Dillon Omeassoo, RON, 20:52.
Girls Team Standings
Corvallis 36, Polson 53, Frenchtown 79, Hamilton 135.
Top 25 Individual Standings
5, Olivia Heiner, RON, 23:09; 6, Karli Owens, POL, 23:31; 8, Halle Heninger, POL, 23:52; 11, Maddilyn Huffine, POL, 24:30.27; 12, Adison Carlson, POL, 24:30.57; 16, Ashtyn Wagner, POL, 26:15.09; 17, Katelyn Smith, POL, 26:15.72; 19, Kooper Page, MIS, 26.42; 21, Brogen Youngren, RON, 27:12.79; 22, Guinevere Contraras, CHA, 27:29; 24, Isabel Seeley, POL, 27:53:00; 25, Emily Flatlip, MIS, 28:13:00.