Downing, Parisot lead teams across the line on hot and windy day
After a strong showing in a time trial against Capital on Saturday, the Helena High junior varsity boys and girls ventured west to Missoula to officially lift the lid on the 2020 cross country season Wednesday afternoon.
The Bengals toed the line on a hot and windy day against Western AA foes Hellgate, Capital and Big Sky, but the times were combined with results from the later quadrangular featuring Flathead, Glacier, Sentinel and Butte. Helena’s girls (78 points) edged Capital (100) to place third behind Hellgate (15) and Flathead (59), while the young boys squad placed eighth and gained some valuable experience for the road ahead.
To place a focus on the team’s collective effort prior to their race, each girl wrote the name of a teammate on their hand to establish a visible reminder they were running for more than just themselves – #LoveYourTeammates.
After the gun sounded in the girls race, senior Claire Downing charged up the only substantial hill on the course to take pole position for the Bengals early, and she worked her way up the pack to lead her team with a time of 23:21 in sixth place. Junior Chloe Roberts (23:31, personal best) and senior Maddy Murgel (24:48) were Helena’s second and third finishers in eighth and 20th, respectively, while juniors Haily Tolman (24:54, 21st), Breanna Brewer (24:58, 23rd) and Olivia Coburn (24:59, 24th) finished next after working together through the first two-plus miles. Junior Naomi Sweeney (28:55, 40th) battled through some discomfort, but was determined to finish and completed the Bengals’ strong performance.
On the boys side, sophomore Taylor Parisot guided the boys to the finish in 21:33 for 27th place, and was followed across the line by freshmen Kris Fernandez (23:50, 42nd), Andrew Madsen (24:50, 44th), Andrew Mendez (24:52, 45th) and Kai Moser (31:18, 52nd).
Girls Results: http://competitivetiming.com/results/205216JVG
Boys Results: http://competitivetiming.com/results/205216JVB