Providing a resounding reminder of her talents, Annie Hill set a new course record en route to winning the Nike Cross Regionals Northwest 5K last weekend in Boise.
The standout junior from Glacier High School won in 17:22.2, capturing the top place for the second year in a row. She surpassed the previous record for the Eagle Island cross country course held by Makena Morley of Bigfork, 17:24.6, set in 2014. It was also a personal best for Hill, who is the 15th ranked runner in the nation.
The former All-American and two-time Montana state champ plans to continue on to the Nike Cross Nationals next month in Portland instead of moving on to the Foot Locker series, which she has done in recent years. The Nike national race is Dec. 3 at the Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Oregon.
A year ago, Hill won the Nike regional race and then went to the Foot Locker Cross Country Championship West Regional, where she was victorious. She advanced to the national meet in San Diego, where she placed 22nd.
Hill’s decisive victory in Boise marked a confidence-boosting comeback for the fleet-footed junior. Last month in Kalispell, Hill was unseated as the two-time defending Class AA state champion and finished seventh.
In Boise, Hill emerged victorious in a packed field with seven nationally ranked runners, including Idaho state champ Lexy Halladay, who placed second in 17:26, and Montana state champ, Tiahna Vladic of Billings, who placed fifth in 17:40.
Bigfork’s Bryn Morley placed 43rd at Nike regionals, clocking 18:59. On the boys side, Flathead sophomore Ben Perrin placed 41st in 16:15. Bozeman’s Chase Equall, who broke the Class AA state record for Montana en route to a title in Kalispell last month, took second, 15:18. The Bozeman mens and womens teams captured titles.
The event featured many of the top high school runners from Montana, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.