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September 10, 2015     Lovell Chronicle
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CHRONICLE September 10, 2015 I The Lovell Chronicle I 7 DAVID PECK Rocky Mountain seventh-grader Elsie Wassmer puts on a mighty kick as she nears the finish of the Lovell Invitational cross country meet Thursday at the Foster Gulch Golf Course. DAVID PECK Lovell eighth-grader James Caldwell gives it his all down the stretch during the Lovell Invitational middle school cross country meet Thursday evening at the Foster Gulch Golf Course. Caldwell finished fourth out of 32 runners. BY DAVID PECK The Lovell Mustangs ordered up some perfect late summer weather for their inaugural middle school invitational Thurs- day afternoon at the Foster Gulch Golf Course. Host Lovell, Rocky Mountain, Powell and Cody attended the meet, with 38 girls and 32 boys competing. Lovell had only four boys competing, but James Caldwell placed a strong fourth place with a time of 12:02, not far behind win- ner Colin Queen of Powell (11:37) and a pair of Cody runners. Kincaid Dickson finished 26 with a time of 16:44, Jacob Mangus 28th at 16:48 and Gabe Helm 30 at 18:03. Richard Spann was the top finisher for the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies, placing 12 with a time of 14:14. Close behind him were teammates Zach Simmons in 14th (14:16) and Justin Dausman in 15 (14:17). Landon Stebner was 20th with a time of 15:14. Other Rocky Mountain finishers included George Higgins (22nd, 16:03), Daw- son May (23rd, 16:04), Dylan Escalante (25% 16:40) and Aaron George (32nd, 23:21). In the girls race, Lovell Mustang Lauren Mitchell battled Emma Karhu and finished just two seconds behind the Powell run- ner with a time of 14:07 to place fifth. "For a two-mile race on that course that's an excel- lent time," Lovell coach Ca- leb Sanders said in nam- ing Mitchell as the middle school runner of the week. "We feel good about our girls feeder program. I'm excited about the future of our girls program." Patti Sanders showed a strong kick to place eighth at 15:02, and Raeghan Wacker and Maddisun Steed finished just out of the top 10 at 11 and 12% respectively, running times of 15:21 and 15:23. Sariah Hendershot placed 19th at 16:43. Rocky Mountain's lone runner, Elsie Wassmer, fin- ished 25 with a time of 17:10, and Lovell's Brook- lyn Walker finished 31st at 18:20, Adaline Dickson 37th at 20:56 and Krystalyn Palmer 38 at 32:06. The LMS runners will compete at the Sheri- dan Invitational this Sat- urday, and both squads will compete at the Foster Gulch Golf Course again on Monday, Sept. 21, when the Grizz host the Rocky Mountain Invitational for middle school and high school teams. Action in Sheridan Saturday starts at 10 a.m. with the girls middle school race. Rocky JV runners shine at Billings Invite BY DAVID PECK The Rocky Mountain Grizzlies battled the big boys at the Billings Invita- tional Cross Country Meet Friday, which featured many larger schools from around the area. "As a coach I love the Billings Invitational," coach John Bernhisel said. "It's a massive meet. Lots of schools from all over Mon- tana and Wyoming attend. The competition is intense and our athletes get pushed to great times. Since it is early in the season the run- ners can get a good sense of their potential. "The meet is well or- ganized to handle nearly 1,000 runners. For athletes and parents it is a great setting to realize how popu- lar cross country is and how tough the sport can be." Junior Dominic Twom- ey ran well Friday, finish- ing 46th out of 150 varsi- ty runners with a time of 17:08.22, shaving 2 min- utes off his time at the Cody Invitational the week before, though the Mon- tana course was only slight- ly shorter [] 3 miles vs. Wy- omingDs 3.1 mile course. "Dominic ran OK in Cody, but here he real- ly shined," Bernhisel said. "17:08, even for a three- mile race, is getting into times colleges look at and is a time that will be noticed across the state." Bernhisel named Twomey as the team's boys runner of the week. In the boys junior var- sity race, Rocky Mountain placed 12th out of 22 com- plete teams and 32 squads overall. Junior Zach Milbrad led the way for the Griz- zlies, finishing 70th out of 304 runners with a time of 19:05.28, and senior Ryker Everett, seeing his first ac- tion of the season, was 91st at 19:24.15. Sophomore Jonathan Allred finished 106th with a time of 19:42.59, and ju- nior Spur Hackney wasn't far behind in ll3th place at 19:49.16. Sophomore Lathan May finished 158th with a time of 20:33.94, and senior Josh McCracken was 184th at 21:01.85. Junior Trev- an Lytle finished 202nd at 21:25.76, freshman Isaac Baird 280th at 24:47.69. GIRLS RESULTS Rocky Mountain didn't enter anyone in the girls varsity race, but the Lady Grizz JVs placed eighth out of 19 complete teams and 33 total teams with 265 points, beating Hardin and finishing just behind