Heading into the Great Falls Invitational on Friday, Sept. 20, we emphasized the importance of the Bengals having a positive experience they could draw upon when they return to the Electric City on Oct. 26.
Safe to say it was mission accomplished as Helena High’s boys and girls approached the meet with a positive mindset and left the meet with positive vibes.
The varsity girls ran with confidence and poise en route to a team win and featured four girls under the 20-minute mark with another two incredibly close. Sophomore Kylie Hartnett picked up another solid victory, winning in 18:00, her second fastest time.
Placing seventh and eight were sophomores Odessa Zentz and Rylie Schoenfeld, who ran nearly the entire second half of the race shoulder to shoulder, and finished that way with times of 19:23, a personal best for both runners. Sophomore Kylee Wetzel was Helena’s fourth runner across the line in 16th with a lifetime best of 19:51, and sophomore Carly Ryan rounded out the team scoring for the Bengals in 21st with a 40-second improvement at 20:04.
Also running well for the Helena girls were senior Alyssa Plant in 30th (20:14) and freshman Lexi Erdahl in 64th (21:22). Their performances gave the Bengals great confidence moving forward with a solid demonstration of growing depth.
Helena finished with 47 points and reigning Class A champion Hardin was second with 129. Flathead was the second AA team in third with 131. Bozeman and Hellgate did not compete with their varsity teams. Complete girls varsity results are available by clicking here.
In JV competition, senior Jordynn Greve ran to an inspiring runner-up finish in 21:16, a 36 second improvement on her personal best. That effort led the JV girls to third place with 89 points, trailing West (50) and Flathead (81). The remaining scorers for Helena were sophomore Breanna Brewer in 9th (22:00), sophomore Olivia Huber in 12th (22:16), senior Tatum McNamara in 30th (23:19), and sophomore Grace Oelkers in 39th (23:32). Complete girls JV results are available by clicking here.
On the boys side, Helena’s varsity squad ran determined against tough competition from Missoula Sentinel and Billings West, and the top three runners posted personal bests to lead the Bengals to third place, just eight points shy of Sentinel in first and one point shy of West in second.
Senior Jonah Fisher led the charge in sixth place with a time of 16:12 (a 5-second improvement), junior Trystan Brewer placed 10th in 16:28 (a 6-second improvement) and senior Clayton Ryerson was 19th in 16:47 (a 6-second PR). Helena’s fourth runner was senior Sam Sullivan in 41st (17:17) and senior Kaden Jenkins completed the team’s scoring as the fifth runner across the line in 65th (17:48). Senior Grayson Bonilla placed 76th in 17:56 and junior Dallin Christensen finished 87th in 18:05.
Helena proved it’s ready for a fight against teams like Sentinel and West, but the boys know it will require a strong race on Oct. 26 when they return to Great Falls if they hope to challenge them for a shot at the podium.
Complete boys varsity results are available by clicking here.
In the boys junior varsity ran, junior Robert Wagner put together an incredibly strong performance to finish second with a time of 17:40 – a massive 46-second improvement over his previous best, established in Bozeman a week prior. Wagner’s performance paced the JV boys to a third-place finish with 92 points, behind West (30 points) and Sentinel (65).
Also scoring for the JV team was junior Ethan Nelson in 12th with a lifetime best of 18:08, senior Roy Rindal in 19th (18:29), freshman Adam Ryland-Davis in 26th (18:42, a 20-second PR) and freshman Mason Roush in 41st (19:06). Complete boys JV results are available by clicking here.