Alumni Update: Hill, Johnston, Frissell Shine in Season Debuts

Polson's Beatrix Frissell wins in first collegiate race; Annie Hill second by a nose for University of Colorado

By Andy Viano
Glacier's Annie Hill runs by herself during a race in high school. Hill, who won two state cross country championships, now runs at the University of Colorado. Beacon file photo

Glacier High School graduate Annie Hill fell less than a second short of her first collegiate win and helped the University of Colorado finish second as a team at the Wyoming Invitational on Sept. 6.

Hill, a redshirt freshman for the Buffaloes, covered the 5K course in 18:04.8, the same time recorded by race-winner Holly Bent, also of Colorado. She raced unattached at the same event in 2018 and finished 14th in the only appearance of her inaugural campaign.

Hill won a pair of state championships during a stellar cross country career for the Wolfpack and added six titles in track and field. She holds a number of Glacier school records and was named the Gatorade Montana Athlete of the Year in both cross country (2015) and track (2017).

Ryggs Johnston Begins College Career with Third-Place Finish

While the Arizona State Sun Devils were clinching the team title at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate on Sept. 15 in Scottsdale, Arizona, freshman Ryggs Johnston was wrapping up his first collegiate tournament and celebrating a third-place finish at the Mea Lanakila Individual in nearby Carefree.

Johnston, a Libby native and four-time Montana high school state champion, fired 72-72-67 to wind up 5-under par, one shot behind teammate Alex del Ray and North Carolina State’s Brett McLamb. Johnston’s 67 was the lowest score in the 35-golfer field on day three and the second-best round of the entire tournament at Desert Forest Golf Club.

The Sun Devils are expected to be among the top men’s teams in the country this season, checking in second in the nation in Golf Channel’s preseason rankings and No. 3 at Golfweek.

Polson’s Frissell Wins College Debut

Beatrix Frissell, who won back-to-back Class A state cross country championships at Polson High School in 2017 and 2018, picked right up where she left off in her debut race at the University of Montana, finishing first at the Clash of the Inland Northwest in Cheney, Washington late last month.

Frissell bested a 79-woman field that included runners from Gonzaga, Idaho and Eastern Washington, completing the 4K course in 14:13.7, nearly five seconds ahead of her closest competitor. She was named the Big Sky Conference Athlete of the Week on Sept. 3.

Frissell is the first individual cross country champion from the school since Makena Morley won the Big Sky Conference title in 2015. Morley transferred to the University of Colorado shortly after that race.

Frissell and the Griz return to competition on Sept. 21 in Bozeman at the Montana State Invitational.

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