The Billings Invite had a different look this year as each race was ran in three waves, with the top three runners from each school getting the start.
As the guys powered up the hill, Stirling Marshall-Pryde out of Bozeman climbed to the lead. After going back and forth a bit with Belgrade’s Samuel Nash, Marshall-Pryde pulled away for the win in 16:38.87 seconds.
Caleb Hornung from Billings West came in seconds, Belgrade’s Nash in third. Marshall-Pryde said the staggered start helped him find success on Friday. “So overall faster pack all together that I think helped me out it sometimes I get out in front and they were pushing me the whole way so that was good for me,” said Marshall-Pryde.
As for the girls, 24 of the fastest runners from the 8 Eastern AA schools faced off and like the guys, a pair of Bozeman runners climbed to the lead on the first hill. Natalie Nicholas and Natalie McCormick took the lead at that point and would never give it back.
The freshman out of Bozeman, Nicholas, crossed the finish line first in 19:15.86 seconds and Hawks senior McCormick came in second just under 10 seconds later. Nicolas has now won all three cross country meets this season, a surprising result for the young freshman.
“I was just hoping to be in the top 30 so it’s surprising, I think a part of it is the smaller races but yeah it’s been really fun training with my team,” said Nicholas. Bozeman won the boys and girls team titles at the Billings Invitational.
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