A unique race style allowed for the Powell Panther cross country team to regain its footing against Wyoming competition — as the girls finished second and the boys seventh at the Foxes and …
A unique race style allowed for the Powell Panther cross country team to regain its footing against Wyoming competition — as the girls finished second and the boys seventh at the Foxes and Hounds in Cody last Thursday.
The race began with the junior varsity runners taking off first, followed by waves of varsity runners — allowing a wider variety of runners the opportunity to cross the finish line in the top 10, which several Panther runners accomplished.
“This unique racing format sends all of the JV runners off with the starting gun, then every 20 seconds one of the seven varsity runners are sent off to chase them,” coach Ashley Hildebrand said. “The first 10 runners across the line get a T-shirt, so those JV runners have a chance to cross the line ahead of the varsity if they don’t get caught.”
Jordan Black started off in the junior varsity pack and held off nearly every runner in the race, crossing the finish line second with her best time of the season at 21:45.43.
Karee Cooley was the next across as the No. 3 varsity runner — finishing in 20:22.12 as the sixth runner across the line.
The final Panther getting a shirt for the girls was Shelby Zickefoose, who ran a season best 22:03.01 and crossed the line ninth.
The overall standings showed Kinley Cooley returning as the fastest runner for Powell, finishing in sixth with a 20:09.69.
Just behind was her sister Karee, who finished eighth overall.
Finishing just outside of the top 10 on the day was Kenna Jacobsen, finishing 11th with a 20:40.63.
Melissa Merritt ran a season best time of 21:34.76 to take 17th, while Black was just behind with her in 19th.
Zickefoose was 25th, Maya Rakness was 28th with a time of 22:15.13, Eleasah Horsley was 29th with a 22:22.89 and Brynn Hillman finished in 23:14.46 in her first race in several weeks to round out the top 30.
Gracie Wolff ran a personal best time to take 38th (22:55.24), Ashlee Jacobsen was 47th with a 23:26.66 and Ava Gilliatt was 55th with a personal best time of 24:46.89.
Powell finished just behind Cody in the standings with a score of 57, behind the Fillies’ 40 but ahead of Buffalo’s 82.
The boys did not have any runners cross the line in the top 10, but had a day of personal best times.
Leading the way for the boys was Liam Taylor who finished in 16th (17:38.03), and Korbyn Warren finished in 29th (18:11.95) as the only two varsity runners for Powell.
Nathan Varian placed a personal best time of 19:45.33 to take 55th, Colin Walker also ran a personal best time of 19:58.74 to take 59th, Thomas Shuman was 78th with a personal best 21:15.69 and Jon Hawley ran a season best 22:19.98 to take 90th.
Worland ran away with the boys’ team title with a 47, while Powell finished with a score of 194.
“We were so happy with how well our kids ran coming off of a big week of practice and all of the festivities that go along with homecoming week,” Hildebrand said. “Our varsity runners are competing well and running strong, competitive times. Our JV runners took advantage of the Foxes and Hounds format, running like they were being chased and posted excellent times.”
Powell heads back out on the road to Worland this week, taking part in an invitational on Thursday — with middle school races at 3 p.m. and high school at 4 p.m.