HELENA — As so often happens in endurance sports, Thursday belonged to the Bozeman Hawks, who won both the boys and girls events in the 12th annual 7 of 7 meet at Bill Roberts Golf Course.
Bozeman won every race except for the boys’ No. 1 and No. 5, where the Hawks placed second. The girls swept the meet.
“Overall I think we had a great day,” Bozeman coach Casey Jermyn said. “All the way from both JV races up through varsity races. All seven. It was a strong showing. For us, training-wise, it was a big week, preparing for state and down the road.
“You can tell the energy is really high when they come to the meet.”
Bozeman’s top runner, Camila Noe, won the No. 1 race on the girls side in a time of 17:49.97. Noe eased into the first mile, acknowledging advice she received from teammates and coaches about the difficulty of Bill Roberts.
“The course was pretty hard actually,” Noe said. “It wasn’t super hard it, but it was kind of tiring because of all the turns and hills. It was a nice course to run on.”
Roe admitted she was “bummed out” Billings Senior’s top runner, Tiahna Vladic, and Kalispell Glacier’s top runner, Annie Hill, did not run Thursday. Vladic won the Mountain West Classic last week.
“A lot of the girls in the race are super great runners,” Roe said. “That was my goal going into it was to win it. The fact those two (Vladic and Hill) weren’t running made it easier definitely.”
Roe says her team is still building toward state, and hopefully nationals.
“I’m doing 65 miles this week,” she said. “We’re all trying to build times for nationals.”
The boys No. 1 winner was Great Falls CMR's Cooper West, who finished in 15:33.94. West also eased into the race, letting his body and the course tell him when he needed to make his move. It came with about 800 meters left. West kicked and finished with a nearly six-second advantage over Bozeman’s Duncan Hamilton.
“It was different course,” West said. “It’s a tough one. There’s a lot of hills. It’s not as hilly as Anaconda, but it’s definitely not a flat course.”
West is hitting his stride after enduring a running-induced calf injury over the summer. Through August he had inconsistent mileage, but once school started he said he was able to go through full workouts over the week. Now, with a Mountain West Win and 7 of 7 win in about a week, West is healthy and running well.