HELENA — The 45th annual crosstown cross country meet will take place Wednesday, and the storyline of the day might the Helena Capital girls, who have a chance to break two Helena High winning streaks.
Helena’s girls have won the past 10 intra-city meets, with their last loss to the Bruins taking place in 2006. But this year CHS appears to have the stronger team, since coach Katie Gilboy’s runners have bested their friendly rivals by a comfortable margin in every meet this season.
And if the Bruins can win Wednesday, it will also halt Helena's10-year streak of crosstown sweeps. The last time the Bengals did not win both the boys and girls titles simultaneously was also in 2006.
The varsity contests at Bill Roberts Golf Course – the final tune-up before the state meet in Helena on Oct. 21 – start with the girls race at 4 p.m., followed by the boys at 4:30.
CHS’s girls finished in fourth place at the recent Capital City 7 of 7 Meet, with five runnners breaking the 21-minute barrier.
Nina Bracht-Bedell was clocked in 20 minutes, 11 seconds, followed by Hannah Rohrer-Fitzhugh in 20:15, Alana Tonidandel at 20:20, Willa McCardle in 20:33, Emma Rohrer-Fitzhugh with a 20:46 and Ella Krumm at 20:57. Bracht-Bedell, Emma and Krumm are all freshmen.
Helena High, directed by coach Linda Paull, placed eighth at the 7 of 7, led by Alyssa Plant and Katelyn McKay, who posted times of 20:33 and 20:42. Claudia Downing traversed the 5K course in 21:16.
Longtime Helena boys coach Kelley Gilbert’s runners have won the last 16 intra-city meets, dating to 2002. HHS finished sixth at the 7 of 7, with three runners finishing in under 18 minutes.
Jonah Fisher clocked the fastest local time at 16:48. Jacob Rice was next at 17:01 and Clayton Ryerson came in at 17:41. Coming across at 18:04 was teammate Kyler Campbell.
The Capital boys, under coach Tom Furlong, placed 15th at the 7 of 7. A trio of Bruin runners cracked 18 minutes, with Bryce Maxson running a 17:33, Spencer Bartow at 17:40 and Jesse McMurtrey in 17:43.