On the track, the Panthers continued to perform as they have throughout the season. Powell’s boys ran away with first-place honors, racking up 229.4 points to finish nearly 70 points in front of runner-up Cody. On the girls’ side, Powell placed second with 126 points as Cody won the meet with 205.5.
The Panthers qualified three additional events for the state meet, extending their list of early qualifiers to 21 this season. Desiree Murray was the lone individual to achieve an automatic qualifier status, placing second in the 400 meters in a time of 1:00.22, two seconds faster than needed to earn a spot in Casper.
Murray also placed second in the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles.
“All three of Desiree’s runner-up finishes were to kids that have the fastest time in the state right now,” Smith noted.
Also qualifying for state were the Panthers’ boys’ and girls’ 4x800 relay teams on Saturday. The foursome of Tess Mitchell, Sierra Morrow, Tally Wells and Kassey MacDonald finished eight laps of the Cody track in a time of 10:21.63. The time was more than half a minute faster than the qualifying time needed to earn a spot in the 3A championship field and was just four seconds off the Panthers’ state championship time recorded in the 2010 finals.
Not to be outdone, the boys’ foursome of Tyler McCauley, Justin Lynn, Marshall McArthur and Zach Thiel were almost four seconds faster than needed to earn a place in the state field. The relay placed second in a time of 8:52.82.
Seniors Drew MaGill and Kyle Sullivan again spearheaded the winning effort of the Panther boys. MaGill led a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 meters for Powell as teammates Colby Gilmore and Marco Borja followed him across the finish line. Logan Harsh added an eighth-place time, giving the Panthers four of the eight scorers in that race.
MaGill added wins in the long jump and triple jump and barely missed going 4-for-4 in events with a runner-up finish in the 100 meters.
Sullivan swept the hurdles races, breaking 40 seconds in the 300-meter hurdles. He was part of a 1-2-4 finish for the Panthers in the 110-meter event as Josh Cragoe placed second and Cameron Bennett crossed the line in fourth position. Sullivan also claimed victory in the high jump and was part of the Panthers’ winning 4x400 relay with Cragoe, Thiel and Gilmore.
Justin Lynn added a runner-up finish at 800 meters for the Panther boys while Danny McKearney did the same at 3200 meters. In all, Powell had five of the seven fastest times in the longest of the distance races on Saturday as Feller, Zander Andreason, Bodie Friday and Mat Abraham all found their way toward the front of the race field.
Among Powell’s girls, Marquette McArthur turned in a runner-up finish in the discus with a toss of 108-4. Tally Wells placed second at 3200 meters as Powell turned in three of the five fastest times. Sierra Morrow and Tess Mitchell placed fourth and fifth, respectively.
The Panthers return to action on Thursday in Sheridan. That meet will mark the Panthers’ final opportunity to turn in qualifying times for the Wyoming Track Classic, an annual mid-season showcase open to athletes with the best times, heights and distances recorded so far this season.
The Wyoming Track Classic is scheduled to take place April 29 in Casper.