Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Bulldogs run strong at Bob Firman Invite

| September 27, 2022 1:00 AM

With more than 4,200 athletes from 147 high school in 10 states, the Bob Firman meet is more like a cross country festival.

The Bulldog varsity women's team finished ninth in their section and 14th overall at the meet while the men's varsity team finished 15th in the section and 24th overall.

On the women's side of the meet, Sandpoint High School's Ara Clark ran her best time ever on the iconic Eagle Island State Park Course in Eagle. The senior led the Bulldog girls team, covering the the 5K in 20:04 for a medal and Nike award at 14th place. The time surpassed the Sandpoint runner's previous record of 20:22 set on the court last year at the end of the senior, coach Angie Brass said.

"I am continually impressed with Ara's racing intellect, pacing, toughness and ability to utilize every aspect of an incredibly intense course," Brass said. "She continues to improve and challenge herself each year, always doing the work to move forward and contribute to her team, a true competitor and dependable teammate."

The race features a highly competitive field and saw 174 athletes in the Varsity Girls Division 1 Sec. 2. Schools are split into sections based on the letter that their school starts with.

The Bulldogs' women's varsity team placed ninth out of 24 schools in their section, running with six people instead of seven. When the two Division 1 sections are combined, the Bulldogs placed 14th out of 42 teams with a combined 304 competitors.

Brass said Grace Rookey and Terra Bode were out sick, so Devin McDaniel stepped in as the sixth runner.

"I'm really proud of how the varsity team did, especially not being 100 percent, with multiple teammates getting over colds that have hit with the start of school," Brass said.

Maren Davidson (23rd, 20:20) ran a spectacular race as well and is still new to XC, but is one of our distance track standouts and is making a huge impact here as well! Next in for the Bulldogs were Lily Richardson (45th, 21:06), Payton Betz (79, 22:00), Izzy Davidson (111, 22:52.8) and Devin McDaniel (112, 22:57.7).

In the JV women's race, ninth-graders Silvi Landrum and Makiyah Hagstrom ran well together, placing ninth and 10th respectively with 22:56.3 and 22:52.4. The JV team placed sixth overall in their race of 16 schools.

On the men's side of the meet, the Bulldogs placed 15th out of 31 teams competing in the Division 1, Section 2, category. Of the combined Division 1, Sandpoint finished 24th out of 52 teams.

Coach Matt Brass said Nate Roche continues to lead the men's team (37th, 17:00.6). Dan Ricks (43, 17:09.4). Slate Fragoso (72, 17:32). Kasten Grimm (109, 18:04). Anders (137, 18:28.8). Jimmy Cornelius (155, 18:44.5). Michael Hall (156, 18:44.6).   

"Dan Ricks had a great race on a tough course, running an overall PR of 17:09," Brass said. "Nate Roche ran solid but wasn't feeling his best and I think in the next few weeks he is going to take a big leap forward."

The boys ran decent but the meet wasn't their best group effort, Brass said.

"I think we were a little flat and they are looking to close the gaps and have better, tighter races in the next 2 weeks," he added.

In the JV men's race, junior Klein Fragoso continues to lead the team, running an 18:55.6 for 38th place in one of the biggest races of the day at 341 competitors. Isaiah Hagstrom was next for Sandpoint with a 19:15 for 50th. JV Men were 18th out of 48 in the team scoring.


(Photo courtesy MATT BRASS)

Dan Ricks makes his way through a pack of runners at the Bob Firman Invitational held Saturday, Sept. 24.

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