The Columbia Falls High School cross country teams had another strong week as they ran at the Capital City 7X7 race in Helena Thursday and the Browning Invitational Saturday.
After practicing by running on a country road before reaching Helena Wednesday, the Columbia Falls had a strong showing at the Capital City 7X7 meet Thursday. The unique format of the race has each team’s runners ranked one through seven, with the runners grouped in each rank running separate races. The races also feature the boys and girls running at the same time.
“It was a fun format because the runners don’t have their teammates to pace themselves with,” head coach Jim Peacock said. “It led to some interesting performances.”
Number two runner Seth Umbriaco had the fastest time for the Wildcats, finishing second in his race with a time of 16:59.19, while Joe Lamb was 14th in the No. 1 race at 17:02.93. James Role was 10th in the No. 3 race at 17:32.07, Aidan Jarvis was 14th in the No. 4 race at 18:05.09 and Beau Umbriaco beat his personal best time by more than a minute to finish 12th in the No. 5 race at 18:02.93. Bryce Bennett was 16th in the No. 6 race at 18:42.31 and Bailey Sjostrom was 17th in the No. 7 race at 19:00.16.
Overall, the Wildcats finished 12th out of 53 teams, but second among Class A squads, behind only Laurel.
For the Wildkats, Lara Erickson had the fastest time as she finished 24th in the No. 1 race with a time of 21:03.86. Genevieve Delorme was 20th in the No. 2 race at 21:11.18, Raychel Hoerner was 21st in the No. 3 race at 22:12.68, Kara Mohr was 23rd in the No. 4 race at 22:43.08, Alyssa Blankenship was 18th in the No. 5 race at 22:47.27, Kaila Belston was 19th in the No. 6 race at 23:25.29 and Emma Upton was 13th in race seven with a time of 23:24.63.
The Wildkats finished 15th out of 54 teams and second among class A teams, behind only Corvallis.
The team was back in action Saturday at the Browning Invitational, which was run at Cut Bank because of the several inches of snow on the ground in Browning.
Columbia Falls got a chance to showcase some of its younger runners as many who normally run on the junior varsity squad ran at the varsity level for the race.
James Peterson was the top runner for the boys, coming in fifth with a time of 19:12 while Mac Jarvis was 10th (19:42), T.J. Jacobi was 11th (19:54), Zane McCallum was 14th (20:15), Conner Cheff was 16th (20:34) and Cole Cooper was 21st (20:49).
For the Wildkats, Katy Garate was the top runner, finishing 14th with a time of 25:22 while Kaylee Johns was 16th (25:34), Laney Conger was 17th (25:27), Jayna Moultray was 32nd (27:59), Shaela Tuell was 37th (30:16) and Gracie Mee was 39th (30:37).
Columbia Falls will be in action at the Regional Meet at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell Saturday. Junior varsity boys will begin at 2 p.m. with JV girls at 2:40, varsity boys at 3:20 and varsity girls at 4 p.m.