HELENA — Bozeman High continued its dominance at the 54th annual state cross country meet on Saturday, as the Hawks captured their 10th consecutive Class AA championship at Bill Roberts Golf Course.
Bozeman tallied 41 points for their title, with all five scorers attaining all-state status by finishing in the top 15. The Hawks were followed by Glacier High with 139 points and Billings Senior at 149.
Helena High finished in eighth place at 196 points, while Capital came in 12th with 269.
C.M. Russell’s Cooper West captured the individual championship, with a clocking of 15 minutes, 31 seconds over the 5K course.
Rounding out the boys team champions were Corvallis in Class A, Manhattan in Class B and Manhattan Christian in Class C.
The top local finishers occurred in Class B, with the defending champion Townsend Bulldogs placing third, led by Jack Dolan, who also took third.
The Hawks, who are also the reigning national high school champions, were led by three top-10 placings. Duncan Hamilton and Leonard McComas finished 2-3, in 15:47 and 15:52, respectively, while Dillon Humberger placed seventh at 16:25. Renn Meuwissen and Brooks Peters were 14th and 15th.
“I’m proud of the team and the coaches,” said Hamilton, a senior co-captain with back-to-back State runner-up medals. “We did a lot of hard work and put in a lot of miles.”
Teammate and co-captain Simon Rozenweig, who finished 25th, added, “The team dynamics has been great, our performance here today was great, and we’re all pumped to defend our Regionals title next month.”
West, who was the Great Falls area’s first AA boys champion in over two decades, said his race was “similar to the (Capital City) 7 of 7 meet” two weeks ago when he went a second faster and also out-kicked Hamilton to the wire.
The Electric City put three harriers in the top-15, including Teagan Olson of Great Falls High (fifth) and CMR teammate Gordon Gentry (11th).
“There’s a lot of turns on this course, I just stayed patient and took the lead with about a half-mile from the finish,” related West, who beat his Bozeman rival by 16 seconds on Saturday. “It’s crazy that it’s been that long since a (Great Falls area) champ, and it’s really cool there were three of us on the podium.”
Helena sophomore Jonah Fisher was the top local AA placer, cracking the all-state barrier with a 13th-place medal, in 16:49.
“I’m glad I made all-state, even though I was not feeling too great,” said Fisher. “I think I could’ve done better, but I did what I planned on doing (making top 15).”
HHS coach Kelley Gilbert noted Fisher improved from last year’s 82nd-placing at State by well over a minute, when he went 18:02 on Missoula’s 3-mile course.
Rounding out the Bengals’ scorers were Jacob Rice in 22nd, Clayton Ryerson in 43rd, Zane Rousch in 52nd and Devin Seyler in 66th.
Bryce Maxson led Capital High’s harriers with a time of 16:56, good for 18th place. The rest of CHS coach Tom Furlong’s scorers were Jesse McMurtrey (31st), Spencer Bartow (60th), Peter Lund (73rd) and Cameron Holston (89th).
The Class A individual crown was garnered by Levi Taylor of Laurel, who passed Hamilton’s Matt Wilson in the last 150 yards for a 16:29 finish and a five-second victory.
“I was in third most of the way, conserving my energy behind (Corvallis’) Anders (Watt) and Matt,” Taylor recounted. “About halfway Matt picked up the pace and I went with him. Then he put on a burst trying to get rid of me, but I’ve always had a good kick.
“He beat me at Mountain West by half a second, but I beat him by 20 seconds at the 7-7, and I had confidence I could do it again today.”
Corvallis captured its fourth title in eight years with 109 points, behind a pair of all-staters -- Watt in third, and Jake Jessop in 13th.
“The boys ran well all season. We had four seniors, and their hard work brought the other kids along with them,” explained Blue Devils’ coach Joanne Cleveland.
Manhattan tallied 52 points to claim its’ third championship since 2010. The Tigers were led by titlist Zak Meeker, with a 17:03 clocking, and three other top-15 finishers.
“Unbelievable,” said Meeker, a junior, when asked to describe his feelings about the triumph. “To win the team title with my best friends, we’re like a family. And I couldn’t have done it without my coach (John Sillitti), he’s more like a best friend to us than a coach.”
Coach Sillitti said he was proud of all his guys, but especially senior captain Charlie Rasnick -- who placed seventh -- and “is our emotional leader; he was the key, Charlie’s everything we want the program to be.”
Townsend collected the third-place trophy with 96 points, despite losing three all-staters from its’ 2016 championship team.
Senior Jack Dolan led the way with a third-place medal, running a 17:27.
“I was hoping to win, but I’ll take it,” said Dolan of his second all-state citation. “I led the first mile because things got packed up; it wasn’t my original strategy, but I don’t regret it.”
Dolan knocked 6 minutes off his freshman time four years ago.
Next came fellow all-stater Louis Ingalls (17:46) in seventh, ahead of ‘Dawg teammates Zane Newman (22nd), Nick Bruins (29th) and Tyhenry Steele (34th).
“The guys ran really well and did as much as I could’ve asked for,” said Broadwater coach and Jack’s mother, Brooke Dolan. “And with only one senior, I’m excited for the future.”
Manhattan Christian retained its’ title, with a new record of 8 points -- Class C only scores the top 3 runners -- placing second, third and fourth.
Individual champ Isaiah Runsabove of Hays Lodge Pole posted a winning time of 17:23 for a 5-second margin against Manhattan’s Sam Leep.
“I passed the two leaders about two-thirds of the way through, when I saw they were dying off,” related Runsabove, who is the first in his school’s history to win a state cross country title.