Schoonen posts impressive Belgrade meet win

Beavers run at Anaconda Saturday
Sage Schoonen
Caleigh Buckmaster

By Dick Crockford

Dillon Tribune

Two meets into the new season, Dillon’s Sage Schoonen is already a man on the run — to the front of the pack.

Schoonen won last Saturday’s Belgrade Invitational on the tough up-and-down Bohart Ranch course, turning in an impressive 17:39 and getting in some payback at the same time.

In the girls’ varsity race, Caleigh Buckmaster crossed the line first for Dillon’s girls, and improved her time over the course by more than a minute, compared to last season. Like Schoonen, she continues to maintain a wide lead over her teammates over a three-mile race course.

This Saturday, the Beaverhead County High School runners travel to Anaconda’s Washoe Park for the Anaconda Invitational.

Anaconda’s meet will feature four races, with the varsity and junior varsity girls running at 10 a.m., followed by the boys’ varsity-JV run at about 10:30. There will be gender-separate races for the middle schoolers, with girls running at 11 a.m and boys at 11:30.

After coming in just behind Belgrade’s Jonathan Eastwood in the first race of the season – Butte Centrals’ invitational cross country meet at Fairmont earlier in the week – Schoonen evened the score at the Panthers’ invitational. He crossed the finish line a respectable 16 seconds ahead of Eastwood.

It was also the second time in as many years that the BCHS sophomore has won the Belgrade meet.

For the Anaconda meet Saturday, Schnoonen leads the Dillon boys’ varsity lineup. Joining him at the starting line will be Isaiah Girard, Luke Harper, Hunter Clark, David Casey, Colton Buckmaster and Joel Rivera.

Running varsity for the girls will be Caleigh Buckmaster, Jordynn Schindler, Audrey Schurg, Kathleen Tatarka, Annie Anderson, Hannah Telling and Jordan Peterson.

Joey Reed, Josh Mosher and Justin Anderson will run in the boys’ junior varsity division.

Slated to be on the line for BCHS as JVs will be Bradi Herrin, Taryn Mercer, Mikaela Trang, Kyla Rude, Jayme Allen, Alison Anderson, Abbey Thomas, Dannah Kizzar, Maddy Mosher, Jessica Hudson and Anna Conner.

On the boys’ roster, Girard and Harper appear to be maintaining a strong hold for the second and third positions behind Schoonen. The next four slots seem to be more fluid, with younger and older runners jockeying for postions on the list.

Dillon coach Betty Iverson said this week that those who maintained consistent training over the summer have continued to show strong gains. For example, she noted that on the girls’ side, Schindler knocked more than six minutes off her time in the BC run compared to her 2012 performance.