Fergus boys’ cross-country team looking to earn another Central A title

Fergus runners Sam Fulbright (1675) and Noah Majerus (1676) compete at the Mountain West Invitational in Missoula.                          Photo courtesy of Suzie Flentie

By: 
Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

For the past two years, the Fergus High School boys’ cross-country team has won the Central A boys’ team title. When the team lines up on Saturday in Livingston, the Golden Eagles look to earn a third consecutive title. The Central A divisional meet is now called the Fall Classic. With only four boys’ teams competing in the Central A, the meet is now more of a tune-up for the Class A State Cross-Country Meet, which follows the next Saturday in Helena.
“We always train right through divisionals,” said Coach Suzie Flentie. “We kind of treat it like any other meet because the season is short, and we need to maximize the time we have to prepare for state. We will just keep working on building endurance, fine tuning our pacing and running hills. The state course has a lot of hills, so we need to be effective on them.”
Leading the way for this year’s boys’ team are senior Noah Majerus and sophomore Sam Fulbright. The two have led the Golden Eagles throughout the season, although Majerus has had some illness that has affected his training schedule. Flentie is hopeful he will be back at full strength come state meet time.
Two other Fergus runners also ran at the state meet last year – sophomores Logan Wisenbaugh and Ryker Melton.
“We did lose three seniors off of our state team from last year,” said Flentie, “but we actually have a strong group of returning runners. Both Chance (Miller) and Scott (Sciuchetti) were alternates on last year’s state team.”
Miller is a sophomore, while Sciuchetti is a senior.
Both the junior varsity and varsity runners will be competing in Livingston on Saturday. If a junior varsity runner has a better time than a varsity runner, the JV runner can replace the varsity runner for the state meet.
Saturday’s Fall Classic is held at Park High School. The starting time for the junior varsity boys is 11 a.m. The varsity boys’ start time is 12:10 p.m.

Mountain West, 7-on-7 meets help prepare for upcoming competition
On Saturday, Sept. 30, the boys competed at the Mountain West Invitational in Missoula. It is a very large meet with 68 teams competing. Lewis and Clark High School from Spokane won the boys’ varsity meet. With 400 runners in the varsity competition, Fulbright finished 27th with a time of 16:45, while Majerus finished 61st in 17:14. The third Fergus runner to cross the finish line was Melton in 217th in 18:01. Other Fergus runners competing in the varsity race were Wisenbaugh with a time of 18:23, Miller in 18:39, Troy Parsons in 19:10 and Sciuchetti in 19:15.
One of the reasons Coach Flentie likes her teams to compete in the Mountain West is to see how they will stack up against Class A schools from the west. The cross-country teams run against teams from the east and central throughout the season, but sometimes this race is the only opportunity to see the Western Class A teams.
“We had a top-five pack time of 1:54,” said Flentie. “We’re really working to close that up.”
Corvallis, which was the only Class A team to beat Fergus at the Mountain West also had a pack time of 1:54.
“Their first runner was 15 seconds ahead of Sam,” added Flentie. “We need to move our pack up a little to meet up with theirs.”
On Thursday, the Fergus varsity teams competed at the 7-on-7 meet, which is held each year in Helena. In this racing competition, the number ones compete against the rest of the number ones, while the twos compete against each other, and so on. This type of race allows, for example, the number sevens to compete against other number sevens.
Fulbright, running against the other number ones, finished in 12th place against 36 other racers.
“In Class A, our boys were second to Corvallis again, but we are closing the gap a bit,” said Flentie. “Two of our top five runners, Noah and Chance, passed up their Corvallis competitors. Logan got within one second of his Corvallis counterpart. Sam and Ryker both closed the gap on their Corvallis competitor. Ryker was the only boy on our team to run a personal best time.”
Following are the placings and times for the Fergus boys’ varsity team.
Fulbright: 12th in first-runner race, 17:05.
Majerus: 8th in second-runner race, 17:18.
Ryker Melton: 12th in third-runner race, 17:52.
Logan Wisenbaugh: 17th in fourth-runner race, 18:32.
Chance Miller: 18th in fifth-runner race, 18:48.
Troy Parsons: 23rd in sixth-runner race, 19:22.
Scott Sciuchetti: 20th in seventh-runner race, 19:21.
Class A team scores: (all seven runners’ placings were used to determine team scores)
Corvallis 86, Fergus 110, Hamilton 133, Columbia Falls 135, Laurel 153, Frenchtown 153, Hardin 165, Belgrade 165, Browning 166, Dillon 170, Havre 184, Park 217, Butte Central 242 and Stevensville 285.

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