Billings West's Simon Petsch and Jaden Swalstad

Simon Petsch, left, leads Billings West's pack of runners this fall.

HANNAH POTES/Gazette Staff

Editor's note: These are the high school cross country capsules we've received as of Thursday night, Aug. 24. We will continue to add to the list as we receive them. If you're a coach and you haven't submitted your questionnaire yet, please send to sports@billingsgazette.com. If you're an athletic director or coach who hasn't received a questionnaire, send an email to jeff.welsch@406mtsports.com.

CLASS AA

BOYS

Billings Skyview Falcons

Last year: 7th at state

Coach: Carol Kuhns

Key runners: Tucker Houlihan, Jr.; Bridger Lamb, Sr.

Coach says: "On the boys' side, we have a big turnover this year, with a lot of last year's varsity having been seniors. We're very excited with how this year's juniors and seniors have been working over the summer. We are coming into the season with a core group of strong athletes."

Etc.: Kuhns has been the Falcons' coach since 1995. She has been at Skyview since 1984.

Billings West Golden Bears

Last year: 8th at state

Coach: Lauren Zent (9th season)

Key runners: Logan Straus, Sr.; Jake Halligan, Jr.; Jake Fellman, Sr.; Dominick Leger-Gause, So.

Coach says: "We are excited for a new year with fresh faces on the boys team. We graduated most of our varsity team last year, so we are excited to see new members step up and see what they can do. The team wants to improve upon their finish from last year, and have personal goals they want to accomplish."

Etc.: West has more than 130 runners competing in the boys and girls programs.

Helena Bengals

Last year: 11th at state

Coach: Kelley Gilbert(20th season)

Key runners: Jacob Rice, Sr.; Kyler Campbell, So.; Jonah Fisher, So.

Coach says: "After graduating our top runner (Ian Anderson) we look to be young and inexperienced this season, but we will try to improve our finish of last season."

Etc.: Rice, who is the team captain, placed 24th at state last year. His best time is 16 minutes, 14 seconds.

Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack

Last year: 3rd at state

Coach: Jacob Dietz (3rd season) 

Key runners: Keegan Siebenaler, Sr.; Joe Vandenbos, Sr.; Elijah Boyd, Sr.; Aren Alexander, Jr.; Nash Grafe, Jr.; Avery Hanson, Jr.; Ben Schwaller, Jr.

Coach says: "Our young team is looking more mature this year. Should be a good year!"

Missoula Big Sky

Last year: 13th at state

Coach: Jo Ruby

Key runner: Sean Stineford, Jr.

Etc.: Stineford placed 27th at state a year ago.

GIRLS

Billings Skyview Falcons

Last year: 14th at state

Coach: Carol Kuhns

Key runners: Hannah Hirschi, Jr.; Emberlyn Hofmann-Gaschk, Fr.

Coach says: "With the ladies, we are coming off a couple years of low numbers. We are pleased with the returners who have been working hard to better themselves during the summer, and there will be some pleasant surprises with our newcomers."

Billings West Golden Bears

Last year: 7th at state

Coach: Lauren Zent (9th season)

Key runners: Annabelle Olson, Sr.; Kailee Stoppel, Sr.; Peyton Lipp, Jr.; Halle Sampson, So.; Katelynn Perfit, So.; Glory Kocerny, Sr.; Sara Jensen, Jr., Kendall Barrie, Jr.

Coach says: "We have all the girls returning, even a few who were hurt last year. With them healthy, we have a stronger team and we hope to also improve from last year's finish. We have some very strong senior captains that were vital to our summer training. They really kept everyone in line and running, so we will see how that help, too."

Etc.: West has more than 130 runners competing in the boys and girls programs.

Kalispell Glacier Wolfpack

Last year: 5th at state

Coach: Jacob Dietz (3rd season) 

Key runners: Annie Hill, Sr.; Aubry Grame, So.; Mackenna Kauffman, Jr.; Emma Mcdoanld, So.; Addie Labrum, So.; Kinzie Peterson, So.; Lauren Harmon, Sr.; Adrian Schnee, Sr.

Missoula Big Sky

Last year: 11th at state

Coach: Jo Ruby (5th season)

Key runners: Makenna Edwards, Jr.; Maddie Edwards, Jr.

Coach says: "These athletes and the team are getting stronger each day. It is a young team as far as experience goes, but the potential at Big Sky is huge. We have some very key runners and are looking forward to a great season."

