Glacier freshman Annie Hill placed fourth and the Morley sisters earned fifth and sixth at the Nike Northwest Regional Cross Country Championship 5K race in Boise, Idaho on Saturday.
With the course covered in ankle-deep snow, the times were drastically slower than year’s past, even though many of the fastest high school runners in the nation were competing.
In the Championship Division, Hill finished six seconds behind the third-place runner, clocking 19:06.7. Bigfork senior Makena Morley came in right behind Hill at 19:15.5 and Bigfork freshman Bryn Morley finished in 19:22.3, placing sixth.
»» Click here to watch a video of the top finishers, including Hill and the Morleys.
Hill and Makena Morley qualified for Nike Nationals in Portland.
The top five individual boys and girls placers from non-qualifying clubs in the Championship Division race at each regional earn individual spots to NXN in Portland.
Six girls from Flathead — Kaitlin Wride, Lauren Clark, Gillian Maness, Elizabeth Thompson, Nicole Bouma and Rebecca Wride — made the trip and competed in the varsity division. Kaitlin Wride finished third, 21:24.9, Clark earned eighth, 21:40, Maness was 13th, 21:55, and Thompson was 14th, 21:56.9. The Bravettes picked up second place as a team behind Yakima.
“They didn’t just overcome the weather, they left it all out there. It was cool to see that,” Jesse Rumsey, the Flathead girls cross country coach, said. “It was great for them to run against such other big runners and schools. And just to see the energy at a meet like that is pretty cool.”
Whitefish had a few runners compete at the elite meet, including Sarah Latcham, who placed 11th in the varsity race, 21:51.1.
The Flathead girls were able to make the trip thanks to support from Sportsman & Skihaus, Snappy Sport Senter, Eisinger Auto Group, Enterprise, Whitefish Discount Pharmacy, Jimmy Johns, Subway, Pizza Hut and MacKenzie River.