“It wasn’t a great day for running, but it could have been worse,” said Powell head cross country coach Cliff Boos of the conditions, which featured a north wind, race time temperatures in the upper 30s and the constant threat of snow flurries in the air. “It was nice to have enough girls to earn a team score. We should be able to do that at conference this week and at state as well.”
Bailey Sanders led the charge for the Panther girls, finishing as the individual runner-up at the meet. Sanders completed the 5K course in a time of 21:03, 53 seconds behind the lead runner. Sierra Morrow added a 10th-place finish in a time of 23:28.
“Sierra’s ankles are getting better and better,” said Boos. “She’s using some orthodics and they seem to be working for her. It’s nice to have her able to run.”
Tess Mitchell, running in her first meet since the completion of high school golf season, placed 13th in 24:30. Carly Klein added a 17th-place finish in 25:08.
Alyssa Hildebrand (19th, 25:35) and Victoria Grevisse (21st, 26:08) rounded out Powell’s lineup for the meet.
The Panther girls placed third behind Cody and Worland.
On the boys’ side, Zander Andreasen ran to a runner-up finish in a time of 17:34, eight seconds off the individual title pace. Teammate Drew Feller was close behind in third place in a time of 17:55.
The Panthers added two more top 10 runners. Mat Abraham crossed the finish line in sixth place in a time of 18:36. Grant Nickles was eighth in a time of 18:42.
“The boys ran a really good race,” said Boos. “It was nice to see four of them up there among the first eight finishers. Considering how windy and chilly it was, they ran really well.”
Ben Wetzel completed the Panthers’ scoring lineup with a 16th-place finish in 19:48. Quin Wetzel was 18th in 20:29 and Chase Wellner was 19th in a time of 20:37.
Overall, the Panther boys placed second as a team, just five points behind meet champion Worland.
The high school team travels to Jackson on Friday for the 3A West conference meet. The girls’ varsity race starts at 1 p.m. with the boys’ race to follow.
“That will be a good event for us,” said Boos. “Jackson is always tough. Star Valley will be good. That should be a strong field, and of course that’s such a scenic area to run in. It’s a great opportunity for the kids.”
The Powell Invitational was also the final middle school cross country meet of the season for Powell Middle School. For the girls, JuliaKay O’Neill placed third in a time of 14:28 for the two-mile event. Monse Morales was fourth in a time of 14:51.
For the middle school boys, Eyob Robirds was second in a time of 12:57. Aaron Smith placed 13th in 14:58. James Sheets was 20th in a time of 16:00 while James Curtis (16:41) and Jeremiah Sanders (16:43) finished in 23rd and 24th place, respectively.
The Cub boys were third as a team.
“Having the middle school kids be able to attend so many meets this season was nice,” said Boos. “That’s such a good group of kids. They were enthusiastic and I hope they’ll stay with the sport and come out again next year.”