Etc.: Makenna Edwards placed 21st at state a year ago.

CLASS A

BOYS

Billings Central Rams

Last year: N/A

Coach: Lisa Martinez

Key runners: Tate Thompson, Sr.; Seth Sasich, Jr.

Coach says: "Our boys roster is deep this season and a lot of them are competitive, experienced athletes. It's going to be exciting to see how they progress as we approach state."

Corvallis Blue Devils

Last year: 2nd

Coach: Joanne Cleveland (13th season)

Key runners: Anders Watt, Sr.; Jake Jessop, Sr.

Coach says: "We had a good turn out this summer, especially with our younger runners, it could make for some fighting for the last couple of varsity spots."

Etc: Watt placed 15th at State and Jessop placed 18th. 

Frenchtown Broncs

Last year: State champions

Coach: Dennis Normand (34th season)

Key runners: Brock Rugg, Tyler Schmautz, Luke Lutz, Eric Rebarchik, Jesse Shaske.

Etc.: Rugg was ninth at state last year, while Schmautz was 16th.

Glendive Red Devils

Last year: 12th at state

Coach: Tom Temple (1st season)

Key runners: Ase Ackerman, Ben Stortz

Coach says: "So far I am really happy with how this group has been preparing over the summer and have come to practice ready to run. We have a nice group of younger athletes who are trying cross country for the first time and I think will really improve through the season and help us be competitive."

Etc.: Temple takes over the Glendive program for is brother Jim, who recently retired.

Hamilton Broncs

Last year: 8th

Coach: Mark Albert (15th season)

Key runners: Matt Wilson, Sr.

Coach says: " Our top three girls should be All-State. Devries and Wilson could win it all. 

Lewistown Golden Eagles

Last year: 3rd at state

Coach: Suzie Flentie (19th season)

Key runners: Noah Majerus, Sr.; Scott Sciuchetti, Sr.; Alex Wickens, Sr.; Sam Fulbright, So.; Ryker Melton, So.; Logan Wisenbaugh, So.; Chance Miller, So.

Coach says: "I think the boys will be strong again this year and hopefully even stronger than they were last season. We will definitely miss three of our key graduating seniors, two of which are going on to run in college, but I think the younger boys are more ready than usual to step into those shoes."

Etc.: Lewistown won its second consecutive divisional championship. ... Majerus has been all-state the past two seasons and finished sixth last season. ... Fulbright was also all-state.

Sidney Eagles

Last year: 15th at state

Coach: Justin Collins

Key runners: Connor Fink, Sr.; Cole Roberts, Jr.

Coach says: "We have a young team with a lot of new runners this year, and a strong group of captains. Our goal is to place inside the top ten in the state for both boys and girls."

Etc.: Fink placed 31st at state last year. He is the school-record holder for the 3-mile course and is a team captain. Roberts placed 87th at state.

GIRLS

Billings Central Rams

Last year: N/A

Coach: Lisa Martinez

Key runners: Elise Newman, Sr.

Coach says: "We have a small group of girls this season. However, they are very coachable and ready to make an impact."

Corvallis Blue Devils

Last year: 3rd

Coach: Joanne Cleveland (13th season)

Key runners: Bree Lewis, So.; Albany Jessop, Sr.

Coach says: "We had a good turn out this summer, especially with our younger runners, it could make for some fighting for the last couple of varsity spots."

Etc: Lewis placed 9th at State last year and Jessop placed 16th. 

Frenchtown Broncs

Last year: 13th at state

Coach: Dennis Normand

Key runners: Lizzy Mattson, Megan Lund, Jaiden White, Abbey Sherwood, Kylie Hebeck, Natalie Yocum.

Coach says: "Looking forward to another great season. Boys are working to place in the top three again this year at the state meet. Girls are looking to improve their team standing at the state level. Both teams had a great summer of running."

Glendive Red Devils

Last year: 10th at state

Coach: Tom Temple

Key runners: Emily Kuehn

Coach says: "So far I am really happy with how this group has been preparing over the summer and have come to practice ready to run. We have a nice group of younger athletes who are trying cross country for the first time and I think will really improve through the season and help us be competitive."

Etc.: Kuehn has been named all-state each of the past two seasons. She finished sixth at state last season. Temple takes over the Glendive program for is brother Jim, who recently retired.

