BONNERS FERRY — Badger Cross Country was at Kiwanis Park on Thursday, Aug. 30, for the Post Falls Invite. This course was sort of unique in that it was 2.8 miles instead of the standard 3.11 miles. The reason for this was the venue, Kiwanis Park, is not very large and historically has been quite confusing. Post Falls HS attempted to simplify the course at the expense of some distance.
This, however, turned out to be more problematic. The Girls JV race, which started the official day of racing, began with a minor disaster. A missed turn early in the race may have added as much as a mile to the race distance. As a result, it is impossible to accurately determine the girls times. Athletic.net posted the results as they came in, but likely are not representative of what they actually would have done. Only four girls completed the race as designed. For the Lady Badger JV squad, we can confidently say the order in which they finished. They were led by Freshman Liliana Brinkman, followed by classmate Elizabeth Bourassa. Sophomore Ella Huggins came next, and Erin Dineen rounded out the team.
A quick plug at the missed turn resulted in better course management for the rest of the day. The Badger boys JV team was led by Levi Bonnell, who will earn a varsity spot after running the 2.8 mile course in 18:57. Next was Oscar Valladares at 20:00 followed by Conner Strickert at 20:15. Justin Mendenhall came next at 20:41.
Due to various factors including insufficient practices, the Lady Badger varsity team consisted of just three members: Abby Gorton, Emily Gorino, and Serenity Fahey. Abby would have the best finish of the day for Bonners Ferry, but not without some tough running.
The course bottlenecked very early and forced Abby into the middle of the pack. As the race went on we could see her slowly making her way up. In short order, Abby was in the top ten, then the top five, then for a time was running with the top three runners. Abby held on against runners from Lewiston, Post Falls, and Coeur d’Alene to keep fourth place and a time of 18:23. Emily Gorino also had to battle back after the bottleneck forced her and Serenity Fahey towards the rear. Emily also picked off opponents on her way to a 22:17 finish and was shortly followed by Serenity at 25:35.
The day ended with the boys varsity race. The boys varsity team was made up of the top seven runners of last week’s win at home. Hunter Smith had the best time for the team and best Badger time overall, with a 16:36 for 16th place overall. Sam Gorton had to run down the competition at the finish line to secure a time of 17:06. Freshman Conner Alexander was the third Badger across at 17:34 and Austin Donn came across at 17:50. Garden Valley High School transplant, Ty Grigg, has been a solid fit on his new team and came in at 18:12. Tyler Lucas was the last Badger able to cross at 19:24. Duncan McKechnie did not finish due to an injury on the course.
In team scoring, the boys varsity team was the only complete team we were able to field. They finished eighth out of 12 complete teams. The addition of Levi Bonnell next week should bolster the team as they ahead to getting stronger in practice. The girls team should also be improved by the additions of Madi McIntyre and Camille Ussher who will have enough practices to compete next week. The Badgers will next race at Farragut State Park on Saturday, Sept. 8.