With some of their stronger runners participating in competition for the first time this year, the Bellmont girls cross country team served notice Tuesday night they intend to be a force to be reckoned with during the coming season.
Coach Carl Risch's girls went 5-0 in the annual Bi-County Conditioner hosted by the Squaws led by the first place time of the team of Emily Gunsett and Bailey Beery and are now 9-4 on the season, while the Starfire men won the boys' division with ease.
The Bi-County Invitational is a little different from a regular season cross country meet in that two runners are paired together. One runner goes for a mile and then rests while her teammate goes a mile. They switch back and forth for three miles each and their times are added together. The times of the top three teams are added together and the low time is the team winner.
Only two runners Tuesday were able to break a six-minute mile and fortunately for the Squaws, Beery did it on all three of her laps posting results of 5:33.4, 5:40.8, and 5:53.4. She was teamed up with Gunsett who recorded mile runs of 6:18.7, 6:47.1, and 6:52.5 for a first place Bellmont team score of 37:06.1.
The Bellmont duo nosed out Norwell's Jessie Best and Hannah Aschliman as the Knight pair was second overall with a time of 37:45.1. Aschliman had the only other sub-six minute run at 5:51.3 on her first lap, South Adams' Aleesha Goodwin and Kara Seffernick went 39:15.4 for third place running very consistent laps of between 6:24.6 to 6:43.9.
Bellmont wrapped up the team title on the day sweeping fourth and fifth place. Co-captains Cady Faurote and Ally Norby were fourth at 39:38.6 with Faurote going 6:28.0, 6:48.5, and 6:51.6 while Norby posted miles of 6:21.7, 6:33,1, and 6:35.5.
Amberly Gutierrez and Bailey Christlieb, both running their first varsity cross country event ever in their high school career, placed fifth with a total time of 39:51.3. They blistered the course with results of 6:30.2 and 6:21.0 in their first mile and Gutierrez rounded out her day with efforts of 6:48.1 and 6:54.6 while Christlieb went 6:32.3 and 6:44.9.
Bellmont's top three teams finished with a time of 1:56.36 for top honors and they were followed by Norwell at 2:00:08, South Adams 2:06.52, Southern Wells 2:07:19, and Adams Central 2:20:53. Bluffton had an incomplete team with just two pairs of runners.