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State cross country: Bozeman's Nathan Neil sets record; Manhattan Christian boys continue Class C dominance

Nathan Neil
Posted at 5:52 PM, Oct 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-21 19:57:41-04

KALISPELL — Nathan Neil left no doubt Saturday at the State AA cross country meet at Rebecca Farm.

The Bozeman senior shattered the Class AA state cross country record held by former teammate Weston Brown, who set the mark last fall. Neil finished in 14 minutes, 45.47 seconds, well clear of Brown's time of 15:25.00.

Neil's performance helped Bozeman to a second-place finish with 71 points. Great Falls High finished first with 68 points to win the AA boys team crown, led by Ryan Harrington who finished second, and John Spinti who finished fourth.

The Manhattan Christian boys continued to extend their historic streak, claiming their eighth consecutive Class C title and 10th overall. It didn't come without drama, though, as the Eagles won via tiebreak over Drummond, which was determined by the fourth-place runners' placing. Both teams finished with 33 points, while Two Eagle River had 34 and Broadus had 35.

Oren Arthun claimed his third consecutive individual title for Manhattan Christian, finishing 30 seconds clear of second-place Thomas Oylear of Broadus. Cavan Visser finished fourth for the Eagles.

The Browning boys extended their record of all-time state championships, tacking on title No. 23. The Indians finished with 96 points, while Laurel finished second with 146. Browning's Preston Iron Heart placed eighth and Jerdan Crawford placed ninth to lead Browning. Browning's last cross country title came in 2007.

Livingston's Finn Schretenthaler was the Class A boys winner, crossing in 15:27.8.

The Jefferson boys picked up their first cross country state title since 1992 and 11th in program history, the most in Class B. The Panthers finished with 79 points, while second-place Columbus scored 137. Luke Mest led Jefferson with a second-place finish and teammate Logan Harnung finished sixth.

Peyton Summers of Wolf Point was the Class B individual boys winner, finishing in 15:48.62, while Tanae Blake captured the girls title in 19:03.06.

Missoula Hellgate's girls added a title this weekend finishing with 46 points, while Bozeman Gallatin finished second with 54. Gallatin's Claire Rutherford claimed the individual title, her second straight, while Stella Diaz placed sixth for Hellgate, Jamison Molloy placed seventh, Gia Petrini eighth and Rose Wiltse 10th.

Hardin's girls made it consecutive cross country titles led by star freshman Karis Brightwings-Pease, who claimed her second individual title in as many years. Mariah Aragon placed fourth for the Bulldogs and Zoey Real Bird came in fifth.

Manhattan's girls held off Glasgow for a team title, as the Tigers finished with 93 points to Glasgow's 103. Tanae Baker claimed an individual title for the Scotties, while Ella Miller placed sixth for Manhattan and Ruthanne Bowen placed 12th.

The Roberts girls also needed a tiebreak to win on Saturday, as the Rockets claimed a team title over Scobey after both finished with 27 points. Sunburst finished third with 30.

Shelbi LaBrie was the Class C individual champion (19:52.42). T.J. Chirrick led Roberts with a fifth-place finish, while Elizabeth DeVries placed seventh and Faith Pitts finished 15.

To see full results from the meet, click here.