The Fox and Hounds Invitational differed from all of the year’s other races in that the long distance racers began in a staggered format; one varsity runner from each team lined up to start, followed by another set of runners every 20 seconds, until there were no more. The team members with the slowest times began first, with the fastest times starting last — hence the name Fox and Hounds, with the fastest runners trying to catch those who began the race ahead of them.
The Panthers finished in second with 32 points, just three points behind the Cody Broncs. Buffalo came in third with 77 points and Lovell was fourth with 93.
Alan Merritt was first on the Panther team to cross the finish line and second overall with a time of 17:27.87.
Tyler Pfeifer was second on the team and fourth overall with a time of 18:06.61.
Third on the team and sixth overall was Joey Hernandez, who posted a time of 18:17.80.
Jayden Yates was fourth on the team and ninth overall, running the 3.1 miles in 18:49.79.
Fifth on the team and 11th overall was Jesse Erickson with a time of 18:59.07.
The top five placers on the team determine the team score with their individual places added up for the total number of team points.
Eyob Robirds placed 14th with a time of 19:45, Dylan Cordes ran the race in 20:11.18 for 18th place, Matthew Hobbs was 23rd in 20:49.09, Lane Franks ran in 21.07.19 for 24th place, Riley McKeen was 28th with a time of 21:53.29, Jaxton Braten came in with a time of 21:56.00 for 29th and Ethan Thiel finished 31st in 23:08.43.
Three Lady Panthers competed in the Fox and Hounds Invitational, not enough to quality for a team score.
Kayla Kolpitcke finished third overall with a time of 21:18.93.
Abby Landwehr finished 19th with a time of 24:45.69 and Jenna Merritt finished 35th with a time of 28:04.01.
After competing in six races this season, the long distance runners will get to run at home on Friday at the Powell Golf Club at 4 p.m. It will be the last race of the regular season as the following week, Oct. 13, is the 3A West Conference meet in Mountain View.