Hamilton Broncs

Last year: 7th

Coach: Mark Albert (15th season)

Key runners: L. Devries, Sr.; Sarah Passey, So.; Brynnli Poulson, Fr.

Coach says: " Our top three girls should be All-State. Devries and Wilson could win it all. 

Hardin Bulldogs

Last year: State champions

Coach: Cindy Farmer (10th season)

Key runners: Charlie Bellrock, So.; Journey Erickson, So.; Johnice Half, So.; Sydney Littlelight, Sr.; Libby Nedens, Fr.; Khylan Two Leggins; Kyrstyn Price, Jr.

Coach says: "We have a strong group of runners back from last year's first-place finish at the state meet. The girls are looking forward to competing at a high level each meet and with the addition of the up and coming young runners look to be strong as a team. They will work each day to get better and reach the goals they have set for this season."

Etc.: Last year's state title was the first in 25 years for the Hardin girls. Bellrock placed 14th at state to earn all-state accolades. Erickson was 25th. 

Lewistown Golden Eagles

Last year: Ninth at state

Coach: Suzie Flentie (19th season)

Key runners:  Courtney Brand, Sr.; Katerina Heiser, Sr.; Ivy Southworth, Sr.; Lissy Southworth, Sr.; Alee Sanders, Sr.; Audra Fry, Sr.; Emily Plagenz, Sr.; Ashley Brand, Jr.; Emily Smith, So.; Sydney Kelsey, So.

Coach says: "The girls have been working hard and I think they will be stronger this year in spite of graduating a couple of key seniors. The girls had a rebuilding year and suffered some injuries, but still finished ninth at state and beat all but one of our division teams at the state meet."

Etc.: Heiser and Lissy Southworth ran on the 2015 state team but suffered injuries last year. ... Plagenz ran on the state team her freshman year but was in Sweden on an exchange program last year.

Sidney Eagles

Last year: 17th at state

Coach: Justin Collins

Key runners: Janelle Brien, Jr.; Abby Rietz, Jr.; Breanna Frank, Sr.

Etc.: Brien and Frank are team captains. Brien was 45th at state in 2016, Rietz placed 67th and Frank 110th.

CLASS B

BOYS

Manhattan Tigers

Last year: State runner-up

Coach: John Sillitti

Key runners: Charlie Rasmick, Sr.; Zak Meeker, Jr.; Bryce Love, Jr., Adam Lawellin, Jr., Isaac Boyd, Jr., Cache Douma, Jr.

Coach says: "Last year we had a big gap between our top four and our fifth through seventh runners. In order to be competitive this year we need some runners to take the next step up and close the gap between our top three runners and our 4-5-6-7. Right now we have about six to eight guys fighting for those spots."

Etc.: Meeker is a two-time all-stater and placed third last year at state. Love placed sixth. Rasnick, who was all-state in 2015, was injured in 2016 and placed 21st at state.

Three Fork Wolves

Last year: N/A

Coach: Tara Forsberg (3rd year)

Key runners: Bryce Olson, Jr.; Dean Buccholz, So.; Aden Lehr, So.; Wyatt Golding, So.; Daren Miller, Sr.

Coach says: "After losing nine seniors we are rebuilding and have a small team this year. Our junior high team is large, which will be beneficial in the next couple years."

Etc.: Bryce Olson was a  transfer last year and could only compete on the JV level. 

Colstrip Colts

Corvallis Blue Devils

Last year: Second at state

Coach: Joanne Cleveland

Key runners: Anders Watt, Sr., 15th at state last year; Jake Jessop, Sr., 18th at state last year.

Coach says: "We had a good turnout this summer, especially with our younger runners. It could make for some fighting for the last couple of varsity spots."

Etc.: This is Cleveland's 13th year as head coach.

Eureka Lions

Last year: Seventh at state

Coach: Andrew Gideon (4th season)

Key runners: Garrett Bates, Jr.; Hunter Steele, Jr.; Alex Lowe, So.

Coach says: "The boys team has won the MHSA Army/National Guard Academic All-Team award for three straight years. We lost some 4.0 student-athletes, so had better pick it up on the academic end. The boys team has placed seven the last three years, but we will take a step forward this year."

Glasgow Scotties

Last year: Fourth at state

Coach: Rod Karst

Key runners: Ellis McKean, Jr., 11th at state last year; Merlin McKean, Jr., 29th at state last year; Ike Braaten, So.; Wilson Overby, So.

