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Bengal girls, boys win pools at Great Falls Invite

Complete results | Team pictures | Helena IR story

Varsity Girls


The Helena High girls stole the show at the Great Falls Invitational, securing a perfect score in a three-team pool against Big Sky and Great Falls at Anaconda Hills Golf Course on Friday, September 14.

Freshman Kyle Hartnett led the team across the finish line for the third time this season, this time collecting her first high school victory in a time of 20:23 on the hilly 5-kilometer course.

She was followed across the finish line by senior Katelyn McKay (21:16), freshman Rylie Schoenfeld (21:35), senior Jasmine Wilkerson (21:38), and freshman Kylee Wetzel (21:39), giving the Bengals a score of 15 points. Senior Paige Aasved placed seventh and junior Alyssa Plant finished seventh and 10th to complete the dominant performance in 21:17 and 24:05, respectively.

Hartnett led from the start, while McKay, Schoenfeld, Wilkerson, and Wetzel took turns shadowing Big Sky senior Madison Edwards before moving past her and successfully stretching their advantage through the finish line.

The meet featured 10 teams, slit up into pools of three or four teams. While the Bengals only faced Big Sky and Great Falls on the course, in the combined team scoring , they placed third behind Bozeman and Hellgate. Hartnett posted the fifth-fastest time on the course.

Varsity Boys


Helena High’s top four boys finished within 21 seconds of each other in second, third fourth, and fifth, and No. 5 runner Sam Sullivan secured eighth place to complete a dominant showing.

The Bengals finished with 22 points, ahead of Great Falls with 48, and Big Sky with 55. In combined team scoring against the remaining seven teams in Great Falls, Helena finished an impressive second behind Bozeman, while Billings Senior and Hellgate were close behind in third and fourth.

On the course in the Bengals’ showdown with Great Falls and Big Sky, Helena junior Jonah Fisher led early, but couldn’t hold off eventual winner Sean Stineford of Big Sky. Stineford finished in 17:27, while Fisher completed his run in 17:42.

Close behind were Bengal junior Clayton Ryerson (17:51), sophomore Trystan Brewer (17:59), and senior Zane Roush (18:03). Sullivan finished in 18:42 to round out Helena’s scoring. The Bengals’ No. 6 and 7 runners were Nick Pida in 11th (19:32) and Eric Carlson in 18th (19:56).

Fisher’s time was the 10th-fastest overall, while Stineford wound up fifth in the combined report.

Girls Junior Varsity


The Helena High girls junior varsity squad competed admirably as runner-up against a Bozeman juggernaut with freshman Breanna Brewer running a personal-best time of 22:27 in sixth place.

Bozeman finished with 24 points, Helena totaled 16, and Hellgate was third with 84. The Junior varsity race featured 16 teams, including 11 with the required five runners to register a score.

Freshman Grace Oelkers (23:12), sophomore Maddy Murgel (23:20), freshman Hanna Romney (23:26) and freshman Naomi Sweeney (23:38) rounded out the scoring for Helena in 14th, 18th, 19th and 21st, respectively. All told, 13 of 20 Bengals finished in the top half of the 177-runner field.

Brewer has now led the junior varsity team in consecutive meets, and most impressively, shaved more than a minute off her personal best at the toughest course the team will race on this season.

Junior Varsity Boys


Junior Grayson Bonilla (20:02), sophomore Ethan Nelson (20:10), junior Roy Rindal (20:11), and sophomore Dallin Christensen (20:12) finished in a tightly packed lead group of four in 26th, 28th, 29th and 30th to lead the Helena High boys junior varsity to fifth place in Great Falls. Sophomore Ian Lovshin rounded out Helena’s scoring five in 44th place with a time of 20:35.

Bozeman eased to the victory with a perfect score of 15, while Billings West (70) edged Hellgate (71) for second, Capital (113) placed fourth and Helena’s 134 were good enough for fifth. The meet featured 16 teams, including 13 that featured the required five runners to register a score.

Nine of the Bengals’ 11 runners finished in the top half of the field.

Great Falls Invite Information

Meet No. 3 is Friday, September 14 in Great Falls at Anaconda Hills Golf Course, and below you’ll find meet information, including the schedule, bus leave time and other important details. Also, at the bottom of this email, I have provided information about this week’s spaghetti feed.


