HELENA — The Bill Roberts Golf Course will be the site of one of the largest cross country meets in the state Thursday with the 12th annual 7 of 7 meet.
Fifty-four teams from around the state will compete, with runners from all classes and all 14 AA teams. More than 1,100 runners will participate.
The format handicaps each school’s runners in order of ranking on the team. The varsity No. 7s will start at 1:45 p.m., followed by the next number every 30 minutes. The No. 1s are scheduled for 4:45 p.m.
The favorites in both meets are Bozeman’s perennial juggernaut boys and girls teams, which are the nine- and 10-time defending state champions. As for the Helena schools, Capital’s girls placed fourth at the recent Missoula Mountain West Classic and the Helena boys finished fifth.
The Mountain West individual champions were Great CMR’s Cooper West and Tiahna Vladic of Billings Senior.
The Capital girls, under coach Katie Gilboy, are led by Alana Tonidandel. Tonidandel was the top placing local at 24th overall in Missoula, while finishing 15th against AA competition. She was followed by Hannah Rohrer-Fitzhugh, Nina Bracht-Bedell, Willa McCardle, Emma Rohrer-Fitzhugh, Meghan Robinson and Ella Krumm.
Coach Kelley Gilbert’s Helena boys runners No. 1-7 are Jacob Rice, Jonah Fischer, Clayton Ryerson, Kyler Campbell, Zane Rousch, Sam Sullivan and Trystan Brewer.
Helena’s girls are coached by Linda Paull and were listed Nos. 1-7 as Alyssa Plant, Katelyn McKay, Claudia Downing, Claire Downing, Maddy Murgel, Jasmine Wilkerson and Morgan Oie. Capital coach Tom Furlong’s roster includes Bryce Maxson, Jesse McMurtrey, Spencer Bartow, Peter Lund, Jake Bubb, Cameron Holston and Bryson Jones.