BONNERS FERRY — The Badger cross country team continues to compete despite being pushed behind schedule due to the smoke and its subsequent restrictions. They were able to get back on track and ran two races last week in Priest River for the Priest River Ivan Benson Invitational on Sept. 26, and at Travers Park for the Sandpoint William Johnson Invitational on Sept. 30.
With both races being five kilometers, and good competition from the North Idaho teams, the Bonners Ferry runners got right back on track. The girls brought home a second-place finish in Priest River, behind first-place (and class 4A) Lakeland, with Jordan Young leading the field, finishing with the time of 20:32. Abigail Gorton was right behind her, finishing in 21:45.
The boys team, led by Sam Gorton’s time of 19:05, came in fourth with the Priest River boys team taking first.
With Travers Park’s mostly paved and relatively flat course, it’s the ideal place for the teams to push themselves shine individually, coach Tyler Warner said. The races consisted of three one-mile loops.
“This is the fastest course the Badgers have faced this season,” said Warner. “As coaches, we look at this as an opportunity for setting personal records and discovering new horizons. Competing against 4A schools like Sandpoint, Coeur d’Alene, and Moscow does not provide many opportunities to stand out as a team, but the nature of the course allows us to push our boundaries and help athletes to realize their potential. We achieved just that.”
Young sustained a minor injury and sat out the race, but that opened the door for Gorton to lead the girls team, achieving her best time for the season (20:49). Lauren Stidham finished up with her personal record of 22:51, and Ada Bonnell also ran her season best finishing with 23:33. The girls team finished fifth.
“Serenity Fahey, Madi Hoggan, and Lauren Onstott all ran personal record times as well. In the girls Junior Varsity race, freshmen Ella Huggins and Erin Dineen ran their season best times as well. Erin ran the course six minutes faster than she ever has, and has improved by more than 12 minutes since the start of the season,” said Warner.
The boys team came home in sixth place, with all of the runners obtaining personal best times.
“Sam Gorton and Austin Donn ran separately for most of the race, but Donn nearly overtook Sam near the end, with Sam edging Austin by a second,” Warner stated.
Gorton finished with 18:13 with Donn on his heels with 18:14. Hunter Smith finished with 18:56, Ryne Rae with 19:24, and Lane Stidham with 19:46.
The Badgers will be traveling again on Thursday, Oct. 5, to run at the Timberlake Invitational. That event replaces the Farragut invite, which was canceled on the account of the poor air quality from the smoke. They will be back on the road on Saturday, Oct. 7, heading to Lewiston for the Inland Empire Challenge.
The Bonners Ferry Cross Country teams will be hitting the road running as the season wanes. Visit bfbadgers.com for schedules.