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Olsen, Barela and Tidwell place highly at state race

Medal mettle

— Last week, the Clearwater Tribune reported the hospitalization of Elvin Pfefferkorn — long-time track and field coach, who has also coached Clearwater Valley’s nascent cross-country team. Noting Pfefferkorn’s illness, CV activities director Kolby Krieger previously told the Free Press that it’s fair to say junior Cole Olsen has “kept the team afloat” in Pfefferkorn’s absence.

“He runs the practices and organizes transportation for his teammates,” Krieger said. “His mom, Jenny, usually takes the team to the meets. The only thing I have had to do is arrange for the entry of athletes on the website and pay their entry fees.”

Olsen’s effort resulted in a sixth-place finish at the 1A state meet last Saturday, Oct. 31, where he placed sixth with a time of 17 minutes, 36 seconds.

“Cole worked out with the football team all summer to prepare for this season,” Krieger said. “He's one of the hardest working kids I have ever met.”

With two runners in the top seven at the district race, the Prairie girls qualified as a team in the squad’s first year under coach Glenn Poxleitner. They couldn’t run as a team at state on account of an overlap with the volleyball team, but one of their number — Kylie Tidwell — placed 15th. It’s the first year the 2A race has been scored separately from the 1A race, Poxleitner noted, and while 20 will be awarded medals next year, Tidwell secured the last medaling place with a sprint finish last Saturday.

She paced herself to a personal best 5K, finishing in 23 minutes, 11 seconds.

“We’re building,” Poxleitner said. “We’re pretty jacked up about our future prospects.”

For Grangeville senior Diego Barela, the state race featured not only his season-best 5K time (17:53), it featured a top-20 finish: he medaled in 11th place.


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