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Pirate Duels Cross Country Invitational features unique obstacles

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POLSON – Runners made their way up a hill climb, through a stock chute, across a rodeo arena and over hay bales before finishing a 3-mile run at the Polson fairgrounds during the Pirate Duels Cross Country Invitational on Saturday.

The meet is one of the few where boys and girls get to run together, although the girls get a three-minute head start. Glacier’s Annie Hill took first place for the girl’s with a time of 18:16. Brock Sandry of Glacier took first for the boy’s with 16:28. Charlo’s Dalton Delaney came in with a time of 18:52.

The course didn’t hinder Polson Freshman Zach Evertz. He finished first for his team at 19:00, which was a time he called a personal best.

“The change in terrain and the hay bales made it a fun challenge,” Zach said. “Heading up the hill was the hardest part. It was a fun race and we had a nice easy temperature for running.”

Polson’s Malia Seeley compared the hay bales to the hurdles she enjoys jumping during the track season. Running through the rodeo arena didn’t bother her. She was the first from Polson to finish in the girl’s division with a time of 21:56.

“It was mostly packed down so it wasn’t bad,” she said.

Running is a family sport for Malia. Her father – Polson coach Matt Seeley – helped coordinate the event. He also ran the course during the open race with coaches, parents, volunteers and a few kids once the school competition was finished. He came in second with a time of 17:48 after Jason Delaney with 16:52.

“We moved out here from the golf course a few years back and thought it would be fun to add a few things to go with the fairground/ rodeo theme,” Matt said.

Matt kept an eye on his team as he managed the event. 

“The girls ran well today,” he said. “They are coming together as a team. I think they have a shot at State in the top three if they continue to pull together. They are a young team getting faster each week.”

Running is a tough sport and it takes time to build speed, he said. 

“This is the kind of sport where natural talent isn’t as important as hard work,” Matt said.




Team Scores


Glacier, 201; Flathead, 179; Hamilton, 135; Polson, 123; Columbia Falls, 107; Thompson Falls, 24; Plains, 7.


Glacier, 202; Flathead, 168; Hamilton, 148; Polson, 102; Thompson Falls, 101; Columbia Falls, 74; Charlo, 38; Plains, 31.






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