  1. Bus leaves Helena High School at 11:30 a.m. Friday. You will be released from class at 11:05 a.m., following third period. Please stay on campus after release to change and get loaded on the bus in a timely fashion.
  2. Pack a lunch, and also bring snacks, water/sports drink, and money for a meal on the return trip.
  3. Wear your team gear (T-shirts and sweatshirts) on the bus and throughout the meet to exhibit your school spirit and team pride.
  4. Pack your uniform and racing spikes or flats. This course is mostly on grass with some dirt path.
  5. The forecast looks good, but bring rain gear, and pack two trash bags – one to put over your backpack in the event of rain, and another to clean up after the meet.
  6. The meet schedule is posted below, so please review it and plan your eating and hydration accordingly. As you may notice, the varsity boys don’t run until 5:50 p.m. at the earliest, which is more than 6 hours after we depart Helena.

Tentative Schedule for the 2018 Great Falls Invite:

Junior Varsity: Standard invitational meet format.

  • 3:00 p.m. small school/JV large schools girls’ race
  • 3:40 p.m. small school/JV large schools boys’ race

Varsity: This is a unique meet format, as teams are split up in to race of two or four, meaning Helena runners will only be competing against Great Falls High, Missoula Big Sky and Fairfield.

  • 4:20 p.m.: Girls Race 1 – Helena High, Great Falls, Big Sky, Fairfield
  • 4:30 p.m.: Girls Race 2 – Capital High, CMR, Billings West, Corvallis
  • 4:40 p.m.: Girls Race 3 – Hellgate, Bozeman, Billings Senior
  • 4:55 p.m.: Boys Race 1 – Helena High, Great Falls, Big Sky, Fairfield
  • 5:05 p.m.: Boys Race 2 – Capital High, CMR, Billings West, Corvallis
  • 5:15 p.m.: Boys Race 3 – Hellgate, Bozeman, Billings Senior

Spaghetti Feed

This week’s spaghetti feed is hosted by the McKays. The address is 3530 Harmony Rd and the phone number is 465-0217, in case you get lost. Parents should plan on picking their non-drivers up from the feed. Because of homework and rest concerns, pick-up times should be arranged around 7:00 p.m.

Boys 3rd, girls 4th at Bozeman Invite

Complete resultsTeam pictures | Helena IR story

Boys Varsity Roundup


Junior Jonah Fisher placed seventh in a lifetime 5-kilometer best of 16:19, and led the Helena High boys to a third-place finish at the Bozeman Invitational — only 7 points behind perennial power Hellgate, but just a point ahead of upstart Billings Senior. Ten-time defending state champion Bozeman won the team battle.

Playing a big role in Helena’s team performance was the impressive move by sophomore Trystan Brewer. The Bengals’ blond bullet shaved 40 seconds off his personal record (PR) to finish as the team’s No. 2 runner in 17th place with a time of 16:46.

Buoying his effort were junior Clayton Ryerson in a PR 16:53 in 20th, senior Zane Roush in a PR 17:10 in 29th, and junior Sam Sullivan in a PR 17:42 in 48th to round out the scoring five runners. Junior Nick Pida ran a PR 18:00 in 66th and senior Eric Carlson was 93rd in 18:47.

After posting a 1-5 gap of 1:41 in their first meet in Billings on August 31, the Bengals trimmed that difference to 1:23 in Bozeman.

Hellgate’s Ian Curtis won the individual crown in 16:10, while Bozeman placed four runners in the top six.

Next up, the Bengals will test their strength on Friday, September 14 when they travel to Great Falls Invitational at Anaconda Hills Golf Course. The course will be the first this season that offers up a full dose of hills.

Girls Varsity Roundup


Freshman Kylie Hartnett continued her fast start to her Bengal career with a 17th-place finish in 20:01 to lead Helena to a fourth-place finish behind Hellgate, Bozeman and Billings Senior. Senior Katelyn McKay, meanwhile, wasn’t too far behind her teammate in 19th place with a time of 20:16.

The movers and shakers for Helena were another pair of freshman — Rylie Schoenfeld in 23rd and Kylie Wetzel in in 26th — who joined senior Jasmine Wilkerson in 25th. That group of three rounded out Helena’s scoring with determined group running. Schoenfeld ran a personal record of 20:30, Wilkerson finished in 20:32, and Wetzel trimmed nearly a minute off her personal record with a time of 20:34.

Rounding out Helena’s varsity squad were junior Alyssa Plant in 52nd (21:42), senior Paige Aasved in 62nd (22:19), sophomore Maddy Murgel in 68th (22:30) and senior Payton Aasved in 82nd (23:26).