Casper Natrona. Freshman Grace Wass- mer, this week's girls run- ner of the week, raised eyebrows by placing 43rd out of 255 runners with a time of 22:37.95, and ju- nior Marissa Arnold placed 56th, covering the course in 23:03.31. Junior Livia Hig- gins placed 66th at 23:19.66 and freshman Jacque Leon- hardt 70th at 23:25.11. "Grace ran all through middle school, but this meet isthe first time, in my opinion, that she realized her potential," Bernhisel said. "Everything came to- gether for her and she had a fantastic meet." Burlington sophomore Callin Preator placed 94th with a time of 24:15.77, and fellow Burlington soph Pa- cee Garza finished 148th at 25:49.96. Sophomore Macey George finished 235th at 31:25.96. "Every single runner ran faster than at Cody," Bernhisel said. "Every sin- gle runner ran at least a minute faster. I couldn't have been happier. It's been several years since I've had a combined boys/girls team that is so deep. It's a bit early to start comparing us to other teams around the state, but I'm pretty posi- tive about how we can com- pare to the other 2A schools in Wyoming." Summing up his feel- ings, Bernhisel noted, "Isaac Baird improved by eight minutes (from Cody). That's what I love as a coach, a runner work- ing hard and showing improvement." The Grizzlies will trav- el to Montana this Satur- day for the Hardin Invi- tational with running to begin at 9 a.m., then com- pete in the Lander Invita- tional next Thursday, Sept. 17, at 4 p.m. "Hardin is a big meet," Bernhisel said. "There are a lot of schools from North and South Dakota, a lot of Indian schools. It's another fun meet like the Billings meet." BY DAVID PECK The Lovell Bulldogs couldn't match the sheer numbers of the larger schools competing at the Billings Invitational Fri- day afternoon, but they did show some quality with their two varsity runners and several junior varsity competitors. The Bulldog and Lady Bulldog times were fast, coach Caleb Sanders said, even accounting for the slightly shorter Montana course, at 3 miles rather than Wyoming's 3.1 miles. "The reason everyone ran so good is that in a race with so many runners it feeds your adrenaline and you're always running with someone and the course is lined with spectators," Sanders said. "There's nev- er a point in the race where you're alone." Senior Jaclyn Caldwell placed 14 in the varsi- ty race out of 123 runners with a time of 19:26.10 as Lovell's lone runner. "She has only gone un- der 20 minutes twice, once at State last year with a full 5K," Sanders said. "I was expecting it in a three- mile race, but Wyoming has some good runners and she fared well up there. Time wise it was a real good race for her." In the boys race, soph- omore Brent Snyder was strong for the second straight meet and finished 42nd out of 150 runners with a time of 17:00.58. The Lovell boys were with- out senior Jacob Newman for the second consecutive meet. "Brent ran better than the previous week (18:20 in Cody)," Sanders noted. "I was happy. He started well. His second mile was a struggle, but his third mile was back down time wise." In the girls junior var- sity race, sophomore Jes- sica Caldwell placed sixth out of 255 runners with a time of 20:58.10. []Jessica showed a 2 -minute improvement (from Cody),[] Sanders said. NMaybe she likes that environment. She ran a seven-minute first mile and a touch faster on the last two. She was 30th or 40th after the first half mile but kept moving up and moving up. At the first mile mark she was in the top 10. "The way she ran is my favorite style, when you can be stronger in" the sec- ond half (of the race) and even increase your pace slightly and move up." Coaches named Cald- well as the high school run- ner of the week. Senior Afton George finished 118th with a time of 24:41.84, freshman Megan Cornia 137th at 25:25.50. Sanders noted that George improved her time in Cody by six minutes. Junior Savannah Jol- ley finished 142na with a time of 25:42.03, senior Caitlyn Lundberg 146th at 25:48.66. "That was Caitlyn's and Savannah's first race (of the season), Savannah's first cross country race ever. They both ran really well." Lovell placed 13th out of 19 complete teams and 33 teams overall. In the boys JV race, sophomore Kyle Wolv- ington placed 52nd out of 304 runners with a time of 18:56.15, and fresh- man Brenden Lundberg was 105th at 19:42.55 in his first race of the sea- son, sophomore Ben Cornia 110th at 19:46.74. "That was the biggest improvement from one week to the next that we've seen from Kyle," Sanders said. Freshman Hunt- er Steenbakkers fin- ished 180th at 20:56.43, ju- nior Kyle Burton 266 at 23:34.52 and freshman JR Dickson 286th at 25:42.29. Lovell placed 19th out of 22 complete teams and 32 teams overall. The Bulldogs will trav- el across the Big Horns Saturday for the Sheridan Invitational, with running scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with the girls middle school race.