Montana XC Pre-season Rankings


Montana XC Preview

By: Paul Jorgenson;


Class A Pre-season
Class B Pre-season 


AA Cross country Pre-season view

2008 Boys AA Team Scores
Bozeman 73pts
Missoula Hellgate 118
Helena High 135
Billings Skyview 153
Helena Capital 155


Bozeman loses their top three runners but had a great junior varsity team last year. Also, Jacob Woodland who placed third in the state 3200 would really help their team.


2008 Bozeman Top Five
1st Jordan Schlender(Graduates)
11th Ryan Dejarlais(Graduates)
15th Terrance Takeshorse
22nd Taylor Jackson
24th Akeo Mayfield-Carucci


Hellgate who placed 2nd last year lose one of their top five.
2008 Hellgate Top 5
9th Daniel Sullivan (Graduates)
13th Michael Bowles
16th Jay Barlow
26th Sancho Ridesatthedorr
54th Ike Wallace (Graduates)


Helena placed 3rd last year and lose just one top five runner. Not sure if Kearney runs cross country. He placed 5th in the state 800 this spring.
2008 Helena's Top 5
5th Daniel Osborne
8th Matt Barker
18th Colten McCullough
49th Tom Lund
55th Briggs Alsbury (Graduates)


Skyview loses one and they placed 4th at the state cross country meet.
2008 Skyview's Top 5
3rd Tony Hoph
29th Sam Anderson
30th Robert Peterson
39th Jourdan Lipp
52nd Brett Edelman (Graduates)


Helena Capital placed 5th and lose only one runner.
2008 Capital's Top 5
10th Hunter Bossler
12th Chris Nichols (Graduates)
40th John Gillboy
43rd Maverick Mansfield
50th Colter Olmstead


Flathead placed 6th at state cross country and have all their runners back. Should be much improved over last year if certain runners come out that weren't there the year before. Jesse Bennett (800 AA winner 2009) may run XC.


Sentinel my not have run well at state last year compared to how they did throughout the season. They could be tough again this year.


Based on returning runners and team place, Helena, Hellgate and Skyview could be favorites this year. Don't count out Bozeman even though they lost their top three runners.


Based on individual results last year Ethan Shrader (Butte), Tony Hopf (Skyview), Leif Castren (Flathead), Daniel Osborne (Helena), Matt Barker (Helena) and Ryan Grammens (West) should be favorites for individual honors. Osborne could be a slight favorite based on his performance at state track. Of course any of the top 15 returning runners could have a shot finishing at the top. We must also consider Woodland (Bozeman) and Bennett (Flathead) who didn't appear to be around last year. We all know that some dark horse may be running hard this summer with the intent of making a mark for themselves when the season starts this fall.


2008 Team Results
1st Bozeman 52 points
2nd Billings Senior 102 pts
3rd Billings West 115 pts
4th Missoula Hellgate 122
5th Kalispell Flathead 194
6th Missoula Sentinel 197


Bozeman girls should be favored to return to the top of the podium in 2009 based on the return of four of their top five from a team that totally dominated at the 2008 state XC championships.  Keep in mind their junior varsity team could provide another good crop of younger runners to put pressure on their varsity runners.
Top five Bozeman finishers 2008
1st Heidi Turner
9th Kati Keith
13th Steinbacher (Graduates)
14th Mariah Schmidt
15th Katie Gill


Billings Senior return their top three runners who placed 2nd, 4th and 6th at state last year. They also return their next four runners.  However, to be competitive with Bozeman they will need to bring runners four and five closer to their top three.
Top five Senior finishers 2008
2nd Alexa Aragon
4th Dani Aragon
6th Auralea Fain
33rd Katelynn Meyer
57th Lindsay Rohrdanz


Billings West return four of their top five runners and could be very competitive. West has good turnouts of kids so their bound to find runners to boost their program.
Top five West finishers 2008
5th Niclole Rietz
20th Megan Beam
21st Leah Davis
30th Izzy Archilla
39th Amy Rogers (Graduates)


Missoula Hellgate loses two of their top five but could find replacements from a much-improved program.
Top five Hellgate finishers 2008
18th Emily Howell (Graduates
24th Nikki Kuenzel
25th Dani Johnson (Graduates)
27th Lily Clark
28th Mari Sullivan


Flathead placed 5th at state, which was probably their best meet of the season.  As of now all runners could return for the 2009 season.  They did run three freshmen at the state track meet in the 3200. 
Top five Flathead finishers 2008
22nd Rose Byrne
29th Hannah Macfarlane
35th Kathleen Barth
53rd Bailey Hughes
55th Jesse Buck


Missoula Sentinel placed 6th at state cross country last year but didn’t list the grade level of their runners.   Hard to tell who is coming back or how young they are. 


Heidi Turner (Bozeman) returns to defend her title.  Keli Dennehy (Butte) won the state 3200 in track this year and could again provide some stiff competition for Heidi.  Of course Alexa Aragon (Senior), Dani Aragon (Senior), Nicole Rietz (West) Auralea Fain (Senior) and Keeley West (CMR) could be in the mix.  If Heather Fraley (Glacier) can overcome injury she could be a contender.  As we know a freshman or sophomore girl could come out of the woodwork to push the top girls.  It will be interesting to see who shows up at the early meets.  Success in the fall is based on how the summer was spent.