The Bengals posted a 1-5 gap of 1:07 in Billings, and trimmed that to an impressive 33 seconds in Bozeman.

Senior Tiahna Vladic, of Billings Senior, picked up her second victory this season in 17:44, while team champion Hellgate finished with six runners in the top 12 to overcome Bozeman’s top three finishing third, fourth and fifth.

Bozeman Invitational Information

Meet No. 2 is Saturday, September 8 in Bozeman at Bridget Creek Golf Course, and below you’ll find meet information, including the schedule, bus leave time and locations for fan/parent parking. An image of the course map for athlete review and for parents looking for the best cheering locations is posted at the bottom.


  1. Bus leaves Helena High School at 11:30 a.m. Saturday (please arrive by 11:15 a.m. to help load tents and to ensure you’re on the bus when the doors close).
  2. Bring food, water, and money for a meal on the return trip.
  3. Bring your uniform and racing spikes or flats. This course is mostly on grass with some dirt path.
  4. Wear your team gear (T-shirts and sweatshirts) on the bus and throughout the meet to exhibit your school and team pride.
  5. The meet schedule is posted below, so please review it and plan your eating and hydration accordingly. As you may notice, the varsity boys don’t run until 5:50 p.m. at the earliest, which is more than 6 hours after we depart Helena.

Tentative Schedule for the 2018 Bozeman XC Invite:

  • 3 p.m. – course opens for preview
  • 4 p.m. – JV Girls
  • 4:40 p.m. – Varsity Girls
  • 5:20 p.m. – JV Boys
  • 5:50 p.m. – Varsity Boys
  • 6:20 p.m. – Middle School Girls (race 2.3 km)
  • 6:40 p.m. – Middle School Boys (race 2.3 km)

Parents and Fans

Parking: The clubhouse parking lot is only open to golfers and handicapped parking for spectators. Organizers will have two shuttle buses to move bus drivers and fans from the Gallatin County Fairgrounds Oak Street lot to and from the golf course. There is parking along the side of McIlhatten Road but it will be narrow. Please park consciously as to allow for flow of traffic in the event of an emergency. Volunteers will be present to help direct traffic. We encourage parents and Bengal fans to use the Gallatin County Fairgrounds parking lot off Oak Street.

Bozeman XC

Billings Invitational Information

The Bengals kick off the season with both varsity and junior varsity runners at the Billings Invitational on Friday, August 31.

ATHLETES! The bus to Billings will leave from Helena High at 6 a.m. Friday, August 31, which means that athletes should arrive at the school no later than 5:45 a.m. to ensure they’re seated before the departure time. We will load our team tents, as well.

The meet begins at noon (schedule below) at Amend Park on the south side of Billings – conveniently located just off Interstate 90. Parents, you can click on the name of the park above for a Google maps location to ensure you arrive safely and on time to cheer the Bengals.

Also, because this is a new event for the Bengals, I created a map of the course below with help from the Senior and Skyview coaches. It is flat and very fast. In fact, most of the runners from the Billings schools established there PRs there at last year’s city meet. It also appears to be spectator friendly, featuring several spots where you can cheer our runners multiple times.


  • 11:30 am: Self-guided walkthrough
  • 12 pm: Junior Varsity Girls
  • 12:25 pm: Varsity Girls
  • 12:50 pm: Junior Varsity Boys
  • 1:25 pm: Varsity Boys


8-24-2018 2-02-25 PM

Snag some Bengal XC gear to show your true colors

For a short time (through Friday, August 17), Bengal cross country Under Armour apparel can be purchased online through a store set up in coordination with Universal Athletic.

If you’re interested in getting a few extra items or just one, head on over to hhsxc18.itemorder.com and enjoy the shopping. There are some great options, including long sleeve and short sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, bags, and beanies, available in multiple colors.

2018 Season Information

The 2018 cross country season is right around the corner and that means paperwork needs to be completed before the first official practice.

A completed physical form and signed concussion form is required. Bring the completed forms the first day of practice at 7 a.m. Monday, August 13 at the Helena Middle School parking lot. All required forms can be found on the Activities Home Page as well as the HHS Main Office. The cost is $70 for the first sport, which includes the required activity ticket.

