The Whitefish girls had the second-best team and the third-best runner during the Western A Fall Classic cross country meet this weekend in the Bitterroot.
The Lady Dogs finished 15 points behind first place Corvallis and 53 points ahead of third place Hamilton and fourth place Columbia Falls.
Josephine Vardell was the team’s top finisher, taking second overall (20:26.91).
Jessica Henson cracked the top-10 at sixth (20:49.96), and the team had a nice showing in the middle of the pack as well. Paetra Cook took 18th (21:38.25), Alie Simpson took 20th (21:54.99) and Mayalani Horton took 21st (21:58.14).
Head coach Richard Menicke said he was especially happy with the girls performance at the meet.
“The girls placing second as a team was awesome,” he said. “Our seniors are not exactly happy about getting second in conference, so I’m excited to see how this motivates them at state. Our girls sure do like competing and they are fierce.”
On the boys side, Whitefish took fifth. Columbia Falls was the winner, followed by Hamilton, Corvallis and Ronan.
Bridger Gaertner (17:33.28) and Miles Vrentas (17:33.97) were Whitefish’s top runners, coming in at 13th and 14th.
Ruedi Steiner also took 26th (18:11.33), Jacob Henson 34th (18:34.1) and Jacob Bailey 41st (18:56.54).
The teams will put it all on the line this week during the State Cross Country Meet on Saturday at the Eagle Falls Golf Course in Great Falls.
Western A Fall Classic
at Hamilton Golf Course, Corvallis
1 Corvallis 53
2 Whitefish 68
3 Hamilton 121
4 Columbia Falls 121
5 Frenchtown 125
3 Josephine Vardell WHIT 20:26.91
6 Jessica Henson WHIT 20:49.96
18 Paetra Cooke WHIT 21:38.25
20 Alie Simpson WHIT 21:54.99
21 Maylani Horton WHIT 21:58.14
44 Erin Wilde WHIT 23:47.94
48 Abby Priest WHIT 24:01.59
1 Columbia Falls 51
2 Hamilton 93
3 Corvallis 93
4 Ronan 95
5 Whitefish 128
13 Bridger Gaertner WHIT 17:33.28
14 Miles Vrentas WHIT 17:33.97
26 Ruedi Steiner WHIT 18:11.33
34 Jacob Henson WHIT 18:34.1
41 Jacob Bailey WHIT 18:56.54
47 Nate Inglefinger WHIT 19:14.43
49 Aidan Calaway WHIT 19:34.83