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The defending champion Bear River girls had their best race of the season at the Region 11 cross country championships at American West Heritage Center in Wellsville on Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Riding the momentum of senior standout Madison White, the Bears finished in second place behind a talented and motivated Ridgeline squad. Ridgeline finished with 33 points to Bear River’s 58, a year after the Bears edged the Riverhawks by two points to take the region title.

“We sure gave it our best shot despite all the setbacks of this season,” Bear River Coach Dan Line said. “The girls are really pleased with their effort and we are really proud of them."

As has been the case all season long, the Bear River girls were led by White, the pre-race favorite. White’s time of 19 minutes, 13 seconds was good enough for second place, while Sky View’s Kate Dickson ran away from the rest of the field and finished the 5K race in 18 minutes, 35 seconds.

“(Dickson) and Madi have battled back and forth all season and they will again next week at state,” Bear River Girls Coach Tyrell Neal said. “We love Madi and her second place finish is something to be really proud of. “

Following White into the finish was the Bears’ No. 2 runner Shylee Kofoed (8th, 20:07). Kofoed, a junior, was injured back in June and has been fighting her way back into contention ever since.

“She had her best race today,” Neal said of Kofoed’s effort. “To end up on the medal podium was amazing.”

Fellow junior Liz Phillips (21st, 21:31) has also been battling the injury bug.

“She is really closing the gap on where she can be,” Neal said.

Other standout performances went to junior Naomi Tomlinson, who was just out of medal contention in 13th place (20:46); freshman Becca Curtis (14th, 20:55); senior Kenya Tomlinson (23rd, 21:46), and junior Katie Wynn (32nd, 22:49), who continued on her own comeback trail from a hip injury.

The squad now has its sights set on the 4A state championships at Cedar City High School, where the girls’ varsity race is slated for 5 p.m. today.

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