First Practice Day: Monday August 13, 2018. Meet at 7 a.m. at Helena Middle School in the main parking lot. Runners must have:

  • Physical completed
  • Concussion statement
  • Activities procedure regarding alcohol, tobacco and drug use & general code of conduct.

Parent Meeting: Monday, August 13th at 6 pm at Helena Middle School – on the outside bleachers.

First Meet: Billings Invitational, 12 p.m. Friday, August 31, Amend Park

To compete in the first meet, runners must participate in at least 10 days of official practice. The first and second week of practice, we will meet every day at 7 a.m. at Helena Middle School. On Tuesday and Thursday, we will also meet in the evening at 7 p.m. We will also meet on that first Saturday at the Mount Helena Parking Lot at 8 am for a trail run. On Saturday, August 25, we will meet at 8 a.m. at Helena Middle School.

Beginning Monday, August 27, we will meet at 3:30 p.m. SHARP in the upper gym at Helena High School. Arrive on time, so we can begin practice in a timely fashion.

Team pictures will be taken on Thursday, August 16 at 7 a.m. during the morning practice.

If you have any questions, please use the contact form below.



2018 Summer Training Plan

Hello Bengals. We can’t wait to get started, and with that in mind, the 2018 summer training plan has been posted and can be viewed by clicking here, or by visiting the “Training” portion of the website.

Summer training begins Monday, June 11 and continues through mid-August, when the official season begins. All practices throughout the summer (Monday-Friday) will begin at 7 a.m. from the Helena Middle School parking lot next to Vigilante Stadium. Please try to arrive a little early to ensure we can get started on time.

As noted above, we will only meet five times per week, but the training plan does indicate Saturday runs that you’re encouraged to do on your own or by organizing with your teammates to complete together.

We can’t wait to see all of you and to welcome our newest additions to the team. Go Bengals!

Winter Track Training Plan Posted

I have posted a winter training guide on the Training page, which you are encouraged to use as you train throughout the winter in preparation for the 2018 track and field season.

In that page, you’ll find training plans split into three-week sessions. Initially, I have only posted weeks 1-3, and after communicating with those of you using the plans, I will evaluate and post further weeks to ensure the training is working well for you, and to determine whether we need to make adjustments.

You will notice I have included some suggested winter road races and track and field events in the training schedule. Those events can provide great fitness markers that can be used to properly adjust training and recovery to ensure you arrive at the start of the track and field season fired up, healthy and fit.

Also on the Training page, you’ll find Training Paces, which should be used until they are updated after a few weeks following this program.

Last thing. Please take the more cautious route out of the blocks. There’s no reason to go crazy right from the start and to bite off more than you can chew. Level 1 should be accessible for everyone on the team, and Level 2 is where the more experienced runners should be by the time we reach the actual season. Level 3, for now, isn’t something many runners on this team are yet prepared for, based on training age and experience.

Check in with me regularly and let me know how the training is going. I will try to meet with some of you for some running this winter, and as we get closer to some of the road races and indoor meets, I can help with coordination, etc.

Happy running!

State Meet Weekend

While the state meet is certainly something worth getting excited about, for those about to run, this is a time to remain calm and reflect on all of the hard work and dedication it’s taken to get to this point in the season.

Whether it was the miles, the smoke, the heat, the cold, a nagging injury, or a sickness, you’ve all endured more than most to prepare for arguably the most exciting four hours of competition in Montana high school sports, when all classifications invade a patch of grass in Helena, Montana — your home turf. Nearly every school in the entire state of Montana will be represented at Bill Roberts Golf Course on Saturday, October 21, and you belong among the best.

Trust the training and believe in the process that got you here. And most importantly, be you. Run your race and dictate your destiny. Go Bengals!

♦ Words to think about this week.

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.” – PattiSue Plumer

♦ Remember when I told the middle schoolers, you’re the toughest out there?

“In football, you might get your bell rung, but you go in with the expectation that you might get hurt, and you hope to win and come out unscathed. As a distance runner, you know you’re going to get your bell rung. Distance runners are experts at pain, discomfort, and fear. You’re not coming away feeling good. It’s a matter of how much pain you can deal with on those days. It’s not a strategy. It’s just a callusing of the mind and body to deal with discomfort. Any serious runner bounces back. That’s the nature of their game. Taking pain.” – Mark Wetmore, University of Colorado XC coach

♦ And one more bit of motivation for good measure.

“There is something about the ritual of the race, putting on the number, lining up, being timed, that brings out the best in us.” – Grete Waitz