Gabe Knudsen took fourth and Joe Lamb was 11th as the Columbia Falls boys cross -country team took third at the state A cross country championship meet in Helena Saturday.
Knudsen capped off his senior season with a time of 16:42.41 while Lamb ran a 17:18.83. Seth Umbriaco was 29th with a 17:54.62, brother Beau Umbriaco was 44th with a 18:14.54 and Aidan Jarvis, was 56th 18:27.75 while Bryce Bennett, was 57th to round out the scoring for the Wildcats with an 18:32.75 finish.
The boys return everyone but Knudsen next year.
“Knudsen ran with a wonderful blend of intelligence and pure guts,” coach Jim Peacock said. “He executed his strategy to perfection. He sat on the lead pack the entire race and was in contention throughout. One of the leaders made a small move with about three quarters of a mile to go that Gabe was unable to cover, and that was what broke the lead group apart. At that point, Gabe held his fourth place spot, finishing on his lips, running his way to one of the best places ever earned by a Columbia Falls harrier.
“Lamb ran with maturity beyond his sophomore experience. Early in the race, he worked his way into the mob of runners that were competing for an all-state spot. He was patient and mentally tough, holding his position and making little moves to work his way to 11th by the finish line to earn his all state honors,”
The girls took 12th. Freshman Lara Erickson took 37th with a time of 21:59.71. Genevieve Delorme was 47th with a 22:19.54; Raychel Hoerner was 71st with a 23:23; Kara Mohr was 80th with a 23:42.01; and Raina Crowell was 86th with a 24:05.11.
The girls return everyone but Crowell next year.
“The girls race went out extremely fast, and our top couple runners were pulled out with the initial pace,” Peacock said. “They felt the race pace’s pain and suffering accumulate in the latter half of the five kilometers that goes with a fast initial start. Even with that, they still ran well, and I am really pleased with the experience they gain from running in this kind of race because it will serve them well in the future. The girls’ team had a successful season, came together as a group, and made huge individual gains throughout the year.”
Overall, Peacock was pleased with the way the team progressed over the season.
“It was rewarding to see the improvements these kids had through the season,” he said. “They are a neat group and are among the best kids in the high school community.”