Lady Pirates finish third in state cross country meet.
From Coach Matt Seeley
State Meet Report
It was a memorable event for Polson cross country yesterday at the state championship meet in Helena. It felt very satisfying to watch so many great runs after all the hard work this year.
The boys set the stage in the first race of the day by finishing 6th place as a team. They were also only one point from Hardin in 5th place. As far as I know, this is the highest state finish by a Pirate boys team since they finished 4th in 2004. Quin led the way with a breakthrough performance, mowing down the field in the second half of the race to take 7th place and earn his first All State honors. No Pirate boy runner has achieved All State since Logan Torgison finished 2nd in 2007. Behind Quin, Jonah ran the race of his life to finish 26th and Mason was the 2nd fastest freshman in Class A. Andrew again wowed the spectators with his ferocious finishing kick and Zach ran very tough to round out the scoring for Polson in his final XC race.
Then it was the girls turn to take on the course and a thrilling battle for the team title. They stuck to the plan and showed great composure by holding back during a very fast start. Then it was time to move. Bea and Naima rolled through the field like a purple way and Molly wasn't far behind. Bea's final mile was exactly the unbeatable 6:00 that she had prepared for and she convincingly earned the state title that has been her goal since her freshman track season. Just as Bea's victory was the culmination of years of dedicated training, Naima's amazing third place finish (up from 21st last year) was a glorious finale to her Pirate cross country career. Molly also ran her best race of the year to add a third all-state Polson girl in 14th. But the magic didn't stop there. Nina managed to throw aside what has been a frustrating freshman season and rise to a new level on the big stage. She moved to the lead of Polson's second wave and finished in 39th place. Gwen also put forth a huge effort to finish 44th and wrap up the Polson scoring.
Though Polson moved up dramatically in the second half, Hardin's top five managed to all stay in the top 18 and that was enough to easily defend their team title. Polson ended up in a tie with Corvallis for second place. The tie breaker went to Corvallis' sixth runner on a very deep team, but the Pirates were still pleased to have run well and come away with a third place trophy.
HARDIN REPEATS, LADY PIRATES THIRD
Polson's Bea Frissell is individual champion
Polson junior Beatrix Frissell bettered a third-place finish from last season to win the Class A title in 19:51.82.
“I definitely wanted to be one of the top runners and it worked out that way so it feels good,” said Frissell.
The Hardin girls defended their state championship, finishing with 68 points. Corvallis and Polson both finished with 101 points. However, Corvallis earned second with the tiebreaker based on the sixth-place finisher and Polson took third.
“Our goal was to work as a pack because that’s what we’re called – the varsity pack — and we just wanted to work together and push each other,” Hardin senior Sydney Little Light said.
Team scores: Hardin 68, Corvallis 101, Polson 101, Whitefish 115, Beaverhead County 192, Havre 209, Hamilton 232, Frenchtown 256, Fergus 260, Laurel 264, Custer County 301, Columbia Falls 321, Belgrade 324, Libby 391, Park 391, Browning 421, Sidney 439, Dawson County 455.
Top 25: Beatrix Frissell, Polson, 19:15; Lyric Devries, Hamilton, 19:39; Naima Crowl, Polson, 19:51; Emily Kuehn, Dawson, 19:55; Morgan Vosler, Custer, 20:01; Brynnli Poulsen, Hamilton, 20:05; Grace Timm, Laurel, 20:06; Ella Greenberg, Whitefish, 20:10; Sydney Little Light, Hardin, 20:14; Khylah Two Leggins, Hardin, 20:23; Kailee McCready, Corvallis, 20:30; Kadia Miller, Havre, 20:33; Lilli Day, Corvallis, 20:36; Molly Sitter, Polson, 20:40; Libby Nedens, Hardin, 20:42; Journey Erickson, Hardin, 20:45; Lizzy Mattson, Frenchtown, 20:49; Charlie Bellrock, Hardin, 20:56; Jessica Henson, Whitefish, 21:06; Kaylee Nystrom, Havre, 21:06; Larissa Saarel, Park, 21:08; Lindsey Brooks, Ronan, 21:12; Kara Wissenbach, Corvallis, 21:13; Albany Jessop, Corvallis, 21:20; Braya Hobson, Whitefish, 21:27.
CORVALLIS BOYS ON TOP IN CLASS A
The Class A individual crown was garnered by Levi Taylor of Laurel, who passed Hamilton’s Matt Wilson in the last 150 yards for a 16:29 finish and a five-second victory.
“I was in third most of the way, conserving my energy behind (Corvallis’) Anders (Watt) and Matt,” Taylor recounted. “About halfway Matt picked up the pace and I went with him. Then he put on a burst trying to get rid of me, but I’ve always had a good kick.
“He beat me at Mountain West by half a second, but I beat him by 20 seconds at the 7-7, and I had confidence I could do it again today.”
Corvallis captured its fourth title in eight years with 109 points, behind a pair of all-staters -- Watt in third, and Jake Jessop in 13th.
“The boys ran well all season. We had four seniors, and their hard work brought the other kids along with them,” explained Blue Devils’ coach Joanne Cleveland.
Team scores: Corvalis 109, Frenchtown/Alberton 133, Columbia Falls 144, Fergus 152, Hardin 195, Polson 196, Laurel 205, Hamilton 215, Belgrade 216, Havre 216, Browning 243, Whitefish 280, Ronan 310, Park 336, Beaverhead County 383, Dawson County 394, Billings Central 482, Sidney 529, Custer County 529, Libby 602, Stevensville 652.
Top 25: Levi Taylor, Laurel, 16:29; Matt Wilson, Hamilton, 16:34; Anders Watt, Corvalis, 16:40; Gabe Knudsen, Columbia Falls, 16:42; Noah Majerus, Fergus, 16:51.
Sam Fulbright, Fergus, 16:59; Quin Stewart, Polson, 17:11; Tyler Schmautz, Frenchtown, 17:12; James Normandeau, Ronan, 17:17; Austin Jones, Havre, 17:18.
Joe Lamb, Columbia Falls, 17:18; Luke Lutz, Frenchtown, 17:19; Jake Jessop, Corvalis, 17:19; Brock Rugg, Frenchtown, 17:20; Tate Thompson, Central, 17:20.
Trajin Hill, Hardin, 17:31; Grant Martin, Corvalis, 17:35; Ase Ackerman, Dawson, 17:38; Jacob Keller, Havre, 17:42; Conor Pierson, Park, 17:42.
David Prather, Hardin, 17:44; Jackson Thorn, Belgrade, 17:47; Rigby Poulsen, Hamilton, 17:47; Ryker Melton, Fergus, 17:49; Connor Fink, Sidney, 17:52; Jonah Ducharme, Polson, 17:52.