ATHOL — Led by a seventh place finish from senior Ephriam Weisz, who clocked a 17:28 in the huge field of 127 runners, the Bulldog boys finished second place to 5A power Borah on Saturday at the 17 team Timberlake Invitational at Farragut State Park.
The Bulldog boys beat four 5A schools, which is a great sign early in the season. Sophomore Jett Lucas was 9th with a 17:34, sophomore Nikolai Braedt was 21st in 18:14, Brady Nelsen was 24th with an 18:16, Gabe Merithew was 27th in 18:19, Keegan Nelson was 30th in 18:22 and Seth Graham was 55th in 19:27.
“The boys team started out patient and packed up, with Ephriam leading the charge,” described Bulldog head coach Matt Brass. “The boys took a page from the girls’ playbook over the past five years and packed up tight. This was an excellent start, competing and beating multiple 5A schools.”
The Bulldog girls finished 5th despite missing one of their top runners. Niah Brass led the way in 18th place out of 87 runners with a time a 21:44, and in typical Sandpoint girls team fashion, she had a pack of teammates close behind. Paige Davidson was 21st in 22:08, Chloe Braedt was 24th in 22:13, Bionce Vincent was 31st in 22:38 and Megan Oulman was 41st in 23:30.
“The girls were missing pack runner Corina Wallace this weekend and racing down two,” said Brass. “This was an impressive start and bodes well for competitiveness in the region.”
The boys JV race was the biggest of the day with 188 runners, and Tyler McNamee took 1st place overall with an 18:18. He started aggressive, held with the front pack through two miles, then tore up the last big hill to take the lead. He gapped the next runner by nine seconds for the win.
Sloan Woodward was 17th in 19:17, Trey Clark was 22nd in 19:25, Gabe Christman was 25th in 19:28, and Jason Leedle was 30th in 19:48 to round out the scoring five. The boys showed great team depth and ran a packed race, finishing 3rd behind Boise and Meridian.
The JV Girls had 105 runners, and the top Sandpoint finisher was Quinn Hooper in 25th, running a 24:46. Also competing were Chloe Pierce (54th), Kenzie Suhy-Gregoire (55th), Valerie Wickboldt (56th), Elisa Eastly (59th), Lydia Nelsen (73rd) and Kylan Hagen-Moore (83rd). The team placed 7th in the meet.
Sandpoint will have a weekend off next week, and race again in Cheney on Sept. 22 at the Battle of the 509 Invitational. The Invite will feature Greater Spokane League powers North Central, Mead, Shadle Park, University and more, and should be a great build for local and state championship season in October.