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Polson gets pair of frosh firsts at Highlander Invite

by Brandon Hansen / For The Leader
| September 14, 2023 12:00 AM

Polson Cross Country traveled to Shadle Park High School in Spokane on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8-9, getting a pair of first-place freshman finishes at the Highlander Invite, featuring many bigger schools from the Pacific Northwest.

"Overall, every single Pirate runner had a converted 5k time that was faster than last week at Rebecca Farms, so we are certainly headed in the right direction," Polson Cross Country Coach Matt Seeley said.

Running a shorter 2.5-mile distance, freshman Morgan Delaney won her class's girls race with a time of 15:54.80, while fellow freshman Jackson Bontadelli was first in his class's boys race with a time of 13:39.40.

"Jackson opened the day with an exciting, come-from-behind win in the freshman boys race," Seeley said. "His time of 13:39 ranks him third all-time among Pirates – behind Logan Torgison's 12:47 and Mason Sloan's 13:29 – and coverts to a sub-17 5k."

Chase Piedalue placed 21st in the freshman race (16:05.20), while Chris Spoke was 63rd (18:40.20).

In the girls' freshman race, Araeya Nelson placed 19th (19:33.02) to go along with Delaney's win.

"Not to be outdone, Morgan responded with her own convincing win among freshmen girls," Seeley said. "Her finish time of 15:54 falls second all-time among Pirates – only behind Bea Frissell's 15:13 - and converts to a sub 20 5k. Araya made her high school cross-country debut and finished 19th in the same race."

In the girls' sophomore race, Brittian Davis was 21st (18:51.97), and her Polson teammate Natalie Adams was 61st (25:27.66). In the boys' sophomore race, the Pirates' David DiGiallonardo was fourth (14:16.00)

"In the sophomore races, David battled hard to secure fourth place and a time of 14:16 that ranks fifth all-time for Polson," Seeley said. "Then Brittian had a strong race to improve by almost two minutes, both from last week and last year. Natalie's converted 5k was also significantly faster than last week."

In the girls' senior race, Polson's Isabel Seeley was 11th (17:54.71), her teammate Adi Carlson was 12th (18:04.45), and fellow Lady Pirate Katelyn Smith was 18th (19:18.33). In the boys' senior race, Brandt Heninger was 15h (14:57.36), and his teammate Kai McDonald was 21st (15:20.54). Hayden Clairmonth was 27th (15:40.15) and Wica Brown was 49th (18:11.83)

"The seniors wrapped up the day with gutsy runs against tough competition," Seeley said. "Brandt led the way for the boys with a top 15 finish and No. 14 ranked all-time run. Kai, Hayden, and Wica all ran significantly faster than last week. Isabel finished first on the girls' side with a No. 17 ranked time, and all three senior girls finished in the top 20."

At Spokane

HIGHLANDER INVITE

GIRLS

1fr, Morgan Delaney 15:54.80; 11sr, Isabel Seeley 17:54.71; 12sr, Adi Carlson 18:04.45; 18sr, Katelyn Smith 19:18.33; 19fr, Araeya Nelson 19:33.02; 21so, Brittian Davis 18:51.97; 61so, Natalie Adams 25:27.66;

BOYS

1fr, Jackson Bontadelli 13:39.40; 4so, David DiGiallonardo 14:16.00; 15sr, Brandt Heninger 14:57.36; 21sr, Kai McDonald 15:20.54; 27sr, Hayden Clairmont 15:40.15; 21fr, Chase Piedalue 16:05.20; 49sr, Wica Brown 18:11.83; 63fr, Chris Sopke 18:40.20