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Badgers do well at Inland Empire Challenge

October 9, 2018
Badger Cross Country
Photo by Ellen Smith
Badger Madi McIntyre ran in the JV this week, running a personal best 22:13.
This weekend the Bonners Ferry Badgers ran at the Inland Empire Challenge, hosted by Lewis and Clark State College Cross Country at Lewiston Orchards. Two dozen complete teams competed from as far away as Idaho Falls to preview this years state course.

The course was very similar to the course that Jordan Young ran a girl's 5k school record on last year, but with some slight adjustments.

All told, it still featured a lot of downhill sections and a lot of turns.

"We pride ourselves on being strategic on our turns and we had great times this week as a result," said coach Tyler Warner. "It was 100% natural surfaces and the timely drizzle of rain dampened the course just enough to keep the dust down and still keep the races fast."

Girls JV started off with a strong performance from Madi McIntyre. She ran JV this week after having missed last week due to family obligations.

She ran a personal best 22:13 and was the first runner from the IML to finish the race. Serenity Fahey also had a successful day, and even though she did not run a personal best, she did have a season best time at 24:51.

"Serenity represents the critical fifth scoring position on the team and she's working hard this week to improve her times to help the team," Warner said. "Serenity's sister Stormy also continues to drop minutes and has so far ran a PR every single week she's been competing with us. Erin Dineen also continues her steady improvement as she also ran a personal best 29:35. She's come a long ways since running 46:58 last year at Post Falls."

Complete BF Girls JV Results: Madi McIntyre, PR 22:13, Serenity Fahey, SR 24:51, Lauren Onstott, PR 25:35, Jenna Brooks
26:11, Stormy Fahey, PR 28:24 PR, Liliana Brinkman, 28:46, Elizabeth Bourassa, 28:54, Erin Dineen, PR 29:35, and Ella Huggins
29:43.

Boys JV had similar sorts of successes.

After battling back from illness, Duncan McKechnie ran a PR of 19:10, an improvement of nearly a minute off his previous best. Brian Blackmore continues to show growth as well in his first cross country season, running a personal best 20:21 and followed by fellow first year cross country athlete Oscar Valladares at 20:52, also a PR.

Complete BF boys JV results: Duncan McKechnie, PR 19:10, Brian Blackmore, PR 20:21, Oscar Valladares, PR 20:52, Justin Mendenhall, 21:23, and Connor Strickert, 23:36.

In the girls varsity race, Camille Ussher and Emily Gorino battled alone. Junior Abby Gorton sat at out this week at the urging of her coaches to nurse a nagging injury so she'd be ready for Districts October 18. Emily and Camille ran together for most of the race and both earned a PR of 22:36, with the slight edge going to Camille.

Complete girls varsity results: Camille Ussher, PR 22:36, Emily Gorino, PR 22:36.

Badger Cross Country
Photo by Ellen Smith
Hunter Smith returned to competition, setting a personal best time of 17:41 to lead the Badger boys.
In the boys varsity race the Badgers were bolstered by the return of Hunter Smith, but still came up short of many IML foes. Hunter did run a significant PR of 17:41, his previous best being 18:03.

Ty Grigg and Tyler Lucas both had personal bests, running 18:57 and 19:29 respectively.

Complete boys varsity results: Hunter Smith, PR 17:41, Sam Gorton, 18:06, Connor Alexander, 18:33, Ty Grigg, PR 18:57, Austin Donn, 19:01, Tyler Lucas, PR 19:29.

In team scoring we struggled across the board.

"Our first one or two runners will be in good positions, but we're having too much spread between the third and fifth place scoring runners," Warner said. "In a race like this, however, it's easy to get lost trying to compare ourselves to IML rivals, but realistically there were so many people in these races it is truly difficult to determine how well we'd do against only IML squads. That being said, Priest River has improved their depth tremendously and Timberlake has hit their stride. Timberlake girls suddenly look like they could be contenders for the state championship."

Athletic.net projections, based on season best times on different courses, show Timberlake and Priest River being top five state teams with Bonners Ferry just on the outside at sixth in both the men's and women's divisions.

"In some other years we would likely be tops in our division, but it appears there has been an IML wide resurgence of multiple teams," Warner said. "This sets us up for a potentially exciting race on the 18th at Bonners Ferry High School for Districts.

The Badgers next race is Thursday, October 11, at Pinehurst Golf Course for Kellogg's Ben Castro Invitational.

For complete meet results, click here.

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P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83806
editor@KootenaiValleyTimes.com