Head of the pack
Hardin’s girls and boys cross-country teams found themselves at the peak of competition Saturday after finishing first at the Eastern A divisionals in Glendive. Hardin teams will now prepare for the cross-country state tournament on Oct. 22.
Two of Hardin’s runners finished as Eastern A divisional champions. Madisan Chavez as the girls varsity champion and Guan-Yin Stevens as the girls JV champion.
Varsity girls took first in their bracket with a near-perfect score and also placed five runners in the top 10. Leading Hardin’s girls was Madisan Chavez, who finished first overall in 19:04. Following Chavez was Mei-Li Stevens in third at 19:51; Journey Erickson in fifth at 20:34 – a personal best; and Charlie Bellrock in seventh at 20:53. Additional runners placing in the top 10 were Michelle Wall and Kyrstyn Price. Johnice Half finished 11th overall at 21:36 for a total pack-time of 2 minutes, 32 seconds.
“The kids did outstanding,” said Head Coach Cindy Farmer. “Varsity took first all around and I think overall, because it was divisonals. It meant a lot more to them, but each meet is a good meet until the next one.”
Boys varsity also finished first in their bracket with a score of 29. Rather than the usual seven runners, only six ran for Hardin in divisionals.
“I didn’t have a full team, because I wanted a full team for JV,” Farmer said. “We had a few injuries so we just ran six, and they beat Laurel for the Eastern A trophy, so that was really good.”
Leading the Bulldogs was Anton Rides Horse, finishing second overall at 16:27. Following Rides Horse was David Prather in third at 16:36; Trajan Hill in fifth at 16:42 and Kevin Vallie in seventh at 16:58. Toshiki Honda followed in 12th overall with a personal best time of 17:31 and Mykal Grant finished 21st at 19:06 for a pack-time of 1 minute, 11 seconds.
“You always want to be peaking towards divisionals and state, so, hopefully, they can run their best race,” Farmer said. “Their times have steadily dropped through the season and, overall, everybody improved their times; and that’s what we’re looking for.”
JV girls finished first in their bracket as well, with a perfect score of 15. Notably, the first eight JV runners to finish were from Hardin. Leading the JV girls was Guan-Yin Stevens in first overall at 21:22. Following Stevens was Naumie DuShane in second at 22:28; Mariah Fraser in third at 22:56 and Karissa DuShane in fourth at 22:56. Also placing for the girls JV were Latisha Not Afraid in fifth; Mya Walks Over Ice in sixth; Casaja Pine in seventh and Marcel Alden in eighth.
JV boys finished second in their bracket with Kirby Simpson leading the pack, finishing third overall at 19:37. Following Simpson was Norman Dawes in seventh at 20:13; LaQuan Yellowtail in eighth at 20:19; Colter Redden in tenth at 20:31 and Tom Pettey in 16th at 25:09.
“You always have high expectations, we just have to go in, and everybody has got to do their job,” Farmer said. “This whole season, they’ve been training for the state meet, so they just have to run their race and good things will happen.”
The cross-country state meet is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Kalispell.