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Panthers take ninth at state cross country meet

The Powell High School cross country teams raced to ninth place finishes at the 2012 3A championship meet in Douglas on Saturday. Andrew Feller had the day’s top finish for the Panthers, placing 19th individually in the boys’ race.

“It was nice to see Drew go out and run well after struggling with illness at state as a junior,” said Panther cross country coach Cliff Boos. “You always like to see a kid go out as a senior with their best race at state.”

Feller clocked a time of 18:28 on the 5K state course. That got him to the finish line six seconds faster than Powell teammate Zander Andreasen, who finished in 20th position for the Panthers.

The race was won by Cody junior Devyn Brotherton in a time of 17:13, eight seconds faster than anyone else in the field.

“Zander really committed to training over the summer, so I was glad to see that really pay off for him, not only at state but throughout the season,” said Boos. “If he sticks with it, I think he’ll be in a position to go after a state medal next year.”

The Panthers endured a wait of more than a minute after Andreasen crossed the finish line. Powell’s next runner was Mat Abraham, 46th in a time of 19:50. Ben Wetzel, running his first year of high school cross country as a sophomore, was 60th in a time of 20:28. Grant Nickles placed 69th in a time of 20:46.

Rounding out Powell’s state lineup of runners were Quin Wetzel (73rd, 21:31) and Chase Wellner (78th, 21:50). A total of 97 runners stepped into the starting chute for the race.

On the girls’ side of the competition, sophomore Bailey Sanders placed 25th overall to give the Panthers their best finisher in the race. Sanders clocked a time of 22:33, well off the pace of race winner Hailey Ricks of Star Valley. Ricks, a senior, scored a 43-second victory over the next-fastest runner, completing the course in 19:42.

“Bailey has been the only one of our girls’ runners who has really been able to run all season,” said Boos. “We’ve had so many injuries and such throughout the season. We had to resort to all sorts of training methods to try and get people healthy this year.”

Senior Tess Mitchell placed 55th for the Panthers in a time of 25:18. Not far behind was Sierra Morrow in 59th place with a time of 26:15. Carly Klein and Alyssa Hildebrand crossed in 64th and 65th position, respectively. Klein’s time of 26:55 put her 16 seconds faster than her senior counterpart of Hildebrand.

Rounding out the Panthers’ lineup was Victoria Grevisse. Grevisse was 69th in a time of 27:44. A total of 73 runners took part in the girls’ 3A championship race.

“The girls ran about the times we expected from them on the state course,” said Boos. “It was nice to see the way they worked all season.”

Star Valley captured state titles in both the girls’ and boys’ varsity races. Jackson hoisted the boys’ runner-up trophy while the girls’ runner-up hardware went to Cody.

Boys’ team standings — Star Valley 57, Jackson 86, Cody 124, Lander 135, Torrington 156, Newcastle 169, Buffalo 197, Worland 213, Powell 214, Douglas 214, Mountain View 272, Glenrock 313, Rawlins 340, Lyman 366.

Note: Powell wins the tiebreak with Douglas to place higher in the final standings.

Girls’ team standings — Star Valley 39, Cody 47, Jackson 91, Buffalo 136, Douglas 149, Newcastle 152, Torrington 156, Glenrock 205, Powell 238, Lyman 264.

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