The Powell High School cross country teams kicked off the 2019 season at Friday’s Billings Invitational at Amend Park, with the boys finishing 11th out of 21 teams and the girls 14th out of 17 …
The Powell High School cross country teams kicked off the 2019 season at Friday’s Billings Invitational at Amend Park, with the boys finishing 11th out of 21 teams and the girls 14th out of 17 teams.
The temps were mild for the meet, which is not always the case for the event.
“Usually it’s 95 degrees up there,” said PHS head coach Cliff Boos. “You’re literally cooking. This year it was in the low 80s, with cloud cover and a breeze. It was perfect.”
Panther junior Tyler Pfeifer finished 20th overall for the boys, with a time of 17:02.06. Kayla Kolpitcke was the top finisher for the Lady Panthers, placing 28th out of 140 runners, with a time of 20:38.86.
Brady Yoder of Dickinson finished in the top spot for boys with a time of 15:13.22, while Helena’s Kylie Hartnett was first on the girls’ side with a time of 17:57.27.
“There were 50 teams invited, so it was a huge event,” Boos said. “A lot of good competition, and it was really good to see everyone there. Some of the teams were huge — Billings West has 120 kids in their program.”
Kolpitcke was a 3A West All-Conference recipient as a junior last season. Her 20:38.86 at the Billings Invite is “a nice time,” according to Boos, and right in line with her state meet time of 20:15.31.
“Kayla knocked over 20 seconds off her time from last year,” Boos said.
Sophomore Kabrie Cannon was second among Lady Panther finishers, placing 46th with a time of 21:39.70.
“Kabrie is looking really good this year. She’s really strong and really focused,” Boos said. “She’s averaging seven-minute miles, which is outstanding. She’s the whole package.”
Cannon was followed by junior Hailee Hyde, who finished 83rd with a time of 23:50.75. Teammate Kaitlyn Decker was just behind at 84th with a time of 23:52.28.
Junior Madelyn Horton placed 104th with a time of 25:57.31, followed by junior Jozi Simpson in 105th place with a time of 26:04.96.
Senior exchange student Greta Artursson rounded out the Lady Panthers’ varsity contingent, placing 107th with a time of 26:18.13.
“That was a really good time for her [Artursson],” Boos said. “She doesn’t have any cross country experience, so that was a great start.”
On the boys’ side, Pfeifer’s time of 17:02.06 was 25 seconds faster than his time in the event a year ago.
Junior Joey Hernandez was 29th with a time of 17:20.42.
“Joey also had a nice improvement on last year’s time,” Boos said. “It’s always so good to see the runners continue to get better from season to season.”
Freshman Daniel Merritt finished 63rd, posting a time of 18:06.70 in his first varsity meet, while sophomore Cole Frank finished 81st with a time of 18:53.44.
“Cole had some injuries last year, so this is really encouraging,” Boos said. “And Daniel definitely has some Merritt in him — you can see that. He ran really well.”
Junior Lane Franks was 91st at 19:06.04, senior Dylan Cordes was 101st with a time of 19:33.49 and junior Isaac Summers finished at 108 with a time of 19:56.78.
The PHS cross country teams are on the road Friday, competing in the Hardin Invitational in Montana.