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PHS boys fifth, girls sixth at state meet

The Powell High School cross country teams hit the finish line for the final time Saturday, as the boys claimed fifth and the girls sixth at the Wyoming High School Activities Association Cross Country State Championships held in Sheridan.

Coach Cliff Boos was pleased with his teams’ efforts. Powell ran at Sheridan in the second meet of the year, and all the runners picked up the pace when they ran the course for the second time.

“Everybody improved by at least one minute from last time, some by two, some by three minutes,” Boos said.

He said the runners set a goal to improve, and they did all season long. They finished with better team scores than the Panthers posted at last year’s state meet, too.

“That’s to me the important thing,” Boos said. “It shows what they were capable of achieving. Nice to see that. That was the goal all season and they really worked at it.”

Zander Andreasen, wrapping up a strong career, was Powell’ first runner across the line, finishing 14th in 17:20.62.

Ben Wetzel claimed 21st place in 17:45.07 while Matt Abraham finished 29th in 18:02.21, Grant Nickles was 42nd in 18:32.37, Tyson Wages was 47th in 18:46.60, Quin Wetzel was 61st in 19:34.18 and Matthew Waite was 67th in 20:00.30 Robby Burke suited up and was the team’s alternate.

Star Valley High School won the boys’ race with 60 points, followed by Jackson Hole with 64, Newcastle with 68, Cody with 114 and Powell with 153. Fourteen teams competed.

Bailey Sanders, in 13th place, was the Panthers’ top girl runner in 21:05.41

Sanders’ health was a factor all season, but she was “much stronger at the end,” Boos said.

“To have all those injuries and all those kids with problems, that’s really gratifying to see,” he said. “Our boys, same thing.” 

Teo Faulkner was 31st in 22:15.30, Kiley Cannon was 41st in 23:16.35, Sierra Morrow finished 45th in 23:28.52 and Carly Klein was 58th in 24:42.21.

Cody won the girls’ race with 47 points. Star Valley was second with 62, followed by Jackson Hole with 63, Buffalo with 132 and Douglas with 133. Powell scored 152 points, as nine teams ran in the race.

“I was just so glad the girls were able to run as a team, and do so well, get sixth out of all those teams,” Boos said.

He said they worked hard in the weight room to improve their conditioning.

“It was so good to see that attitude that they had,” he said.

The conditions were “absolutely perfect,” warm and pleasant, Boos said. “Just an ideal day. Couldn’t have a better day for running.”

Powell’s runners were supported by a solid contingent of family members and fans, and he said that was appreciated as well. Powell loses four boys and two girls, but the top three girls are all back, and two will be sophomores. The boys will also see several returnees, so Boos said the 2014 cross country teams will be competitive.

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