Sam Nash and Hannah Giese each placed in the top 25 Friday to lead Belgrade at the season-opening Billings Invitational at Amend Park.
Nash placed 20th with a time of 17:21.44 to lead the Panthers to a fifth placed finish among 17 teams. And, five of the team’s runners set personal bests at the meet.
“On the boys side we had some outstanding performances,” first-year Belgrade head coach Matt Hommel said.
Belgrade finished with 178 points. Bozeman won with 60, while Billings West was second with 91.
The Panthers’ Brandon Clingan just missed the top 25 after placing 26th and set a personal best by 50 seconds with a time of 17:34.50.
Belgrade was rounded out by Kaden Lookhart (32nd, 17:50.74), Garrett Walker (43rd, 18:24.42), Aidan Brown (57th, 18:37.03), John Nash (81st, 19:25.31), and Alex Tatarka (117th, 21:38.72). All but Walker set personal bests.
Giese placed 25th with at time of 21:16.07. Led by the sophomore, Belgrade placed 12th with 326 points.
The rest of the team formed a tight pack led by Grace Stewart (23:50.67), who was 71st. The sophomore was followed by Arianna Heinrichs (73rd, 23:56.45), Gwen Clingan (77th, 24:07.59), Averie Gates (80th, 24:11.90), Kyra Giese (83rd, 24:15.84), and Lily Stewart (111th, 27:23.04).
“Our spread from our second girl (Grace) to our sixth girl (Kyra) was only 25 seconds, which is a really great spread and they all raced great,” said Hommel.
Cody (Wyo.) won the team title with 40 points, while Bozeman was second with 76.
Belgrade returns to action hosting its meet Thursday at Gallatin Regional Park in Bozeman.
Three Forks boys win in Boulder
Led by a first place finish from Garrett Golding, as well as a runner up finish from Beau Johnston, Three Forks’ boys won the season-opening Jefferson Invitational Saturday in Boulder.
Golding posted a time of 18:22 and Johnston 19:43, while Bryon Fanning added a fourth place finish (19:04) as the Wolves dominated the meet.
“Everyone looked really strong and had a very good run,” Three Forks head coach Tara Forsberg.
Jayden Woodland was the top finisher for the girls, placing third in 21:28.
“Obviously the season is young and looking at some other times from other meets we’re doing okay,” said Forsberg. “But I like to take one meet at a time and one week of practice at a time.”
Three Forks will be among several local teams that will compete in the Belgrade Invitational Sept. 2.
(at Amend Park, Billings)
Team scores: Bozeman 60, Billings West 91, Gallatin 118, Dickinson (N.D.) 120, Belgrade 178, Hardin 196, Cody (Wyo.) 204, Laurel 238, Glasgow 273, Billings Senior 336, Huntley Project 343, Worland (Wyo.) 358, Powell (Wyo.) 359, Miles City 370, Billings Central 466, Colstrip 569, Lockwood 622.
Top 25 individuals: Connor Neil, Bozeman, 16:12.99; Carson Steckelberg, Gallatin, 16:13.55; Caleb Hanson, Dickinson, 16:26.81; Wyatt Ostler, Tongue River (Wyo.), 16:34.93; Jaxon Straus, West, 16:41.34; KJ Popiel, Bozeman, 16:45.79; Gavin Budge, Billings Skyview, 16:46.88: AJ Ash, Dickinson, 16:48.47; Micah Abrams, West, 16:54.1; Benjamin Stewart, Cody, 16:57.04; Eli Hansen, Dickinson, 16:57.25; Mason Moler, West, 17:00.36; Nash Coley, Gallatin, 17:02.03; Al Spotted, Tongue River (Wyo.) 17:06.25; Calvin Dore, Bozeman, 17:09.0; Joe Johns, Bozeman, 17:13.57; Brandon Emineth, Red Lodge, 17:15.92; Elijah Quick, Red Lodge, 17:17.3; Alduran Takes Enemy, Hardin, 17:19.12; Samuel Nash, Belgrade, 17:21.44; Peter Rehberger, Gallatin, 17:25.84; Wyatt May, Bozeman, 17:28.79; David Juergens, Cody, 17:29.93; Charlie Hulbert, Cody, 17:30.83; Rex Hamling, Bozeman, 17:32.7.
Team scores: Cody (Wyo.) 40, Bozeman 76, Hardin 87, Billings West 112, Gallatin 229, Red Lodge 241, Dickinson (N.D.), 247, Laurel 274, Billings Senior 286, Huntley Project 312, Miles City 321, Belgrade 326, Lewistown 341, Glasgow 345, Billings Central 518, Shepherd 525.
Top 25 individuals: Hayley Burns, Bozeman, 19:07.38; Natalie Wood, Big Timber, 19:28.72; Hannah Lukasik, West, 19:42.47; Ava Stafford, Cody, 19:45.82; Taylen Stinson, Cody, 19:53.76; Mekenzie Clark, Cody, 19:58.21; Iris McKean, Glasgow, 19:59.53; Lucia McCormick, Bozeman, 20:10.13; Kinley Bollinger, Cody, 20:20.13; Ellyse Moccasin, Hardin, 20:22.24; TJ Chirrick, West, 20:32.39; Mariah Aragon, Hardin, 20:35.83; Sophie Nedens, Hardin, 20:39.16; Serena Sproles, Bozeman, 20:45.49; Alexis Holton, Gallatin, 20:48.71; Keira Jackson, Cody, 20:51.89; Dierra Takes Enemy, Hardin, 20:53.77; Taylee Chirrick, West, 20:54.62; Jaycie Franco, Billings Skyview, 20:56.22; Leila Gregoire, Dickinson, 20:57.35; Toree Manning, Billings Skyview, 21:07.34; Ali Keith, West, 21:08.13; Carly Venable, Worland (Wyo.), 21:10.0; Sarah Wheeler, Bozeman, 21:10.47; Hannah Giese, Belgrade, 21:16.07.