As the Bear River cross country teams gear up for the Region 11 Championship meet next week, they have one thing on their mind.
“It’s winning time,” Head Coach Dan Line said. “Time to see how good we are and if we deserve some medals and trophies.”
The winning time started last Tuesday, as the Bears hosted their only home meet of the season at Jeanie Stevens Sports Park and Skyway Golf Course.
The Bears welcomed Logan and Sky View for both girls’ and boys’ races. The varsity girls won big with a score of 23 to Sky View’s 52 and Logan’s 53.
Liz Phillips won easily with a time of 14:56. She was followed by Becca Curtis (4th, 16:00), Bethany Richard (5th, 16:02), Katie Wynn (6th, 16:03), Madison Auble (7th, 16:17) and Shylee Kofoed (8th, 16:29.3).
The JV girls matched the varsity score winning 23 to Sky View’s 40 and Logan’s 68. Makalya Arnold also got a first place in 16:32. Rounding out the top five for the Lady Bears were Savanna Sexton (2nd, 17:58), Alysha Spotten (3rd, 18:00), Katie Reid (6th, 18:45) and Leah Kowallis (11th, 19:17).
“The girls had a really good day and it was what we wanted,” Coach Tyrell Neal said. “They trusted their coaches and stayed focused.”
The boys were the last race of the meet and they followed suit with the girls, as the varsity boys took home the honors with a 29-point score to Sky View’s 50 and Logan’s 52.
Six Bears took top 10 honors including Ammon Hunter (2nd, 12:34), David Bourgeous (3rd, 12:37), Phillip Gallegos (7th, 12:59), Braxton Craven (8th, 13:03), Kenneth Pingle (9th, 13:06) and Matt Spotten (10th 13:12). Senior captain Kael Kowallis was close behind in 12th place (13:19).
The JV boys continue to shine as they achieved a perfect score by sweeping the top six spots. Ryan Pace (13:28) crossed the finish line first, followed by Reed Bourgeous (13:35), Carter Hamson (13:39), Braxley Hale (13:42), Dallin Rhodes (14:08) and Dakota Julander (14:13). The other JV placers were Ren Hunter (9th, 14:25) and JJ Hanks (10th, 14:26).
Running on their home course was just what the Bears needed to build momentum heading into the Region 11 Championship on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at the Utah State Steve-Donna Reeder XC Course in Logan.
“We would like to thank Tremonton City and Skyway,” Line said. “It is a great place for us. We really don’t have any other good option around and the kids take pride in being able to run there.”
The Bears weren’t done yet for the week. With Region coming up close the Bears wanted to go face some stiff competition and headed to Idaho for the Burley Invitational on Friday, Oct. 8.
That stiff competition came in the form of the Twin Falls Bruins, who are arguably one of the best 4A programs in Idaho as they regularly place close to Cache-Box champions Preston.
Again, the JV teams shined with both the girls and boys teams winning. The girls defeating Jerome 33 to 41 and the boys defeating Twin Falls 24 to 38, both in a five team field. Medalists were Gracie Meeds (1st), Madison Auble (2nd) and Makala Arnold (3rd) in the girls race and Ryan Pace (1st), Reed Bourgeous (2nd), Carter Hamson (3rd), Braxley Hale (8th) and Dakota Julander (10th).
The varsity boys ran a little short-handed as senior captains Phillip Gallegos and Kael Kowallis were not able to compete. Additionally, top runner Matt Spotten and fellow senior Kenneth Pingle continue to comeback from illness. The varsity boys took second with Twin Falls winning 26 to 45. Burley (64), Jerome (95), Blackfoot (146) and Declo (174) rounded out the team scores.
The boys had three medalists in David Bourgeous (3rd, 17:22), Braxton Craven (4th, 17:26) and Ammon Hunter (5th, 17:34). Matt Spotten (14th, 18:17), Kenneth Pingle (19th, 18:46), Will Rhodes (22nd, 19:13) and Perry Topham (34th, 20:03) were the other varsity runners.
The highlight of the week for the team had to be the varsity girls, who edged out favorite Twin Falls, 37 to 46, followed by Jerome (77), Burley (99), Declo (112), Blackfoot (171) and Wood River (183).
Phillips took it to the field taking first place in a great time of (19:47) to capture her second win of the week. A pack of sophomores came storming into the top 10 with Curtis (7th, 20:35), Richard (8th, 20:39) and Mattie Winward (9th 20:48). Seniors Katie Wynn (12th, 21:04) and Shylee Kofoed (16th, 21:32) finished the team placing for the girls.
“Every girl ran amazing, especially our seniors (Phillips and Kofoed),” Neal said. “They are the heart and soul of the team. When they bring it, so do the other girls.”