Cross country gets top-five finishes at home

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  • Jessica Henson nears the finish line during the Whitefish Invite Tuesday at Whitefish Lake Golf Club. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

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    Miles Vrentas and Bridger Gaertner fight for the front of the pack during the varsity boys race at the Whitefish Invite last Tuesday. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

  • Jessica Henson nears the finish line during the Whitefish Invite Tuesday at Whitefish Lake Golf Club. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

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    Miles Vrentas and Bridger Gaertner fight for the front of the pack during the varsity boys race at the Whitefish Invite last Tuesday. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

Whitefish cross country runners had a solid week with strong racing at home and in Missoula.

On Tuesday the Bulldogs hosted the Whitefish Invitational at Whitefish Lake Golf Course.

The Polson girls took first overall with the top three individual runners for 41 points as a team. Whitefish took second (58) and Columbia Falls third (103).

Jessica Henson was the leading Bulldog at 10th (21:17) and Josephine Vardell (21:38) finished right behind at 11th.

The team’s sixth and seventh varsity runners, Jade Greenberg and Annie Robertson, came in at 21st and 31st.

For the boys, Frenchtown/Alberton, Columbia Falls and Browning rounded out the top three finishes overall. Whitefish took fourth, led by Miles Vrentas at 11th (17:54) and Bridger Gaertner at 16th (18:24).

Chris Sheehan (18:28), Josh Weller (19:19) and Eric Holdhusen (19:30) rounded out the scoring

On Saturday the team got a shot at some high-level competition at the Missoula Mountain West Classic.

Henson led the girls with a time of 21:10. Vardell (21:21), Katie Arterburn (21:31) and Braya Hobson (22:01) all had solid races.

For the boys, Vrentas (18:04) and Gaertner (18:31) led the pack. Eric Holdhusen finished just behind at 18:39.

The teams didn’t place any top 25 runners and finished deep in the pool of competing teams, but head coach Richard Menicke said the invite was a good way to measure where his teams are at heading into the final weeks of the schedule.

“Mountain West is a good state preview,” Menicke said. “The girls team is at fourth, so we have some work to do these next two-plus weeks to earn a trophy in Helena. Boys are at 12th or so, but there is huge opportunity to peak at the right time and vault up in the standings.”

The Bulldogs head up to Eureka on Thursday as a tune up for the following weekend’s Western A Classic.

They’ll start racing at 2:30 p.m. in Eureka.

Whitefish Invitational

At Whitefish Lake Golf Course

BOYS

Team Totals

1. Frenchtown/Alberton 50; 2. Columbia Falls 56; 3. Browning 69; 4. Whitefish 103; 5. Ronan 107; 6. Eureka 147; 7. Polson 149; 8. Libby 225; Not scoring — Cut Bank, Thompson Falls, Two Eagle River

GIRLS

Team Totals

1. Polson 41, 2. Whitefish 58; 3. Columbia Falls 100; 4. Frenchtown/Alberton 103; 5. Eureka 149; 6. Browning 155; 7. Libby 175; 8. Cut Bank 189; 9. Thompson Falls 193; Not scoring — Ronan, Selkirk

Top 25 Individuals

1. Beatrix Frissell, Polson 19:58.46

2. Naima Crowl, Polson 20:10.75

3. Molly Sitter, Polson 20:34.17

4. Sierra Cooper, Selkirk 20:36.45

5. Lizzy Mattson, Frenchtown 20:37.62

6. Abby Sherwood, Frenchtown 20:41.04

7. Lauren Thorstenson, Libby 20:54.70

8. Lara Erickson, Columbia Falls 20:55.78

9. Mckay Guckenberg, Eureka 21:05.68

10. Jessica Henson, Whitefish 21:17.22

11. Josephine Vardell, Whitefish 21:38.40

12. Ella Greenberg, Whitefish 21:49.39

13. Katie Arterburn, Whitefish 21:57.56

14. Josey Neesvig, Thmpsn Falls 22:01.74

15. Lindsey Brooks, Ronan 22:05.86

16. Raina Crowell, Columbia Falls 22:07.64

17. Abbi Fitzpatrick, Cut Bank 22:15.74

18. Braya Hobson, Whitefish 22:35.84

19. Gwen Seeley, Polson 22:36.79

20. Sadia Wahl, Polson 22:37.60

21. Jade Greenberg, Whitefish 22:43.03

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