Beautiful weather in Worland allowed for the Powell Panthers to run some personal best times on Thursday, with the Panther girls finishing second in the team standings and the boys showing huge time …
Beautiful weather in Worland allowed for the Powell Panthers to run some personal best times on Thursday, with the Panther girls finishing second in the team standings and the boys showing huge time drops to end September.
Leading the way for Powell for the first time this season was Karee Cooley, who ran a personal best 20:04.1 to finish seventh overall.
“Karee has been strong for us all season and has shown great potential to be a front-runner,” coach Ashley Hildebrand said.
Hildebrand added that Karee’s time moved her into No. 5 on the Panther all-time top 10 list.
Close behind in ninth and 10th were older sister Kinley Cooley (20:10.28) and Kenna Jacobsen (20:17.31).
Hildebrand said she expects those two to move their times down over the coming weeks as the team begins to bring down the volume.
Fourth across in 14th was Myah Rakness, who finished with a massive personal best time of 20:55.29.
“Myah’s best time prior to this race was 22:04, so it was so good to see this first year runner really start to run fast at this time of the year,” Hildebrand said.
The fifth runner across for Powell was Melissa Merritt, who ran a 21:12.15 to earn a 19th place finish and Hildebrand expects her to continue dropping time down into the 20s in the coming weeks.
The final two runners came in one behind the other — with Jordan Black in 25th (21:55.89) and Shelby Zickefoose in 26th (21:58.8).
Powell finished second as a team with 48 points, behind first place Cody which had 28 but well ahead of third place Buffalo which had 69.
“We have the strongest team that we have ever had and are consistently scoring well, but Cody is very fast,” Hildebrand said. “We are hoping to close that scoring gap as we get closer to conference and state.”
The boys only had two runners competing in the varsity race, where Liam Taylor had a huge breakthrough and ran a 17:10.67 to finish ninth overall.
“We are very excited to see what Liam can do in these next few weeks,” Hildebrand said.
She said that moved Taylor into the top 10 and earned him the sixth spot all time at PHS.
The other runner for Powell was Korbyn Warren, who was near a personal best and finished with an 18:02.
“Korbyn was not very happy with his time and is very determined to bring that down in the near future,” Hildebrand said. “He is a strong and determined runner and we think he has the potential to also break into the top 10 list very soon.”
The junior varsity race had Brynn Hillman placing fourth (22:20.68) as she continued to return to form after an injury.
Gracie Wolff finished ninth (22:58.37), Salem Brown was 13th (23:19.43) in her first action since returning from injury and Ashlee Jacobsen finished 16th (23:41.82) to nearly finish in a personal best time.
For the boys, Colin Wilson came in ninth and ran a personal best of 19:13.45.
“Colin has been running very aggressively and we think he will go under 19 very soon,” Hildebrand said.
Nathan Varian finished in 29th (20:44.4), Thomas Shuman finished in 32nd (21:03.26) and Jon Hawley finished 40th (22:06.77).
Powell will stay local this week, with the Panther Invitational on Friday at 1 p.m. at the Powell Golf Club.
That will feature the middle school conference meet prior beginning at noon along with junior varsity races.