East Grand runners head to the high plains
East Grand endurance athletes got back into the swing of things this weekend with the Platte Valley XC Invitational, held Saturday at Platte Valley High in Kersey.
It was the Panthers first competition after finishing up their home meet at Snow Mountain Ranch the previous Saturday.
“Platte Valley was a flat course,” explained Scott Hicks, Middle Park’s cross country team head coach. “But not overly fast.”
His said the runners from Middle Park, “worked hard” during the meet and managed to maintain and improve their race positions throughout the day. According to Hicks all Middle Park runners posted season-best performances Saturday though both the boys and girls teams were a bit thinner than usual.
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The Middle Park boys squad was missing runner Aaron Sanders while the lady Panthers were even more shorthanded. East Grand sent seven male runners to the meet along with five females athletes, who competed against 202 listed runners representing 14 different schools. In the team standings the lady Panthers finished eighth with a 185 team score. The Panther boys wrapped up the day with an 11th place team finish and a 303 team point tally.
Eric Berry was Middle Park’s fasted running and posted a 29th individual finish with a 19:22.56 course time. He was followed closely by his teammate Brevik Petersen who finished 44th individually after posting a 19:54.28 run time. Sophomore Dylan Cormican was Middle Park’s third fastest male runner. Cormican finished 74th individually with a time of 21:19.02. Senior Ian Knight was not far behind with his 22:50.39 time, which put him in 87th place.
Sophomore Camden Burns was the next finisher for Middle Park. Burns took home a 92nd place individual finish with a time of 23:17.43. Freshman Jonathan Siefken was hot on his heels, finishing less than 10 seconds behind Burns with a 23:26.59 total time and 95th place individual finish. Rounding out Middle Park’s boys team was Chandler Paulk who finished 99th with a 24:56.96 time on the course.
On the girl’s side of things junior Elizabeth Barker was the leading runner for the Panthers. Barker finished in 19th place with a 23:26.27 total course time. Just seconds behind her was senior Raelee Granger who finished 22nd a run time of 23:31.86. A short ways behind them were two more East Grand runners. Freshman Cameryn Friesen and junior Hayley Friesen finished 38th and 39th respectively. Cameryn, whose total time was 24:22.72, finished a bit over one full second ahead of Hayley who ran the course in 24:23.75. Rounding out the lady Panther’s performance Saturday was freshman Maggie Barker who finished 90th with a 29:40.53 time.
Hicks said he is excited about the outlook for the season and is expecting big things from the athletes of Middle Park later this year.
“The girls are nearly ready to make a good charge for the league title,” Hicks stated before adding both the boys and girls teams have, “a tough week of practice ahead”.
According to the meet schedule provided by Coach Hicks the Panthers next meet will be held Saturday in Craig as Middle Park’s runner compete in the Moffat County Invitational. The Frontier League Cross Country meet is scheduled for following Friday, October 6, in Denver. After the league meet the Panthers have two additional meets tentatively scheduled for this fall, Regionals at Confluence Park in Delta on Oct. 20 and the State Championships at the Penrose Arena in Colorado Springs on Oct. 28.
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