Panther runners earn 6th at Moffat County Invite

Rangely twin sophomores Tanner and Dale Nielsen both ran personal best times last Saturday in Craig. Dale ran the course in 18:15 and finished in 11th place and Tanner placed right behind his twin, nine seconds later. The Rangely Panther cross country team is currently ranked sixth in the state’s 2A classification. The Panthers will run in Fruita this Saturday.
The Panther Cross Country team traveled to Craig this past weekend to participate in the Moffat County Invitational. With five other meets being held on the Western Slope last weekend, the meet was relatively small with teams from Craig, Steamboat, Rifle, Vernal and Rangely participating. Small doesn’t mean less competitive however, as any time Moffat County is competing in an event it will be competitive as they have some of the top ranked runners in 4A. That being said, Rangely is building its own tradition and came into this meet ranked sixth in 2A and with 5th ranked William Scoggins leading the way.
With injuries and conflicting schedules, Alexis Silva was the only girl runner to represent the Panthers at this event. She toed the line at 10 a.m. Saturday morning with 33 other runners and began the 3.1 mile course with the crack of the starter’s gun. Silva had a great first mile and held strong to improve her time from last week in Gunnison. As a first year runner she continues to improve weekly.
Forty-eight Panther boys lined up to race the Loudy-Simpson Park course including: William Scoggins, Dale Nielsen,Tanner Nielsen, Mitchell Webber and Marshall Way. Scoggins, a junior, finished the course in 17 minutes 24 seconds, earning a top 10 t-shirt from the host school and a fourth place finish. Sophomore Dale Nielsen finished the course in 18:15, a personal record which earned him an 11th place finish.
Tanner Nielsen ran his best race ever as well with a time of 18:24 and completed the race in 12th place. Freshman Mitchell Webber improved his best race time by nearly 40 seconds, finishing the race in 34th place in a time of 21:14. Dual sport freshman athlete Marshal Way also had a personal best time. He clocked in with 24:36 placing him in 45th place.
The boys’ team is now ranked sixth in the state and is looking forward to traveling to Fruita this next weekend for the Anna Banana Memorial Wildcat invitational where they will compete in one of largest western slope meets. Honoring a fallen runner, this a fun course for the runners. The course is fast and flat and the athletes are all shooting for personal records at this meet.