PRIEST RIVER — The Priest River boys cross country team once again won the Ivan Benson Invitational here, with the girls team finishing third Sept. 26. Caleb Gleason finished second in 18:02, Cameron Parkes finished third in 18:26, and Konner Durham came in fifth with a time of 18:50. Jordan Phillips placed 11th at 19:23, Slava Negrieiev finished in 20:37, Spencer Sedgwick 21:07, Kyler Lord 21:34, Graden Hanes 22:28, and Drayven Ayers 22:37.
On the girls side, Annika Rantala came in fifth at 23:18, Izzie Schmidt ninth at 24:15, Sharnai Hogan 10th at 24:29, Katelyn Marks 12th in 24:59, Reinie Proctor finished in 27:43, Amber Johnston 27:46, Kymara Fulton 28:06, Julia Rantala 28:40, and Karleigh Durham 35:18.
Later in the week at Sandpoint Sept. 30, the Spartan teams each placed fourth against competition from bigger schools. Gleason finished 14th in 17:45, Parkes finished 18th in 18:05, Negrieiev ran 18:07, Konner Durham 18:23, Phillips 19:20, Hanes 21:32, and Lord 22:17. Seven of the 10 girls team runners posted personal bests, said head coach Lance Clark. Annika Rantala led the Spartan girls with a time of 22:14, followed by Hogan’s 22:42, Marks 23:31, Schmidt 23:50, Johnston 24:18, Fulton 24:21, and Proctor 26:04.
Following last week’s results, both the boys and girls teams stand in second place in the Intermountain League standings, which puts them in the driver’s seat to make states, said Clark.
“This is the best our team has ever done mid-season having both teams at the position in league. Top two teams at districts will qualify for the state meet at the end of October. Top seven girls and boys will be able to race at state if we qualify each team. I am excited to see what our Spartan Harriers can do on the upcoming races. As a team, we have spoken about how we want to remember this season in the future and it is so far a really memorable experience for our teams. I have been telling them that each race is like districts and districts are like each race. This goes the same for state.”
Clark added, “I want to put a ‘Thank you’ out to parents and volunteers at the cross country invite on Tuesday. The race went really smooth with all of your help. The team appreciates your sacrifice that day.”