Cross country runners travel to out-of-state meets

Long-distance running
M.P. Regan
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Some Dillon-based cross country athletes ran far and wide, to different corners of the nation, to compete at prestigious meets this month.

“We had five girls and five boys go this year—that’s the most we’ve ever had,” reported Beaverhead County Cross Country Head Coach Betty Iverson of the crew that travelled with her out of state to the recent Nike Northwest Regional Championships.

“It was really neat to see kids who want to extend their season and experience all that,” said the longtime BCHS coach for the fall sport.

“It helps open their eyes to that cross country involves a lot of offseason work. Training for next season has already started.”

Local girls journeying the approximately 350 miles from Dillon to the races site in Boise, ID, to run with around 2000 other runners, included Hailey Powell, Abbi Lemelin, Laura Martin, Dunae Wiggins and Samantha Anderson.

They were joined by BCHS boys Jacob Harvey, Sean Regan, Emmett Tolman and Luca Lange—a German exchange student who attended high school in Dillon this year.

Plus a returning guest star. “Bryce Hooper ran with us last year and then moved to Fairfield. He drove down to do it again because he had so much fun with us last year,” said Iverson of Hooper’s return to the Beavs and to the Nike event.

“I think they all ran pretty well. There weren’t any personal bests, but every one of our kids did well.”

Hailey Powell did particularly well, posting a 20:47 “That’s a pretty darn good time,” commented Iverson of the showing in Boise by the BCHS junior at the cross country course on Eagle Island State Park.

“That’s a course actually designed for cross country races—not a golf course, but an actual cross country course,” said Iverson.

“It headed through trees and even onto the beach. That was the first time a lot of our kids competed on sand.”

Emmett Tolman tried it first for the Beavs, posting an 18:15 in the first boys race of the day.

“He had to run as early as possible—he needed to catch a flight,” said Iverson of the Beaver senior.

“He ended up running one of his best times ever,” said Iverson of an effort by Tolman good enough to gain him 15th in a crowded field.

A small, but accomplished contingent from the University of Montana Western cross country team competed at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships in Florida last weekend.

In her college cross country swan song, UMW’s Aracelli Ramirez finished 134th in a women’s field of more than 300 runners.

Her fellow Bulldog senior Morgan Basely took 129th.

UMW Jonathan Harrison finished in the top fifth of a men’s field featuring more than 300 runners. His 62nd–place finish amidst the top men’s runners in the NAIA marked another strong showing for the Western men’s standout from the 2022 season--and promise of more excellence to come from the junior.