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April 12, 2011 7:22 am

Leaner Panther teams still strong

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Kadi Cooley takes off after receiving the baton from Karly Thomas on the second leg of the girls’ 4x100 relay on Saturday. Despite missing some points in key events, the Panther girls placed third as a team in Lovell. Kadi Cooley takes off after receiving the baton from Karly Thomas on the second leg of the girls’ 4x100 relay on Saturday. Despite missing some points in key events, the Panther girls placed third as a team in Lovell. Tribune photo by Randal Horobik

Skeleton crew delivers third meet title for Powell boys

Even when less than full strength, the Powell Panthers demonstrated on Saturday that they are still a formidable opponent on the track oval.

With a lineup trimmed by injury and absence and tailored down still further to account for the wet conditions at the start of the meet, the Panthers’ boys’ track team captured its third team title in as many meets with a 149-122 victory over host Lovell on Saturday. Park County rival Cody placed third with 117.5 points.

On the girls’ side, the Panthers placed third, amassing a total of 79 points. Cody ran away with the meet title with 155 points. Lovell placed second with 99 points.

A total of 12 schools attended the meet. 

At least on Powell’s side of things, Saturday’s meet was missing many of the usual big stars. The Panthers emptied their roster of high jumpers, not wanting to take any chances with an infield still wet from overnight rain and snow. Hurdling specialist Desiree Murray did not compete on the girls’ side, while recent UW signee, senior Kyle Sullivan, sat out the 110-meter race.

The Panthers were also forced to juggle relay lineups on Saturday due to various illnesses impacting the projected foursomes in those events.

Despite fielding fewer entries, the Panthers still managed to add to their roster of automatic qualifiers for the state meet. Panther senior Drew MaGill surpassed the qualifying standard in the long jump with an event-winning leap of 20-5 3/4. The mark made the long jump the fourth event MaGill has automatically qualified in for the state meet, tying him with Sullivan for most events qualified to the state championships.

MaGill won two other events on Saturday. His leap of 41-0 3/4 was easily the day’s best mark in the triple jump. In the 200-meter finals, he and Cody’s Colton Wood were clocked in identical times of 23.28 seconds to share first-place honors. Only a runner-up finish in the 100 meters prevented the senior from sweeping his entries on the day.

On the girls’ side, sophomore Tally Wells guaranteed that she’ll be stepping onto the track in Casper for the 3A 1600 meters. Wells placed second in Lovell, but her time of 5:45.93 was more than one second faster than the qualifying time needed to qualify for the state meet. Wells also ran on the Panthers’ winning 4x800 relay with teammates Tess Mitchell, Sierra Morrow and Kassey MacDonald. Wells also finished as the runner-up in the 800 meters.

Powell narrowly missed adding one more automatic qualifier. Freshman weight thrower Garrett Lynch placed third overall with a heave of 46-3 3/4. The distance placed him within 2 inches of an automatic spot at the state field.

As has been the case with earlier meets this season, the Panthers scored a number of points in the throwing events. Powell had three of the top seven boys’ shot put and three of the top four boys’ discus performances on Saturday. On the girls’ side, the Panthers tallied three of the top eight distances in both the shot put and discus rings.

Panther junior Josh Cragoe was the only other Panther to capture an individual event victory on Saturday. Cragoe breezed to a win in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 15.38. Nobody else in the field clocked a time faster than 17 seconds.

Cragoe also carried the baton in Powell’s 4x400 victory. The junior teamed up with Sullivan, Marshall McArthur and Zach Thiel to run four laps of the Lovell track in 3:37.47. The Panthers also took gold in the 4x800 relay. McArthur, Thiel, Tyler McCauley and Zander Andreasen recorded a time of 9:04.37.

Powell’s next track action comes this Saturday in Cody. The weekend was initially slated to be the date of the Panthers’ home meet, but problems with the Powell High School track prompted school officials to move the event to neighboring Cody.

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