Panther cross country has best meet of the season

Posted 9/28/21

Cooler conditions helped the Panther cross country team run personal and season best times at Thursday’s Foxes and Hounds meet in Cody.

The competition had a slightly different format, as …

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Panther cross country has best meet of the season

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Cooler conditions helped the Panther cross country team run personal and season best times at Thursday’s Foxes and Hounds meet in Cody.

The competition had a slightly different format, as the junior varsity runners began the race, with varsity athletes sent out in different groups from slowest to fastest as they attempted to chase the rest of the pack.

The Lady Panthers finished third overall as a team for the meet, with Cody finishing first. The team finished fifth overall, with Buffalo winning the meet.

The Panther girls were once again led by freshman Kinley Cooley who ran a personal record (PR) 20:47, placing ninth overall, while the guys were again led by Riley Schiller who took 13th with a time of 18:30.

“Our girls team had a fantastic day with all of our girls running a personal best time, a season best time or just missing by seconds,” Powell High School head coach Ashley Hildebrand said.

Kabrie Cannon was just behind Cooley as she ran a time of 21:26 to finish in 10th place. 

Brynn Hillman and Jordan Black placed 16th and 17th as they finished in 22:28 and 22:31. Hillman was just off of her PR pace and Black ran to her PR.

Freshman Salem Brown continued her massive improvement, shaving another two minutes off from her previous best from last week, running a 23:48 for 26th place. 

“She is really starting to figure out how to race and it is going to be fun to watch her progress,” Hildebrand said of Brown.

Gabby Thomas ran a season best of 24:09 for the Panthers, coming in 30th place.

Gracie Wolff ran a PR of 24:50. She had a goal of breaking 25 minutes this week; beating the mark by 10 seconds was an impressive accomplishment, Hildebrand said.

Liz Peterson ran a season best time of 27:31, placing 41st.

On the boys’ team, Daniel Merritt  finished just behind Schiller in 18:38, taking 16th overall despite fighting a cold and being unable to find another gear.

Ben Whitlock was the third runner for the Panthers to cross the line, finishing in a PR time of 19:04 and coming in 28th place.

“I look for him to break into the 18s very soon,” Hildebrand said.

Breckin Streeter was fourth for the Panthers, finishing 33rd with a time of 19:39. 

Freshman Liam Taylor was the fifth runner for the team, finishing with a big PR of 20:20 in 39th place.

“Liam [Taylor] missed a few meets because of injury and quarantine, but he is really coming on right now and I believe, with his work ethic, he will continue to improve,” Hildebrand said.

Colton Decker came in 41st with a PR of 20:27. Hildebrand said they talked with Decker all week about what his mile splits needed to be to break 20:30 and he achieved those goals.

Justin Hobbs finished just behind Decker in 42nd, with a time of 20:34.

Stuart Shoopman ran a personal best time of 21:24, Ben Hawley ran PR of 23:48, Caiden Gehrts ran a season best 21:07 and Jon Hawley ran a season best 22:32.

Paul Cox was 2 seconds off of his personal best running a 26:12.

Hildebrand said the boys are missing a few runners due to quarantine and illness, but is hoping they will be back to full strength on Thursday, when the team heads to Worland.

“Coach [Tracy] McArthur and I are very happy with how our runners are performing at this point in the season and how our younger runners are becoming more aggressive and learning how to race,” Hildebrand said. “Worland has a very nice course and our kids love to run there.”

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