One of the Northwest’s biggest and best fields of high school cross country runners gathered at Eagle Island State Park near Boise Saturday, Sept. 22 for the 44th annual Bob Firman Invitational meet.
Nearly 4,000 runners from nine western states took their turns on the 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) course, but it was the Boise High School girls who carried away a rare Bob Firman team championship for a Gem State squad on Saturday.
Twenty-two Wood River High School runners competed in mild weather, and one competitor from the Sun Valley Community School. Many personal records were set.
In the Elite girls’ team footrace, Boise High outscored nationally-ranked Great Oak High School of Temecula (Ca.) School 85-95 led by senior Maggie Liebich, the granddaughter of Don and Marcia Liebich of Indian Creek.
Maggie Liebich, a Riverstone International student who represents Boise High, set a personal-best 18:01 and placed third of 140 Elite girls just eight seconds of the winning pace of one of the top U.S. footracers, Tori Gaitan (17:53) of Great Oak High.
Boise High senior Eve Jensen, a Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Nordic racer, was 20th in 18:28. Twin Falls High junior Mattalyn Geddes, the top 4th District girl this fall, was fourth in 18:03.
Senior Grant Gardner of Springville (Utah) came within an eyelash of breaking the Elite Men’s course record in winning the 166-racer top boys’ category in 15:06, three seconds ahead of Idaho Falls senior Zach Erikson (15:09).
Wood River sophomores Lance Heyrend (18:02) and Sage Holter (22:04, personal best) were the leading Hailey varsity runners. Community School senior Katherine Estep (20:55, personal record) was 36th in her Division 2 race.
Boys’ Division 1 Section 2 varsity (179 runners): 1—Dallin Hart (Skyline senior) 15:59. 93—Lance Heyrend (WRHS) 18:02. 96—Anthony Corrales (WRHS) 18:04. 111—Isaac Gonzalez (WRHS) 18:26. 124—Christian Bothwell (WRHS) 18:40. 126—Dylan Heyrend (WRHS) 18:45. 139—Owen Ruggeri (WRHS) 19:02. 176—Jose Gonzalez (WRHS) 21:09. Team: 1—Preston 74. 19—WRHS 515 (26 schools).
Girls’ Division 1 Section 2 varsity (150 runners): 1—Brittany Hansen (Meridian senior) 18:56. 80—Sage Holter (WRHS) 22:04. 86—Sascha Leidecker (WRHS) 22:15. 87—Quenia Gonzalez (WRHS) 22:17. 124—Olivia Gove (WRHS) 23:50. 130—Olivia Brown (WRHS) 24:21. 133—Tatum Vontver (WRHS) 24:28. 147—Shallen Schoessler (WRHS) 28:19. Team: 1—Ogden (Utah) 78. 20—WRHS 479 (21 schools).
Girls’ Division 2 varsity (262 runners): 2—Kaybree Christensen (Raft River sophomore) 19:09. 36—Katherine Estep (SVCS) 20:55.
Boys’ Section 2 junior varsity (393 runners): 197—Jake Drummond (WRHS) 20:32. 243—Zach Sabina (WRHS) 21:10. 326—Chase Groll (WRHS) 23:21. 350—Remy de Saint Phalle (WRHS) 24:15. 351—Davey Schrader (WRHS) 24:19. 386—Sebastian Zavalla (WRHS) 27:54.
Girls’ Section 2 junior varsity (249 runners): 197—Kate Horowitz (WRHS) 27:56. 217—Gracie Peterson (WRHS) 29:20.