Another great racer from the Flathead Valley will be running with the Buffaloes.
Annie Hill, a nationally recognized distance runner from Glacier High School, has verbally committed to compete at the University of Colorado after graduating in spring.
“All the schools I was looking at had really good programs but I felt I would be most successful at Colorado,” she said. “I’m super excited.”
The Kalispell senior was deciding between Colorado, Oregon and Stanford and conducted official visits at each school this fall.
“I really loved (Colorado) way more than I expected to,” she said. “It has been an historically amazing team and the coaches are amazing. I was just really excited about the opportunity to be part of that program.”
Led by vaunted head coach Mark Wetmore, the CU women’s cross country team is entering this week’s Pac 12 Championship meet ranked third in the nation behind No. 1 Oregon and ahead of fourth-ranked Stanford.
Hill is following in the footsteps of fellow Flathead Valley natives Makena Morley, a former Bigfork state champion and a junior at CU, and Zach Perrin, a former Flathead High School state champ and a senior in Boulder. Missoula’s Chris Herrick and Adam Peterman also run at CU.
Before making her decision, Hill said she talked with both Morley and Perrin and received rave reviews.
“They both love the program and that just made me really excited about going there,” she said.
“I knew that it would be a really good fit. It seems a lot like home,” she said. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity.”
Hill has consistently ranked among the top prep runners in the nation over the last few years.
Her accolades include winning Gatorade Montana track and cross country awards, setting an all-class state record and winning elite national races. In spring of 2016, she ran what is believed to be the fastest 3,200-meter race by a female prep athlete from Montana, clocking 10:14.14 at the Arcadia Invitational in Los Angeles. Last spring she swept the distance races at the state track meet.
This fall, while missing multiple practices and races due to smoke and school cancellations, Hill battled through minor injuries and competed in only a few meets. She finished third at the Montana Class AA state championship cross country meet in Helena last weekend, clocking 18:09 for 5K.
Hill is scheduled to compete at the upcoming Nike Cross Regionals in Boise on Nov. 11.
“(Deciding on a college) is a little bit of weight off my shoulders,” she said. “Now I want to run better so that they’re proud of me and so they know they made a good decision.”