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Just as they have been doing all season long, the Rangely Panther cross country teams showed that they are a tough, competitive group of runners as they competed in the Colorado 2A Region 4 Championships. With limited state qualifying spots on the line, the Panthers lined up with runners from all across the Western Slope to race the fast 5K course at Confluence Park in Delta, Colorado.
Mary Scoggins went out strong and ran a smart race, finishing fourth overall with a time of 20 minutes 47 seconds to snatch an individual spot at the state championships this weekend. Dixie Rhea, Annika Cantrell, and Rylee Allred wrapped up great season’s of their own. Rhea finished in 26:03, Cantrell in 28:09, and Allred ran a season best time by nearly two minutes with a 30:02.
Shortly after the girls finished racing, the boys lined up with a chip on their shoulder. Despite a strong regular season of running, the team was ranked eighth in the region and not expected by many to contend for one of the top four team finishes that would qualify them for the state championships. However, led by three runners finishing in under 20 minutes, the Rangely Panthers surprised just about everyone as they finished as the 2A Region 4 runners-up. Andrew Dorris placed ninth in 18:19, Alex Black was 13th in 18:49, Colton Noel finished 21st in 19:13, Fisher Widner took 49th in 20:59, and Kevin Wren was 50th in 21:20.
“It was super fun to see the boys finish second,” said head coach Beth Scoggins. “I’m so proud of them and excited not only for this weekend, but for the team’s future. The boys state team is made up of two juniors and three sophomores, so we’re looking at the possibility of returning everyone next year.”
The Panthers are expecting to run hard, continue to surprise people, and enjoy the state experience. The team will be looking to Mary Scoggins and Colton Noel, who are making returns to the state meet.