The Powell High School cross country squads collectively didn’t have the conference meet they might have hoped for on Friday, each taking seventh place in Class 3A West. But the Panthers still …
The Powell High School cross country squads collectively didn’t have the conference meet they might have hoped for on Friday, each taking seventh place in Class 3A West. But the Panthers still had several strong showings in Riverton, highlighted by an All Conference run by junior Kabrie Cannon.
“We had a bit of an off week in some respects, but we also had some really good performances,” said PHS head coach Ashley Hildebrand.
Cannon took 10th place with a time of 21:16.80 and “ran a really tough race!” Hildebrand said.
“She was in the top seven for most of the race, but was really struggling at the end of the race with [a] stomach issue,” the coach said. “She hung on for 10th, which is a testament to her fitness level and drive to compete.”
Daniel Merritt led the boys with a 19th-place finish, running the Riverton course in 18:21.55. Joey Hernandez finished 11 seconds behind Merritt to take 24th. Hernandez and fellow teammates Cole Frank, Chance Franks and Lane Franks all bettered their times on the Riverton course from an event earlier in the season.
The Panthers did showcase their depth: The PHS boys team was one of only three squads where every runner posted times right at 20 minutes or better.
“We had several great performances this week!” Hildebrand said.
Riley McKeen posted an all-time personal best of 23:45.60, good for the second-best time among the Panther girls and 35th place. Meaghan McKeen, who “is consistently improving,” and Hailee Hyde also ran season bests, Hildebrand noted. Hyde “was hurting during the race too, but really persevered to run a good time,” the coach said.
The Panther girls were at a bit of a disadvantage, featuring only five runners instead of the full set of seven.
“Our girls’ team was without Gabby Thomas this week, who is resting an injury,” Hildebrand said. “She is our No. 2 runner, so not having her definitely impacted our team score.”
The Powell girls’ five finishes added up to 166 points, which placed the team seventh out of seven squads.
Led by Riley Smith — who won the race by nearly a minute with a time of 18:59.23 — the Cody girls took the conference title. The Fillies posted a team score of 51, followed by Star Valley at 73.
Lander Valley handily took the boys’ title with a total score of 28 points — comfortably ahead of runner-up Lyman’s 87 points. The entire Lander lineup ran well, with all seven Tigers finishing in the top 15 — including four of the top six times.
Star Valley’s Peter Visser took the individual title, 15:47.33, finishing 37 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
The Powell boys finished seventh out of eight teams with 147 points.
“I expected the boys team to place higher than they did,” Hildebrand said, “but I think they will bounce back [this] week and move up in the team scores.”
On Saturday, the PHS cross country squads will head to Star Valley for the Class 3A State Cross Country Championship, where they’ll face a challenging Afton course.
1. Lander Valley 28
2. Lyman 87
3. Mountain View 101
4. Star Valley 105
5. Riverton 132
6. Cody 136
7. Powell 147
8. Green River 163
19. Daniel Merritt 18:21.55
24. Joey Hernandez 18:32.95
33. Tyler Pfeifer 19:03.99
34. Chance Franks 19:04.77
37. Cole Frank 19:17.28
43. Riley McKeen 19:33.81
46. Lane Franks 20:00.78
1. Cody 51
2. Star Valley 73
3. Lander Valley 78
4. Mountain View 82
5. Lyman 115
6. Green River 117
7. Powell 166
10. Kabrie Cannon 21:16.80
35. Meaghan McKeen 23:45.60
37. Madelyn Horton 24:19.32
40. Hailee Hyde 24:40.68
44. Jozi Simpson 27:12.30