Panthers runners take 2nd at South Routt invite
Middle’s Parks distance runners got back into action over the weekend with the South Routt County Invitational in Oak Creek hosted by Soroco.
It was the second meet of the year for the Panthers, which got the season underway in late August with a county dual in Kremmling between East and West Grand school districts.
Saturday’s meet in Oak Creek featured three different teams, Middle Park, Lake County and Soroco, represented by a total of 30 runners between both the boy’s and girl’s divisions.
Middle Park Cross Country Head Coach Scotty Hicks referred to the Oak Creek course, which was located in the Rossi Meadows open space in Oak Creek, as a “slow course.” The young runners spent the entirety of the race on grass surfaces and contended with numerous ditches on their way to the finish line.
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The Panther girls took home a second-place finish for the day, losing to Lake County by a single point.
The top Panther runner on the girl’s side was Lizzy Barker who came in second with a 24:44 total time.
Freshman runner, Cameryn Friesen, was close behind, finishing third in the girl’s division with a 24:51 total time.
“The girls looked good, despite the heat,” Hicks commented. “We have some work to do in regards to fitness, but we showed some depth that will be much needed come October.”
The Panther boys also took home a second-place finish in Oak Creek.
Leading the charge for the boys was Aaron Sanders who wrapped up the meet with a fourth-place finish and a total race time of 21:18.
“A bunch of rookie guys finished their first official 5K race,” Hicks said. “It was fun to see them work in a way they hadn’t before. I think it was harder than they anticipated. I look forward to seeing them grow as runners.”
Hicks did not have to wait long to see how his runners performed following Saturday’s meet.
On Tuesday the Panthers will head over Berthoud Pass to Idaho Springs for the Clear Creek Gold Digger Dash, and this Saturday, Sept. 16, the Panthers will be staying home for the annual Middle Park Invitational. That race’s action kicks off at 9 a.m. at YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch, just south of Granby.
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