Panthers take on tough course

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RMS eighth-grader Chris Hogan ran in the snowy mountain in Aspen and finished eighth. Photo by Matt Scoggins

RANGELY I The varsity boys’ cross county team was more fortunate than the junior high runners at Aspen’s Chris Severy Memorial Hill Climb. By the time the varsity race started, the snow had melted and the temperature was tolerable. That doesn’t suggest that the race was any easier, though, as the high elevation race held by Aspen High School has a heavy emphasis on “hill climb.” This is a true cross country course with the uneven footing of a mountain trail and steep inclines that keep the runner’s legs driving. A true test for the Rangely harriers, this course provided each athlete with their slowest time of the year and likely the same for all runners. One-hundred seventeen runners from 20 schools attended the race with runners represented from both the Western and Eastern slopes.
On what is considered one of the most difficult courses in Colorado, William Scoggins attacked the hills and finished the race in seventh place for the Panthers in a time of 19 minutes, 11 seconds. While this was his slowest time of the year, he shaved nearly 40 seconds off his time last year on this same course. Dale Nielsen charged through the course in a time of 20:33 crossing the line in 31st place. Tanner Nielsen wasn’t far behind his brother in a time of 21:15 which earned him a 42nd place finish. Freshmen Ethan Allred and Mitchell Webber stayed close together on the grueling course and finished with times of 23:54 and 24:10, respectively. Coming off a great season of golf, dual sport athlete Marshal Way finished the course in a time of 27:38.
The Panthers will be running in Rifle this Thursday and are hoping for a little nicer weather. They are now ranked fourth in the state and look forward to the state qualifying meet in Delta the following Wednesday.