Coach says: "We are young, but have a lot of talent. The kids are hungry to get back on the podium at state."

Etc.: The Scotties return six of their top 7 runners (three juniors and three sophomores).

Roundup Panthers

Last year: 21st at state

Coach: Tim Schaff (1st year)

Key runners: Christian Barber, Sr.; Rowdy Pressler, So.; Ian Bedford, Sr.

Coach says: "We have some holes to fill in our rosters from last year due to graduation and attrition, but we hope to recruit more runners and promote a team mentality to push one another to our best times ever."

Etc.: Schaff is also Roundup's track coach.

St. Labre Braves

Last year: Third at state

Coach: Joan Jilka (13th season)

Key runners: Ezra Stanger, Jr.

Coach says: "This is a rebuilding season for both the boys and girls team. Our athletes are working hard and focusing on their goals."

Thompson Falls Bluehawks

Last year: 15th at state

Coach: Sarah Naegeli (19th season)

Key runners: Colby Lantz, Sr.; Parker McConnell, Jr.

Coach says: " We are welcoming many new runners this year, as well as a couple freshman who have moved up from our junior high program. It looks to be a great season."

Townsend Bulldogs

Last year: 1st at state

Coach: Brooke Dolan

Key runners: Jack Dolan, Sr.; Louis Ingalls. Jr.

Coach says: "On the boys side five of our seven varsity runners graduated, but I am excited about how our younger kids have grown over the last year to fill those spots."

Etc.: Dolan and Ingalls were a part of the state championship team. Dolan was an all-state selection.

Wolf Point Wolves

Last year: N/A

Coach: Vivian Schultz (2nd season)

Key runners: N/A

Coach says: "We are looking forward to another year of running and participating in events around our area as well as state! We are working at building a strong team and developing the positive aspects of running." 

GIRLS

Manhattan Tigers

Last year: State champions

Coach: John Sillitti

Key runners: Hannah Madsen, Sr.; Hannah Boyd, Sr.; Kylie Richardson, Sr.; Mynessa Hein, Sr.; Elle Olsztyn, Sr.; Jessa Steele, So., Jodi Cameron, So.

Coach says: "Our girls return everyone, but Bigfork and Colstrip will be very strong again, several other teams return good groups, and there are always impact freshmen on the girls side. We need to work hard and stay healthy."

Etc.: Madsen, who placed third at state last year, is a three-time all-stater. Boyd, Richardson and Steele were also all-state finishers a year ago. Madsen, Cameron, Steele and Boyd all finished in the top seven at state in the 3,200 meters last spring.

Three Forks Wolves

Last year: N/A

Coach: Tara Forsberg

Key runners: Kyle Olson, Jr.; Traci Johnston, Jr.; Brianna Koslofsky, Jr.; Hannah Wilson, So.

Etc.: Olson, a transfer from Bozeman, is a strong runner. She could only compete at the JV level last year. Wilson was plagued by injuries last season.

Corvallis Blue Devils

Last year: Third at state

Coach: Joanne Cleveland

Key runners: Bree Lewis, So., 9th at state last year; Albany Jessop, Sr., 16th at state last year.

Eureka Lions

Last year: Fourth at state

Coach: Andrew Gideon (4th season)

Key runners: Mckay Guckenberg, Jr.

Coach says: "The girls placed seventh in 2014, third in 2015 and fourth in 2016 and will make a run for placing this year. I am excited for our enthusiasm and positive success as students and as athletes. This is an exceptional group of individuals to coach and work with."

Etc.: Eureka finished in a tie for third place at the state meet, but lost a tie-breaker to finish fourth. ... Guckenberg was all-state last season.

Glasgow Scotties

Last year: Sixth at state

Coach: Rod Karst

Key runners: Brooke Westby, Jr., 24th at state last year; Emily Kolstad, Jr., 37th at state last year; Ali Cunningham, So.; Katie Kaiser, Jr.; Alaina Sallee, Jr.

Etc.: Glasgow returns five of top seven runners (four juniors and one sophomore) from last season.

Malta Mustangs

Last year: 17th at state

Coach: Thea Solberg (14th year)

Key runners: TaChante' Cole, Sr., Leslie Young, Fr., Jillian O'Brien, So., Taylor Gilkerson, Jr., Danie Rhodes, Fr.

