For years, Idaho high school cross country runners have enjoyed taking a break from golf courses and have taken a walk on the wild side in the Wood River Valley.
They’ve tackled high altitude mountain courses and dirt trails in Adams Gulch or Trail Creek. In recent years they’ve come to Elkhorn’s Sagewillow Farms for the Sun Valley Classic hosted by the Community School and Wood River High.
On a mild late-summer afternoon Friday, 421 high school runners from 22 schools took their turns on the difficult two-lap course at over 6,000 feet. Over 200 middle school runners also competed, meaning 36 schools and nearly 700 runners embraced the hilly challenge.
Local prep runners led the way in three of the eight varsity and junior varsity races conducted Friday.
Wood River senior Chase England won the Sun Valley Classic 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) 4A/3A varsity race in 17:57 for a 26-second win over Twin Falls junior Jeremy Stark.
Community School newcomer Laurel Fiddler, a senior who has moved here from the California Sierras, captured the Girls’ 5k 2A/1A varsity race in 22:05 for a 1:37 triumph over Declo senior Abby Treadway. Fiddler clocked the day’s best second-fastest female time.
Fiddler is a daughter of Nancy Fiddler, a 1978 Bates College graduate, All-American skier and two-time Olympian who won 14 national cross-country ski titles from 1987-93.
Taking the Boys’ 5k 2A/1A junior varsity race with the best time of all JV boys was Community School junior Nate Thomas in 20:11. Winning the Middle School girls’ race over 2.5k (1.5 mile) was Wood River’s Kirsys Campbell, 10:49.
Community School girls finished a close second to Buhl in middle school team ranks.
Friday’s races were separated into 4A/3A bigger schools like Wood River, Jerome, Twin Falls, Burley, Buhl and Kimberly, and 2A/1A smaller schools like the Community School of Sun Valley, Challis, Wendell, Dietrich, Camas County and Oakley.
Top runners and results:
Boys’ 4A/3A varsity: 1—Chase England (WR) 17:57. 14—Ty Reinemann (WR) 19:18. 16—Alexis Gonzalez (WR) 19:26. 31—Cameron Bingham (WR) 20:16. 52—Jimmy Holcomb (WR) 21:39. 53—Patrick Schneider (WR) 21:40. 61—Connor Hayes (WR) 22:38 (72 runners).
Girls’ 4A/3A varsity: 1—Jasmine Nesbitt (Jerome) 20:49. 9—Janel Passey (WR) 25:00. 15—Mariah Stout (WR) 25:27. 24—Brooke Lawrence (WR) 26:32. 30—Madi Hendrix (WR) 27:22. 32—Avery Closser (WR) 27:42. 39—Kaitlyn Landis (WR) 28:33 (57 runners).
Boys’ 2A/1A varsity: 1—Drake Hungate (Greenleaf Friends) 18:34. 3—Nate Nasvik (CS) 19:31 (35 runners).
Girls’ 2A/1A varsity: 1—Laurel Fiddler (CS) 22:05. 4—Maranda Stopol (CS) 24:20. 10—Annika Landis (CS) 25:56 (31 runners).
Boys’ 4A/3A junior varsity: 1—Tommy Tolman (Jerome) 20:22. 19—Nelson Cantrell (WR) 22:38. 51—Nash Hartdegen (WR) 24:41. 52—Ostin Arters (WR) 24:49. 63—Jacob Halopoff (WR) 25:42. 70—Xavier Haemmerle (WR) 26:17. 81—Colby Castle (WR) 27:26 (101 runners).
Girls’ 4A/3A junior varsity: 1—Kathryn Craig (Jerome) 25:01. 9—Grace Gorham (WR) 28:00. 34—Sophia Deklotz (WR) 31:31. 35—Brook Sunholm (WR) 31:59. 39—Alexandria Begley (WR) 32:55. 48—Shelby Barnes (WR) 34:03. 49—Karady Beck (WR) 34:09 (65 runners).
Boys’ 2A/1A junior varsity: 1—Nate Thomas (CS) 20:11. 4—Landon Schley (CS) 23:22. 19—Isaac Simon (Camas) 26:48. 28—Tanner Wolfe (Camas) 31:55 (32 runners).
Girls’ 2A/1A junior varsity: 1—Desert Johnson (Wells, Nev.) 26:39. 2—Tara Burchmore (CS) 28:59. 5—Racheal Lane (Camas) 32:00 (13 runners).
Middle school boys: 1—Nathan Nordquist (Jerome) 9:18. 5—Henry Raff (CS) 10:32. 14—Wilson Dunn (CS) 10:57. 16—Dane Thompson (WR) 11:17. 18—Keene Morawitz (CS) 11:18. 20—Flynn Stewart (CS) 11:19. 25—Landon Nurge (WR) 11:30. 26—Henry Baker (CS) 11:31. 57—Easton Beck (WR) 12:36. 66—Peter Janotta (CS) 12:47. 68—Stephen Roth (WR) 12:47. 72—Charlie Stumpf (CS) 13:03. 74—Blake Harmon (CS) 13:12. 79—Jorgen Lawrence (WR) 13:22. 83—Zack Olenick (WR) 13:43. 106—Kiran Merchant (CS) 14:49. 110—Ryan Halopoff (WR) 15:25. 119—Matt O’Connor (CS) 17:53 (122 runners).
Middle school girls: 1—Kirsys Campbell (WR) 10:49. 8—Amy Cantrell (WR) 11:25. 53—Carolina Mahedy (CS) 14:06. 62—Taylor Schreiner (WR) 14:23. 69—Tess Burchmore (WR) 14:56. 74—Miren Sanchez (CS) 15:07. 76—Anik Zarkos (CS) 15:12. 80—Marisol Baeza (WR) 15:28. 83—Marina Santos (WR) 15:33. 91—Ellie Gorham (WR) 16:00. 93—Emma Flolo (WR) 16:07 (109 runners).
High school team results
Boys’ 4A/3A team, varsity: 1—Burley 54. 2—Twin Falls 68. 3—Jerome 75. 4—Wood River 113. 5—Caldwell 159. 6—Gooding 160. 7—Kimberly 169. Junior varsity: 1—Twin Falls 41. 2—Jerome 78. 3—Burley 84. 4—Kimberly 98. 5—Gooding 133. 6—Wood River 208.
Girls’ 4A/3A team, varsity: 1—Jerome 27. 2—Twin Falls 49. 3—Wood River 78. 4—Mountain Home 96. 5—Canyon Ridge 134. 6—Kimberly 142. 7—Minico 200. Junior varsity: 1—Twin Falls 42 and Caldwell 42. 3—Jerome 57. 4—Kimberly 107. 5—Wood River 119.
Boys’ 2A/1A team, varsity: 1—Challis 40. 2—Oakley 41. 3—Declo 54. 4—Wendell 75. Junior varsity: 1—Valley 31. 2—Challis 34. 3—Wendell 55.
Girls’ 2A/1A team, varsity: 1—Declo 42. 2—Challis 61. 3—Valley 63. 4—Oakley 72. 5—Wendell 93.