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Badgers run well at Timberlake Invitational

 
September 13, 2021
 
Ceci Roemer leading a pack September 11 at the Timberlake Invitational at Farragut State Park.
Photos by Paul Bonnell

Badgers Levi Bonnell and Justin Strugar
On September 11,the Badger cross country teams were at Farragut State Park for the Timberlake Invitational, grateful that the smoke and eventual rain on Friday led to ideal race conditions on Saturday. The dust was tamped down, the conditions were cooler than the rest of the week, and this made for some really good racing conditions.

They ran a full 5k (3.1 miles) course on mostly natural surfaces in the Scotts Field section of Farragut State Park.

The day started off with the girls JV race at 9 a.m. Just before the gun went off, a moment of silence was held in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

The Bonners Ferry girls ended up doing very well.

Sydney Beckle, a freshman, finished fourth overall and led the JV squad to a fifth place finish. Junior Leah Moellmer also had a good day, finishing in 13th place. Both times were good for personal records.

Jaden Byars and Trina Johnson also ran PRs in that race and Elizabeth Bourassa had a season best time.

In the boys JV race, Ian Williams had a PR 25:09.

"Ian has continued to improve and I wouldn't be surprised if he starts making some varsity appearances soon," coach Tyler Warner said.

In the girls varsity race, only Camille Ussher and Ceci Roemer ran.

"Some of the newer girls still need some time and experience, but Camille and Ceci already have a lot of that so I'd rather see them get pushed by good competition at a big race like this one," Waener said.

Ceci ran well, posting a 22:58, for a 29th place finish. Camille had a big PR, improving by nearly 20 seconds to post a 20:07 and a 41st place finish. It was also sort of noteworthy that Camille's bib number was 911 on a day when she posted her first PR in two years.

In the boys varsity race Connor Alexander once again led the way, finishing in 13th place with a season best time.

"We had to wait a long time for the next Badger to come in at 80th place, which was Levi Bonnell in his first race of the season," Warner said. "Other new runners continued to show improvement against strong competition, but I think we clearly have a long way to go."

Out of the three full teams from the IML, the Badger boys finished third. Charter finished first, beating Timberlake narrowly.

"We've certainly been helped by the return of Levi Bonnell, but we have one more horse in the stable who will be eligible for the home meet next week," Warner said. "I expect he could swing things in our favor once he's ready."

First place finisher in the boys varsity run was Clay Shumaker, Skyview, with a time of 16.26.9. Logan Davis, CdA Charter, came in 7th at 16:57 to lead the way for the Intermountain League.

In team results, Coeur d'Alene led with 70, followed by Mt. Spokane, 108, Moscow, 121, Sandpoint, 137, and Skyview, 148. Out of 18 teams, Bonners Ferry finished 14th with 372 points.

Badger finishers were Connor Alexander, 13th at 17:19.1, Levi Bonnell, 80th at 19:55.6, Justin Strugar, 85th at 20:14.6, Wyatt Smith, 99th at 20:51.1, Ryan Beckle, 108th at 21:58.9, and Carson Dineen. 122nd at 24:32.1.

In the JV race, Badger Ian Williams posterd 25:09.4 for a 95thplace finish and Chase Xitco finished in 116th place at 32:08.9.

In the girls varsity, Samantha Wood, Post Falls, finished first at 18:03.1. McKenna Kozelah, Coeur d'Alene Charter, was the first IML runner to cross the finish line, coming in third at 19:28.

In addition to Beckle and Moellmer, Jayden Byars came in at 27:22.7 for a 24th place finish, Liliana Brinkman placed 51st at 32:33.3, followed by Trina Johnson, 52nd at 33:20.6, nd Elizabeth Bourassa finished 55th at 34:46.3.

In other team scoring news, the Badgers made their contribution to the Battle of the Border, a year long competition between Bonners Ferry and Eureka (Lincoln County High School, Montana).

The Badger boys lost to Eureka 19-41 (low score wins in XC), but the Badger girls won 25-30.

"We're getting better every week, kids are still getting PR's this early in the season and we're not even to the really fast courses yet," Warner said. "I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll continue to see gains as the year goes on and see how we start to stack up against other IML teams."

The Badgers are at home this Saturday, at Kenny Mendenhall Stadium. The first race starts at 9 a.m.

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