by Rich Stripp of the Leader
Mindy harwood says she’s still walking on clouds after the Polson boys won a second straight Class A State Cross Country crown last Saturday in Helena.
The coach gathered the group for a team meeting Friday night. Harwood said she told each of them, and how well they’d done this season.
“And they came through, just like I thought they would.”
Polson came in ahead of Browning and Laurel in the boy’s race at the Bill Roberts Golf course. The PHS girls —State Champs in 1994— were 10’th as Miles City won top honors.
Senior Ryan Braunberger was Polson’s top finisher, coming in third behind Lyle Weese of Dillon and Libby’s David Larimer. His time of 15:59 was just four seconds behind Larimer.
“What a gutsy race he ran.” Harwood said, noting that the quick-starting Braunberger actually beat the Polson record for the two-mile track event.
Dain Engebretsen was the top sophomore in the state, coming in fourth in 16:12; senior Sam Friesz became Polson’s first four-time all-stater, running seventh in 16:17;Jeremy Presnell was ninth in 16:22. All four got all-state honors and beat Laurel’s defending two-mile state track champion.
Jeff Orchard reigned as top frosh in Class A with a 16:54, good for a 21st. Tyler Ofstad was 27th in 17:07,beating Browning’s sixth man as assigned, and Jason Delaney rounded out the Polson pack at 58th place in 17:46.
With a lot of veterans back and new runners expressing interest, Polson has “an extremely bright future” in 1998, the coach said.