BONNERS FERRY — On Nov. 7, the Badgers cross country team came together with friends and family to recap the season and hand out awards.
With a new tradition beginning last year, each team member wrote a favorite quote, memory, or compliment for every other member on the team.
With multiple medals, a first-place finish, multiple top five team finishes, and a trip to state, the team rounded out the year with 13 lettermen.
Abby Gorton and Hunter Smith were the recipients of the “Outstanding XC Badger” award. This award traditionally goes to the athlete that best exemplifies the cross country spirit — someone who is a hard worker, is selfless when it comes to the team, helps others, shows grit, is someone a freshman could approach for help, and also performed well at meets.
Abby Gorton this year had multiple top five finishes, including fifth at State. She won the District Championship, and broke the school 5K record with a time of 19:27. Hunter Smith took 16th place at the State race this year and ran a time of 17:00 for a season best. He placed in the top 10 at several races this year and was third at Districts.
“Both student athletes were essential to the successes we had this season,” said Coach Tyler Warner. “They helped younger runners, they helped coaches, and stayed humble through all of their successes.”
In addition to winning the Outstanding Badger awards, both Gorton and Smith were selected for the All-District I team called the Dirty Dozen. The Dirty Dozen is selected every year by all of the District I coaches, which includes the entire IML (Bonners Ferry, CdA Charter, Kellogg, Priest River, and Timberlake) as well as Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene High School, Lake City High School and Post Falls. This is usually determined by best season performances with an emphasis placed on performance at State.
The other award given is called the 110% award. The 110% award goes to the teammate who goes above and beyond what is expected of the athletes. This person not only volunteers for extra workouts, gives maximum effort on every practice, and gives selflessly of themselves to the team. This years recipient was sophomore Ty Grigg, who is a first-year runner at Bonners Ferry High School. Grigg transferred from Garden Valley, Idaho, moving with his parents Mike and Kim Grigg.
From day one, Ty Grigg has been dedicated to working hard with the team, Warner said. He became something of a legend on the team, when during course cleanup, there was a tree in the way and he chopped it down with a shovel. He further cemented himself on the team by consistently finishing in the top four in team scoring. He was always courteous to coaches, to teammates, and first to volunteer for extra jobs or just hold open a door for anyone. Ty Grigg’s fastest time this season was 18:19 at Kellogg.
“Coach Catherine and I would like to thank all the parents for their support and all of the team dinners this season,” said Warner. “Also special thanks to Principal Kevin Dinning and Athletic Director Conrad Garner for their support this season; not every cross country team is as well attended or supported by their administrators as BFHS Cross Country is.”
As the cross country season closes, and the snow begins to fall, the Badger athletes continue to keep an eye on the future, looking not only toward athletics over the next year, but being supportive toward their friends, peers, and teammates.
“Thanks to the Bonners Ferry Herald for consistently publishing our stories this year,” said Warner. “Most teams aren’t as lucky as I am to have regular, thorough press coverage. At the District I coaches meeting I was the envy of the coaches because my local paper always has extensive cross country coverage. I am very grateful to them for that.”
Keep an eye on bfbadgers.com for upcoming sports, times, and places.