MHSA hosted their 54th annual State Cross Country Championships Meet at Bill Roberts Golf Course in Helena.
The day began with the Class A boys race. It was Levi Taylor from Laurel who finished first with a time of 16:29.85. Levi says finishing strong was all part of his game plan after winning his first individual title.
"I have a pretty good kick," he said. "I conserved my energy until that last 100 (meters) and used that to my advantage."
In Class A girls, Polson's Beatrix Frissell was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 19:15.82 and that is her first state title as well.
"The race worked out exactly how me and my coach had planned. It felt really good," she said.
Corvallis boys and Hardin girls win the Class A team titles.
Class AA boys featured one of the favorites as CMR’s Cooper West wins his first title and does so with a time of 15:31.85. After the race, he said his familiarity with the course worked in his favor.
"It was good, there's a lot of turns and stuff, and just knowing how much you got at certain places and have left (helped)," he said. "I finally had a good state meet. I've had a tendency to not have good state meets so it was cool to have a good run this year."
When the AA girls’ race was over, Bozeman's Camila Noe had her first state title with a time of 17:28.01. She said the finish feels that much sweeter after finishing second at state last year.
"Going past the finish line was just a culmination of all I've done. I'm just so happy," she said.
The Bozeman boys took first in the team scores and so did the Bozeman girls as they placed seven runners in the top-15 for their 11th straight title.
Class B boys ran next. Manhattan junior Zak Meeker finished in 17:03.75 after building a good lead over Glasgow junior Ellis McKean and Broadwater senior Jack Dolan. Zak said Manhattan winning the boys’ team title makes the victory even better.
“It means so much more. I could have never done this without my team and it just means so much that we all can put it together and make a team like this,” said Zak Meeker.
Bigfork senior Bryn Morley almost caught lap traffic in her dominant run of 18:30.51 that was more than a minute ahead of junior teammate Anya Young and senior Hannah Boyd who helped complete Manhattan’s team title sweep. Bryn said her third straight title carries on the Morley family legacy.
“Yeah, I think that was our goal since, like, I was in eighth grade and McKenna had gotten three state titles already. I think it was our goal just to keep that going for me,” said Bryn Morley.
Class C boys ran next. Hays-LodgePole senior Isiah Runsabove earns his school’s first state title at 17:23.58 seconds. Manhattan Christian teammates sophomore Sam Leep and freshman Riley Schott help their squad win the team title. Isiah was overwhelmed after his historic win.
“Oh, God, what I’m feeling right now? I can’t even put it into words. This is crazy. I never, ever thought this would happen,” said Isiah Runsabove.
The Class C girls featured all sophomores on the podium led by West Yellowstone’s Averi Parker at 20:02.17 plus Darby’s Gracie Lang and Parker’s teammate Julia Everest completing the top three. Averi said she focused on running her own race.
“I knew that people were behind me and I knew that I just had to keep going because every uphill was hard for me but it was hard for everyone else too,” said Averi Parker.
West Yellowstone home takes the girls’ team title.
This is the first state championships running the new 5-K distance for cross-country so all the winning results set new records for the state meet.