10 cross country runners going to state

The Weiser varsity girls cross country team and two individual runners on the boys team qualified for state after putting in some top performances at the SRV District tournament on Thursday.
 Weiser senior Abbey Shirts blazed the 5,000-meter course at Mann Farms outside of Parma. She finished in first place and achieved a new personal record with a time of 19 minutes, 17 seconds.
 Shirts crossed the finish line  15 seconds ahead of her biggest rival this season, Fruitland’s Emma Hillam, who took second place with a time of 19:32.14.
 Shirts’ win helped the girls team collect points to earn a spot at state. Shirts, Ellie Walker, Kiearra Hoobery, Emily Abramson, Ashlyn Walker, Alonna Freeland, and Libbie Rynearson will be representing Weiser at the 3A state championships this Saturday in Lewiston.
 The Weiser varsity girls placed second as a team behind first-place Fruitland and in front of third-place Parma. Two other conference schools, Homedale and Payette, brought individual runners to compete at districts but not a team.
 Shirts placed fourth last year at the 3A state championships. With a new personal record time posted at districts, this may be a big year for her at state.
 According to times posted on Athletic.net, Shirts has the fastest time this season among all 3A girls with her 19:17.3 finish at districts. The second-fastest time in the state was the 19:20 finish recorded by Emma Hillam at the Crosby Invitational on Oct 4. Abigail Gorton of Bonners Ferry posted the third-fastest time in the state with a race finish of 19:37.
 The other girls who finished the course at the district race included Ellie Walker (22:38.49), Kierarra Hoobery (23:23.96), Emily Abramson (23:46.81), Ashlyn Walker (23:52.22), Alonna Freeland (23:56.16) and Libbie Rynearson (24:59.30), 
 The Weiser boys finished in third place out of four SRV teams competing. Parma took first place and the Panthers finished in five of the six top spots. Fruitland finished in second place, and Homedale rounded out the conference teams with a fourth-place finish.
 The top three runners in the varsity 5,000 meters finished with less than 20 seconds between first place and third place. 
 Weiser’s Rhett Kunz took third place with a time of 16:43.81, a sub-17 minute finish and his best time ever. Kunz was only one second behind second-place finisher Stetson Beus of Parma, who posted a time of 16:42.63, and 19 seconds behind the first-place finisher Alex Peterson, also a runner from Parma, who clocked the winning time of 16:24.50.
 The other Weiser varsity boys who finished included Guillermo Cobos (18:14.34), Tyler Walker (18:55.03), Nate Lattin (19:08.76), Colton Foster (19:13.41), Michael Despain (20:00.86) and Mitchell Westover (20:26.86).
 Weiser coach Scott Hale said the Wolverine runners were impressive at districts.
 “All but three or four athletes recorded new personal best times. A lot of big milestones were reached – Rhett breaking 17:00, Guillermo and Tyler breaking 19:00. Abbey getting a new PR to win the district was awesome,” Hale said.
 The Wolverines will travel to Lewiston for the IHSAA XC Champions on Saturday, Oct .27.
 The team won’t be doing any major mileage running this week in preparation for the state championships. The hard work of practices is behind them.
 “They’ve put in their distance and they’ve worked on their speed all season. Anything we do like that now isn’t going to yield any discernible benefits,” Hale said. “Three to four mile light jogging and strides will be plenty.”


Signal American

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Weiser, ID 83672
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