Coach says: "We have a mix of experience and inexperience as we start the new season. Veteran runners Cole, O'Brien and Gilkerson ran well last year and gained much experience and hope to be even stronger this season. The freshmen girls are already looking promising after just a couple of practices. The team of 12 girls is a very coachable bunch and is very encouraging to each other. It looks to be a very fun and exciting season."

Roundup Panthers

Last year: 13th at state

Coach: Tim Schaff

Key runners: Brookelynn Buerkley, So.; Anna Gillis, So.; Sarah Pisle, Jr.; Riley Green, Fr.; Emily Donahue, Fr.

St. Labre Braves

Last year: 11th at state

Coach: Joan Jilka

Key runners: NA

Coach says: "This is a rebuilding season for both the boys and girls team. Our athletes are working hard and focusing on their goals."

Thompson Falls Bluehawks

Last year: 20th at state

Coach: Sarah Naegeli

Key runners: Rachel Ribeiro, Jr.; Haley Morgan, Sr.; Josey Neesvig, Fr.

Townsend Bulldogs

Last year: 5th at state

Coach: Brooke Dolan

Key runners: Grace McDonnell, Sr., Evelyna Herrick, Sr., Olivia Lynn, Jr., Denika, Jr., Ronnie Mae Steele, So.

Coach says: "We have a solid group of girls led by Grace McDonnell. I am very pleased with our overall turnout again this year for both (boys and girlls) teams."

Etc.: McDonnell was an all-state selection in cross country and track. Herrick has run varsity the past three seasons, while Lynn and Dolan were also varsity performers a year ago."

Wolf Point Wolves

Last year: N/A

Coach: Vivian Schultz (2nd season)

Key runners: N/A

Coach says: "We are looking forward to another year of running and participating in events around our area as well as state! We are working at building a strong team and developing the positive aspects of running." 

CLASS C

BOYS

Arlee Warriors

Last year: 19th at state

Coach: Brett Sproull

Key runners: Sequoia Wiley, Jason Miller, James Crazyboy, Skyler Titsworth.

Coach says: "We had a great season last year with very few injuries and everyone making quality improvements throughout the fall."

Culbertson Cowboys

Sunburst Refiners

Last year: NA

Coach: Jeffrey Nix (3rd season)

Key runners: Jeffrey Owens, Sr.

Coach says: "We have only one returning runner to our team. However, we have several fast freshmen. I can't wait for Jeff Owens, our senior, to show them how much fun they are in store for and to pass the torch to our new up-and-comers."

Richey-Lambert Fusion

Last year: 9th

Coach: Cesar Mireles (4th season)

Key runners: Ivan Buller, Sr.; Chase Brown, Jr.; Sam Smith, Fr.

Coach says: "Cross Country is a sport that takes a lot of guts. You find out what you really are made of in a short amount of time."

Etc: Buller placed 18th and Brown placed 38th at State. Smith ran a 5:02 mile as an 8th grader. 

GIRLS

Arlee Scarlets

Last year: Ninth at state

Coach: Brett Sproull

Key runners: Shawntaya Nelson, Summer Darcangelo, Malachi DeRoche

Coach says: "These runners are not just motivated racers, they're also excellent teammates and good people. Though every practice is a challenge, every day is rewarding and fun."

Richey-Lambert Fusion

Last year: 7th

Coach: Cesar Mireles (4th season)

Key runners: Haley Olson, Jr.; Anna Buller, Jr., Tori Cundiff

Coach says: "Cross Country is a sport that takes a lot of guts. You find out what you really are made of in a short amount of time."

Etc: Olsen placed 22nd, Buller 57th and Cundiff 38th at State. 

Terry Terriers

Last year: Not available

Coach: Leann Lantis

Key runners: Laiten Lantis, So.; Maritza Cadenas, Jr.

Coach says: "This is our fourth year having a cross-country program. The previous three years we were a co-op with Dawson County (Glendive). We are hoping to get enough (runners) to score as a team."

Etc.: Lantis placed third at state as a freshman. Cadenas was 47th.

Winnett Rams

Last year: State champions in co-op with Melstone

Coach: Haley Kiehl (1st season)

Key runners: Tawny Browning, Jr.; Brynn Jolma, Jr.

Etc.: Winnett-Melstone won the past two Class C championships. ... Browning placed 24th at state last season. She and Jolma have both run on state championship teams.

 

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