Monday, November 28, 2022
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Local harriers compete at Thompson Falls meet

by CHUCK BANDEL
Valley Press | September 28, 2022 12:00 AM

The dense blanket of forest fire smoke that blanketed most of Sanders County last week dissipated enough to allow for the throng of runners to breathe as they ran.

With that, more than 260 boys and girls cross country runners from throughout the area descended on the Rivers Bend Golf Course just west of Thompson Falls for the annual Thompson Falls Cross Country run last week.

The field of mostly Class B and C runners came from 15 boys teams, 10 girls squads and several runners who participated individually as representatives of schools which did not have enough runners to qualify for the team competition.

On the boys side of the event, Whitefish rode the strength of three runners in the Top 10 to take the team title, while six Columbia Falls harriers, including the meet’s top female runner, propelled the Lady Bulldogs to the girls team title.

And although they did not have enough runners to qualify for the girls team top honors, the host Thompson Falls Lady Hawks turned in a strong performance, as did their counterparts on the boys T Falls team.

Leading the way for the Lady Hawks was multi-sport standout Ellie Baxter, who finished fourth in the field of 88 runners with a time of 21:01.10. Siri Erickson of team titlist Columbia Falls won the race with a time of 20:15.58.

The Blue Hawks also got strong finishes from eighth-grader Aubrey Baxter, who covered the 5,000 meter course in 22:42.44, good for 11th individually. Joining the Baxter girls in the top 20 was teammate Faith Palmer, who placed 19th at 23:40.92. Thompson Falls also got a 47th place finish from Kylee Huff who ran the course in 27:02.08.

In the boys race, Blue Hawks runner Cael Thilmony was the top finisher for T Falls, placing 18th with a time of 18:55.66. That run helped the Blue Hawks place twelfth in the 15-team boys field.

Also placing for the home team were: Brock Ryan, 20:50.08; JT Taylor, 21:10.00; Simon Armstrong, 22:21.95; Blake Schusterman, 22:40.02; Wesley Powers, 23:26.80, and Alex Sweeden, 24:55.52.

The Thompson Falls boys and girls team participated in the Arlee Hatchery Run, today (Tuesday) and will take part in the Wilderness Run @ Libby this coming Saturday.

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