LEWISTON — Sandpoint cross country has claimed six straight district titles and Saturday they showed the team is certainly primed for seven in a row and much, much more.
The Bulldogs claimed first in the boys and girls 5K at the Inland Empire Challenge at Lewiston Orchards and after nearly breaking the boys 5K school record two weeks ago, junior Nikolai Braedt finally did.
Braedt ran a 15:35, which is 13 seconds faster than the previous school record held by Sam Levora and the sixth best time in the state currently. Braedt had aspirations of shattering the mark before the season even started, but he wasn’t the only Bulldog who rewrote the record books this weekend.
Seniors Gabe Christman and Seth Graham and juniors Jett Lucas and Keegan Nelson all ran times that were good enough to move into the top-10 all-time on the boys side. And sophomore Trey Clark slid into 13th on the list.
Overall, the boys had five runners finish in the top eight at the race to runaway from the second place team, Lewiston, by 76 points.
Sandpoint boys cross-country coach Matt Brass was blown away by his team’s results.
“The team pack time of 16:01 is nothing we’ve ever approached before,” Matt Brass said. “This group is performing really well this season.”
On the girls side, seniors Paige Davidson and Bionce Vincent ran the 10th and 12th fastest times in Sandpoint history and sophomore Megan Oulman earned the 17th best time.
In the race, the Bulldogs had six runners finish in the top 19 to edge out Lake City by eight points for first place.
Girls cross-country coach Angie Brass said across the board all her runners had personal records.
“We had three girls go under 20 [minutes] which they hadn’t done yet in high school which was really exciting,” Angie Brass said.
Sandpoint has always had strong teams, but this season the Bulldogs are on track to do something special and both coaches know it.
“Its something where its years of investment by the kids and the coaches, and you could see this coming when you look three years ago at the captains we had then and the young kids who were coming in and who are now juniors or seniors and are performing really well,” Matt Brass said. “They had some group to look up too that were just stellar leaders that set an example and told them this is what you have to do in order to be good and its just rolled over.”
“Its chasing excellence,” Angie Brass said, “and wanting to improve upon and meet what previous teams have done and realizing that it takes year round commitment, and we have a group that’s worked really hard.”
Sandpoint’s JV boys and girls teams also claimed first at the event.
Currently, Sandpoint’s varsity boys team would finish first at state and the girls seventh based on hypothetical meet projections by Athletic.net.
Moving forward, Matt and Angie said the team needs to work on the little things like staying healthy and getting sleep to continue seeing the results they’ve had this season.
“At this point in the year, I really think its fine tuning,” Matt said. “Some of the kids have probably put in close to 1,000 miles running this calendar year and they have a really solid base for their conditioning.”
The Bulldogs will host the William Johnson Sandpoint Invitational 9:15 a.m. Saturday at Travers Park. This is the team’s final meet before districts on Oct. 24.
Sandpoint athletes in bold
Top 20 finishers — 1, Sophie McManus (McCall), 18:20. 2, Clara Stephens (Lake City), 18:58. 3, Angelyca Chapman (Lake City), 19:05. 4, Laurel Hicke (Moscow), 19:20. 5, Paige Davidson (Sandpoint), 19:37. 6, Bionce Vincent (Sandpoint), 19:38. 7, Taylah Chapman (Lake City), 19:40. 8, Nicole Jones (Pullman), 19:41. 9, Cori Hatfield (McCall), 19:47. 10, Bec Kirkland (Moscow), 19:53. 11, Megan Oulman (Sandpoint), 19:57. 12, Clara Anderson (Logos), 19:59. 13, Josie Yovichin (CDA Charter), 20:11. 14, Kylie Franklin (Pullman), 20:15. 15, Ara Clark (Sandpoint), 20:15. 16, Madeline Jones (Pullman), 20:16. 17, Kelli Heim (Pullman), 20:37. 18, Jillian Primgaard (Sandpoint), 20:50. 19, Mackenzie Suhy-Gregoire (Sandpoint), 20:56. 20, Elly Kunkel (Pullman), 21:24.
TEAM SCORES — 1, Sandpoint, 53. 2, Lake City, 61. 3, Pullman, 71. 4, McCall-Donnelly, 99. 5, Moscow, 101. 6, Logos, 143. 7, Prairie, 172.
Top 20 finishers — 1, Caden Byrer (Lewiston), 15:33. 2, Nikolai Braedt (Sandpoint), 15:35. 3, Jett Lucas (Sandpoint), 15:54. 4, Gabe Christman (Sandpoint), 16:05. 5, Seth Graham (Sandpoint), 16:16. 6, Nate Plotner (Logos), 16:18. 7, Payton Bigler (Lewiston), 16:19. 8, Keegan Nelson (Sandpoint), 16:21. 9, Korben Bujnicki (Moscow), 16:24. 10, Carter Gordon (Lake City), 16:26. 11, Logan Davis (CDA Charter), 12, Trey Clark (Sandpoint), 16:34. 13, Carson Sellers (Timberline), 16:37. 14, Mick Brown (Clarkston), 16:38. 15, Maximillian Bazler (Lake City), 16:40. 16, Solomon Howard (Logos), 16:41. 17, Elijah Sabo (Lewiston), 16:48. 18, Luke Nelson (McCall), 16:50. 19, David Phillis (Troy), 16:52. 20, Corey Johnson (Moscow), 16:54.
TEAM SCORES — 1, Sandpoint, 22. 2, Lewiston, 98. 3, Logos, 119. 4, Moscow, 124. 5, Southridge, 133. 6, McCall-Donnelly, 154. 7, Asotin, 164. 8, Lake City, 173. 9, Pullman, 216. 10, Clarkston, 258.