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Gold at home: Mission girls take 1st, boys 2nd at hosted meet

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ST. IGNATIUS — The Mission Bulldogs cross country team hosted a 14-school mixed class meet on Tuesday, Sept. 14, and used the home course to its advantage, with the Lady Bulldogs winning the girls’ team title and the Bulldogs placing second in the boys’ team standings.

“I feel that my team really stepped up and performed amazingly well,” said Mission cross country head coach Chris Eichert. “I’m very proud of each and every one of my athletes on both my high school and middle school teams. I see improvement in every one of them. I hope to continue that as we get into the second half of the season.”

The Lady Bulldogs boasted four top-25 finishes en route to a team victory with 47 points. Mission narrowly defeated Powell County, the second-place team, by five points.

Junior Cedar Hunt led the charge for the Lady Bulldogs with a seventh-place finish of 23.04.23. Madyson Currie (14th, 25:01.76), Heaven Diaz-Morigeau (23rd, 28:58.99) and Kason Page (25th, 29:04.07) rounded out the rest of the Lady Bulldogs’ performances.

Bulldogs cross country standout Andrew Rush captured individual honors with a first-place time of 16:42.81, a high mark for Class B cross country so far this season. Rush also eclipsed his own personal record and finished nearly a minute faster than second place Thompson Falls runner Will Hyatt who finished the course in a time of 17:40.90.

Mission runners besides Rush seeing top five success were Zoran LaFrombois in third with a time of 17:41.90 and Robbie Nuila with a time of 17:52.82 in fourth. All of them set personal bests noted coach Eichert.

“Right now, I feel that my boys’ team is running great. As a group, they are very competitive, even within the team,” said Eichert. “Andrew worked hard in the off season and came into the season ready to go. He is currently sitting number one in the State B Boys. His hard work is definitely paying off. Also, Zoran LaFrombois, Thomas Nuila and Robbie Nuila are right behind him with their times.”  

The Polson Pirates edged out their hosts with 39 points to the Bulldogs’ 45 for the boys’ team top spot with strong showings by Ryan Dupuis (6th, 18:00.08), Drifter Skillicorn (7th, 18:39.79), Kai McDonald (9th, 19:08.29) and Noah Roberts (10th, 19:09.15).

Lady Pirate junior Ashtyn Wagner finished first in the girls race with a time of 21:01.88 followed by fellow Lady Pirates Adison Carlson in third place with a time of 21:37.74 and Halle Heninger in fourth with a time of 21:58.98.

For Ronan, both the Chiefs and Maidens finished in third place in the team standings with Maiden Olivia Heiner placing second with a time of 21:21.77 and Keyan Pretty On Top pacing the Chiefs with a time of 19:28.09 in eleventh place.

Top finishers for Charlo were Lady Viking Guinevere Contreras in tenth place with a time of 23:49.79 and Viking Hayden Smith (32nd) with a time of 21:41.94.

Malacye Piapot (46th, 23:07.90) led the Two Eagle River Eagles while Lady Eagles Janelle Afterbuffalo (35th, 33:07.36) and Sarah Gardipe (36th, 33:09.90) crossed the finish line together. 

Rounding out the Mission Valley high schools competing in Tuesday’s event, the Arlee Warriors were led by Drew Knoll (37th, 22:19.31) followed by Arlee Scarlets Princess Bolen (21st, 8:06.46) and McKirah Fisher (22nd, 28:26.75).

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