Nelson sprints to new state record
By Kim Staudinger
Spectators were calling it the race of the century at the All-Class State Cross Country Meet held Saturday at the Bill Roberts Golf Course in Helena.
Unfortunately, it wasn't the Havre High girls or KG's newest state champion, Aaron Smith, whom everyone was talking about. Instead, the race everyone wanted to see was between CMR's defending state champion and state record holder, Heidi Lane, and Kalispell's freshman wonder, Zoe Nelson.
Nelson and Lane ran stride by stride with each other throughout the entire three-mile course, neither one giving in to the other. But by the time the last hundred feet rolled around, Lane began to fall a few steps behind and was not able to recover.
While Nelson sprinted across the finish line, Lane collapsed and needed medical attention to help carry her safely off the course.
When it was all said and done, Nelson crushed Lane's old state record by 16 seconds. As a sophomore Lane set a time of 17:45. Nelson finished in a time of 17:29.
Lane, who crossed the line in 17:31, said afterward that she gave it her all and would not have been able to go any faster than she did. Lane also said she had to be happy with how her season ended because she ran the race of her life.
Lane was taken to the hospital after the awards ceremony as a precautionary measure. She was released early Saturday evening.
Nelson's win helped lead her team to a first-place finish, followed by CMR in second and Bozeman in third. Great Falls High capped a successful year with a fourth-place finish with Helena Capital close behind in fifth and Helena High in sixth.