IDAHO FALLS — The Blackfoot cross country squad took to the course at Freeman Park in Idaho Falls on Wednesday and at days end, Rachel Cannon became the first female district champion in recent memory while Paul Cannon and Kohl Bingham each punched a ticket to state in the boys race with fifth and seventh place finishes.
Rachel Cannon had a classic duel with second place runner Tori Pinnock from Rigby as they battled throughout the course with as little as 10 meters separating the two runners. Cannon pulled away on the uphill portion of the course to eventually win the race by 60 meters.
"The uphill is Rachel's strength," Blackfoot coach Brint Jefferis said. "She really benefitted from the hill training this season."
In the boys race Bonneville swept the top two spots on the podium but the duo of Paul Cannon and Kohl Bingham were nipping at their heels as they finished just thirty seconds behind the first place finisher to qualify for the state meet.
"The team as a whole did outstanding and with us being so young we have all the potential in the world," Coach Jefferis said.
Both the boys and girls teams finished in third place. Other finishers on the girls side were Taylor Diaz (17), Stephanie Zehntner (27), Rachel McPhie (39) and Christine McPhie (42). On the boys side Gregory Drake (21), Dennis Wright (24), Nathaniel Wheelwright (25), Austin Williams (27), Peyton Astle (45), Brigham Thayne (46) and Ryson Hughes (49).
The trio of state qualifiers will leave next Thursday for Lewiston and the race will take place on Saturday.