BONNERS FERRY — The Youth Endowment for Activities (YEA) is a nonprofit foundation of the Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA), and is implemented in order to raise financial support for Idaho student athletes to get to state-level competitions.
The high school cross country teams in North Idaho came together Saturday, Aug. 18, for a fundraiser toward the YEA program, with the added bonus of getting a semi non-competitive look at the other teams this season.
“Our purpose was to get Coeur d’Alene Charter vested in the program,” said Bonners Ferry High School Cross Country Coach Tyler Warner. “The more schools in the program, the better the rewards for the other schools already in it.”
Since the event was not a recorded competition, the student athletes were not officially timed, which allowed them to size up the other teams and find areas for improvement both within themselves, and as a team.
The course began by the grandstand and looped both around the school grounds and the track in a predetermined two-mile course, with the finish line in front of the stands.
Abby Gorton for Bonners Ferry won the girls race by a couple hundred yards, followed by freshman Camille Ussher in fifth place.
The Timberlake boys team has individuals place first through third, followed by Bonners Ferry boys Sam Gorton, Austin Donn, Hunter Smith and Connor Alexander finishing fourth through seventh place.
“Duncan McKechnie had a good day running with Tyler Lucas and Levi Bonnell for most of the race,” said Warner.
With the poor air quality, the teams have had difficult times with practice, at times taking to the hallways.
“It’s one of the few times I have given someone permission to run in the hallways,” said Warner. “Practice has been good so far, the smoke has made it difficult.”
With a feel for how the season may go, the team can now focus on practices and improvements.
For more information about YEA, visit www.yeafoundation.org.