Lady Devils second at Eastern A Classic
By Anthony Varriano
Ranger-Review Staff Writer
The Dawson County High School girls were second at the Eastern A Classic in Glendive Saturday, in what was a loud, exciting day for athletes and fans. The Glendive course is designed for the fans, as racers run by their team’s camps thrice, getting encouraging words from teammates, coaches and parents.
The races went about as coaches Jim Temple and Tom Temple predicted before the competition. Hardin ran away with both the boys’ and girls’ varsity competitions, as well as the middle school and JV girls’ races, and the middle school boys’ race. Hardin finished second to Laurel in the JV boys’ race.
“The five girls that ran for us in Glendive all seem well at this point,” DCHS head coach Jim Temple said of his team’s health going into state.
DCHS junior Emily Kuehn was about a minute off the pace in fourth place and was the top finisher from Glendive. Kuehn said she had some trouble breathing Saturday, and that her home course isn’t her favorite because of the three laps necessary to complete the race. Although she hasn’t run the state course in Kalispell she said “it sounds pretty flat,” so it should be a fast race.
Glendive freshman Taylor Munro continued an impressive first year with a ninth-place finish. She crossed the line in 21:17.39 — roughly a minute behind Kuehn — to end up one of the Eastern A’s top lady runners.
Senior Kendra Zander was in late season form on Saturday with a top-15 finish in 21:57.62, and freshman Kassidi Walker was three spots behind her teammate in 17th with a time of 23:04.57. Kendra Kaufman just missed out on the top 20 with a time of 24:04.09.
The Lady Devils’ top five finishers put them in second place in the Eastern A. The boys, meanwhile, had a tough day, having just four varsity runners finish the race.
Junior Ase Ackerman saved something for state and finished 10th with a time of 17:06.86, and senior Tristan Hilgart ran maybe the best race of his first cross country season with a time of 17:59.55 and a top-15 finish. Ben Stortz and Travis Kinn were both hurting and didn’t finish.
“I doubt that all the boys will be healthy for state. Travis Kinn really has never gotten over his knee pain, and when he runs he is just gutting it out,” Temple informed. “Ben Stortz has had increasing pain in his Achilles area. We will do what we can this week to get them as healthy as they can be to compete in Kalispell.”
Sophomores Lane Walker and Myles Stinnett were the other two finishers for Dawson, with Walker in 25th with a time of 19:36.93 and Stinnett in 29th with a time of 20:30.76.
Gabe Mickelson and Logan Phipps finished sixth and seventh in the JV boys’ race, separated by roughly six seconds. Freshman Louis Harrington was 18th with a time of 22:17.05.
Jacob Parent (12:24.53) was the top middle school finisher from Glendive with a third-place finish in the two-mile race. Payden Burman was 22nd amongst middle school boys with a time of 14:27.9. Alex Hopfauf and Jasper Bodily finished in 15:41.48 and 19:19.16, respectively. Ryliegh Mittelstaed was the only female runner for Washington Middle School and finished in 17:30.93.
The state races start at 11 a.m. at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell on Saturday.
Reach Anthony Varriano at email@example.com.