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PREP XC: Sandpoint boys finish 10th out of 62 teams in Missoula

by MAX OSWALD
Sports Reporter | September 25, 2023 1:00 AM

MISSOULA — The Sandpoint cross country teams finished among the top schools at the largest cross country meet in the state of Montana, the Mountain West Classic, held at the University of Montana on Saturday. The boys finished 10th out of 62 teams while the girls captured 16th out of 48 teams.

Leading the boys to a 10th place finish was senior Nathan Roche who finished 47th (16:45.0) out of a field of 456 runners. Sophomore Paul Kent posted a huge new personal best time of 16:59.6, a 39 second improvement from earlier this season, to finish in 60th place. Senior Daniel Ricks was the third Sandpoint runner to finish among the top 100, placing 74th (17:07.7) Saturday. The Bulldogs defeated teams like Preston, Gonzaga Prep, Gallatin, Billings Skyview and Glacier.

For the girls, senior Grace Rookey (20:36.3) led the Bulldogs finishing 55th out of a field of 371 runners. Senior Lily Richardson was not too far behind Rookey, taking 63rd place (20:46.6). Freshman Elizabeth Storms cracked the top 100 with a new personal best time of 21:12, good enough for 86th. The girls were able to defeat notable teams in Helena Capital, Columbia Falls, Billings Skyview, Belgrade and Hamilton.

"It was good to get out of the 'little pond' and face some really stiff competition," head coach Mike Ehredt said. "That's what is going to make us better runners. It was a great experience for them. We had a lot of underclassmen set new personal records. We'll be going back next year."

The Sandpoint cross country team will look forward to the 6th Annual Battle for the 509 which will be held Saturday in Cheney, Wash.

BOYS

TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — 1, Coeur d’Alene 45. 2, Bozeman 75, 3. Billings West 158. 4, Helena 172. 5, Great Falls 191. 6, Lewis and Clark 258. 7, Hellgate 270. 8, Sentinel 270. 9, Mt. Spokane 314. 10, Sandpoint 425.

WINNER, Sandpoint Top 5 — 1, Nathan Neil, Bozeman, 15:09.8. 47, Nathan Roche, Sandpoint, 16:45.0. 60, Paul Kent, 16:59.6. 74, Daniel Ricks, Sandpoint, 17:07.7. 144, Kasten Grimm, Sandpoint, 17:50.8. 149, Michael Hall, Sandpoint, 17:52.8.

GIRLS

TEAM SCORES (Top 10) — 1, Gallatin (Bozeman, Mont.) 123. 2, Bozeman 131. 3, Hardin 136. 4, Preston 165. 5, Hellgate 169. 6, Coeur d’Alene 270. 7, Ferris 288. 8, Flathead 302. 9, Lewis and Clark 320. 10, Soda Springs 346.

WINNER, Sandpoint Top 5 — 1, Logan Hofstee, East Valley, 17:44.8. 55, Grace Rookey, 20:36.3 63, Lily Richardson, Sandpoint, 20:46.6. 86, Elizabeth Storms, Sandpoint, 21:12.7. 154, Terra Bode, 21:58.8. 178, Sienna Todd-Murray, 22:30.4.

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