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Badger harriers honored for another fine season

 
November 10, 2020
 
Connor Alexander Camille Ussher Levi Bonnell

The Bonners Ferry Badger cross country program saw 14 varsity letters distributed this year at their recent post-season awards ceremony, many of them to first timers. Badger All-League runners this year were Connor Alexander for the boys and Camille Ussher, Ceci Roemer, Sydney Beckle and Leah Moellmer for the girls.

All-League for the IML is determined by medalists at districts, medalists being top third of runners who would have qualified for state as an individual.

Connor also made the All-District 1 team, called the "Dirty Dozen," which is determined by a combination of PRs, placing at state and head-to-head competition. District 1 includes all of North Idaho, 1A-5A, so for Connor to make the list is quite a distinction. His place was determined largely by his 16:24 personal record this season and his 10th place finish at state, as well as his performance against other schools at meets we ran against each other at.

In team awards, voted on by the three coaches, Connor received the 110-Percent Award and Levi Bonnell and Camille Ussher were honored as Most Outstanding Cross Country Badgers, mainly because of their work ethic and dedication, not just to the sport, but to their team.

"Levi from day one as a freshman was invested in cross country and his teammates," coach Tyler Warner said. "He was a solid part of the boys team, but was also a nurturer and enforcer when needed. I could always count on Levi to hold the standard high for team behavior and culture. He was an excellent leader that held the attention and respect of his teammates. For Camille, her greatest accomplishment came not only in leading the girls team, but becoming more invested in cross country this year. She prioritized running this summer and saw her times drop immensely. She put so many mental pieces together that I think she wishes she'd noticed earlier. Her pieces of advice to teammates at the banquet included run in the summer and be coachable. Her improvement this year, not just in time, but in attitude, was a significant reason in the girls' team success this year.

"Connor, likewise, has been a hardcore runner his entire career. He has been a contributor from day one and made it to state three times, the only time he missed state was when he had a broken ankle. Connor lives and breathes distance running. We'd be breaking down runners together from across the state and he'd know the names of kids he'd raced against in track state and would have analyzed them more than I had. Not only that, but he's a voracious mileage hound. Whether he's sick or the air quality is ravaged by smoke, we'd see Connor in the summer getting his long-distance mileage in. You don't run sub-16 minute 5ks just running from time-to-time, it takes a time investment and Connor was invested. On top of that, Connor was a great teammate to us. The last two years he passed along his tips and tricks to young runners and encouraged them to dig deep and really invest in doing things well. Connor loves cross country and track and our programs will be lessened when he graduates. Some college coach is going to be glad to have a Connor Alexander. If we had a team of kids with Levi's dedication to team, Connor's work ethic, and Camille's drive for self-improvement, we'd be bringing home state trophies every year."

The District 1 Dirty Dozen boys team 2021 are sophomore Jacob King, Coeur d’Alene, sophomore Nathan Roche, Sandpoint, freshman and runner of the year Zach Cervi-Skinner, Coeur d’Alene, senior Logan Davis, Coeur d’Alene Charter, sophomore Jacob Barnhart, Timberlake, senior Connor Alexander, Bonners Ferry, senior Gavin Calkins, Post Falls, sophomore Makai Peak, Kellogg, junior Slate Fragoso, Sandpoint, sophomore Lachlan May, Coeur d’Alene, senior Ben Ricks, Sandpoint, and senior Maximilian Bazler, Lake City.

The girl's Dirty Dozen were junior McKenna Kozeluh, Coeur d’Alene Charter, senior Clara Stephens, Lake City, freshman Hazel Kunkel, Lake City, sophomore Anne Marie Dance, Coeur d’Alene, freshman Zara Munyer, Coeur d’Alene, senior Alahna Lien, Post Falls, senior Mackenzie Suhy-Gregoire, Sandpoint, junior Ara Clark, Sandpoint, freshman Kaylynn Misner, Post Falls, sophomore Elliana Rietze, Coeur d’Alene, and senior Megan Oulman, Sandpoint. Runners of the Year are senior Samantha Wood, and junior Annastasia Peters, both of Post Falls.

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