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Badgers healing up in time for districts

 
October 11, 2021

Ian Williams photo
Leah Moellmer
The Badger Cross Country teams took an early morning bus ride to Lewiston Orchards near Lewiston High School for the Inland Empire Challenge Saturday, and came hope with several new personal bests.

The race, hosted by Lewis and Clark State College XC and Track team, is one of the fastest in the region. It is out in an open field that gently climbs, but has a deceptive amount of downhill. With the uphill portions having the opportunity to be fast and a gracious amount of downhill the times were the fastest we've seen all season.

The girls JV runners started the day with Trina Johnson and Lily Owens both posting new PRs of 28:39 and 31:59 respectively, and Elizabeth Bourassa posting a season best time.

Ian Williams in the boys JV race had a new PR of 22:22.

The girls varsity race saw times drop even lower.

Ceci Roemer led the way for Bonners ferry with a new PR of 20:35 and a 32nd place finish. Camille Ussher, returning from injury, also had a new PR of 20:42 at 37th. Freshman Sydney Beckle also posted a new PR of 22:00 for 64th place. Leah Moellmer crossed at 25:40 and Lilianna Brinkman rounded out the girls side with a new PR of 26:23.

Camille was returning from a knee injury we initially thought was going to be quite serious, but has rehabbed it well enough that when she raced you could hardly tell she'd been out a couple of weeks. It's nice to have her back in the rotation.

The varsity boys had the fastest times of the day. Connor Alexander continued to drop his PR by running the course in 16:25, good for 23rd place. Levi Bonnell was next at 18:32 at 76th, also a new PR. Continuing the PR streak was Justin Strugar at 19:01 and Ryan Beckle at 19:21. Carson Dineen also officially PRed at 20:54 to round out the day for Bonners Ferry. Every member of the boys varsity squad came home with a new personal record time for 5k.

"We were missing a couple of key pieces from the middle of our pack, with Wyatt Smith and Collin Fairchild out, but the rest of the team continues to perform nicely," coach Tyler Warner said. "The great part about a meet like this is that all the new PRs show athletes what they're capable of running and opens up new horizons. For Connor now, running 17s will likely feel slow in comparison to going under 16:30. Even though it's a long day for us travel-wise, it ends up paying dividends at districts and state."

Illness still continues to be a battle for the Badgers at this stage in the season, so team scores are tough to look at right now.

"The hope now is that by October 21st we'll have every one healthy for districts to put forth our best effort," Warner said.

The Badgers have a little tune up Tuesday at Round Lake, but a week off from competition until October 16 at Sandpoint. Districts will be held at Priest River at 1 p.m. Thursday, October 21.

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Mike Weland, Publisher
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