Kettle Falls’ cross-country look’s forward to Can-Am

Chris Cowbrough
Staff Writer

The Kettle Falls High cross-country team of coach Matt Edwards is looking forward to the annual running of the Can-Am Invitational in the Bulldogs’ backyard (Old Kettle Campground).
The Can-Am, which will feature 17 teams and around 300 runners this year, will get started with middle school races at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. Varsity races are scheduled to start at about 10:45 a.m.
“I’m really looking forward to the next two meets at Springdale and the Can-Am,” Edwards said earlier this week. “I’m sure the kids are too because these are relatively flat courses compared to our races last week. I am expecting to see multiple PR by a lot of kids this week.”
The Bulldogs ran in two races last week over difficult, hilly terrain. Kettle Falls was at Northwest Christian back on Sept. 20, running on a course that featured rolling hills “to the point where if you weren’t going downhill, you were going up,” Edwards noted.
“That was a mental race…the kids got a preview of the course at the NWC Jamboree and knew the hills that were there.”

Johnson third

For the KFHS girls, Zarah Johnson finished third (in a field of 15) with a time of 24:59. Evangeline Bitzan was 10th (32:42).
For the boys, Jake Kenney finished fifth in a field of 50 runners (20:33).
Edwards was pleased with Kenney’s run over the Colbert hills.
“He was especially mentally strong during that race,” Edwards said. “He beat multiple kids that he hadn’t beaten before. Jake had a good race plan that he was able to execute well.”
Jacob Moak finished 15th (22:43).
Edwards said Moak also ran a smart race and beat some competitors he had never previously beaten in high school.
Lucas Matney finished 25th (24:19).
“Lucas is still learning and trying new things each time he races,” his coach said. “In this race, Lucas figured out that he shouldn’t go out to PR on a course that is entirely hills.”
Niki Johnson was 43rd (28:25).

Up the mountain

At the first 49 Degrees North Invite on Chewelah Peak Saturday, Johnson led KFHS with a ninth place individual finish (24:24).
“She raced extremely well and put it all out there,” Edwards said. “She isn’t scared to be out in front.”
Taylor Dunlap finished 17th (27:35). Lanie Lince was 29th (31:31) and Bitzan was 30th (31:34).