Some big happenings for Montana runners in late November and early December.
First up were the college cross country nationals:
At the Division 1 level, Heather Demorest led the way. The MSU Senior and Darby HS alum finished 58th in the women's 6K race @ 20:56.6 - less than 1 minute behind the overall champion.
On the men's side, University of Colorado freshman (and 2013 Kalispell Flathead grad) Zach Perrin was the #6 man for the National Champion Buffalo squad. Pretty elite company to be a true freshman, run in the national championships and be part of the championship team.
At the DII level, Chris Jessop represented the Big Sky. A sophomore from Corvallis and a member of the University of Mary Squad (which is coached by Billings Skyview grad Dennis Newell), Jessop finished in 141st place, in 32:41 over the 10K course.
The biggest number of Montana competitors came at the NAIA level. Alan King's Rocky Mountain men's squad finished 25th our of 32 scoring teams in the men's race.
The only male individual competing was Sancho Ridesatthedoor. A senior from Carroll College (and Missoula Hellgate alum), he finished 54th overall in 25:31 for the 8K even.
For the women - the big performance of the day came from Leah Esposito. A Helena High grad and Carroll College freshman, Leah ran 18:05 for 5K - good enough for 7th place out of 319 individual finishers. Fantastic race for Leah!!!!!!
Also competing at the NAIA race on the women's side were Anna Richer (Senior, Rocky Mountain College, Billings Skyview HS); Nicole Brist (Sophomore, University of Great Falls, Whitefish HS); and, Megan Breeding (Senior, Rocky Mountain College, Idaho HS).
On the weekend of December 7th, the Nike Cross Country Nationals were held in Portland. The Bozeman Girls team was invited to attend and had a very solid 10th place overall finish.
The only MT individual to qualify was Christina Aragon of Billings (Senior). The AA XC champ, she had the best performance of all the MT girls, finishing 28th overall against some of the strongest High School XC competition in the country.
All in all, it was some great representation by Montanan's at the college and high school levels. Doing the Big Sky Proud.
See you on the Roads, Tracks and Trails
The Muddy Buzzard