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RBC — This was the first year the Colorado High School Activities Association created a fourth classification for the state cross country meet and runners from Rio Blanco County took advantage of the opportunity.
“They all ran strong and finished the season strong,” Rangely head cross country coach Erin Geer said after the state meet last Saturday in Fort Collins.
The state meet was held at Fossil Ridge High School, where all four classifications competed.
The Panthers qualified three boys and one girl and the three boys finished 10th as a team.
Although the Panthers finished 10th as a team, a Meeker Cowboy was the first Rio Blanco County runner to cross the finish line.
Cowboy senior Terrence Casias ran the 3.1-mile course in 18:36.37, a personal best and good enough for 24th place in the field of almost 70 runners.
“It was awesome,” Meeker head coach Kris Casey said of Casias’ performance. “I’m so proud of Terrence. We hoped he would finish in the top 25 and he did. It’s so cool.”
Geer felt the same as Casey.
“I’m proud of all of them,” Geer said.
Rangely senior Hyrum Byers was the first Panther to cross the finish line. Byers ran the course in 19:01.32, which put him in 32nd place.
“He’s an iron-man and our number one runner,” Geer said. “He played football on Fridays and ran on Saturdays. He played his last football game last night and got here at 4:30 a.m. and ran.”
Rangely’s Blake Wanstedt placed 48th with a time of 19:46.72, combined with Devon Rose’s placing and time
of 20:14.17, were both personal best
and helped give the Panthers a top 10 finish.
Rangely’s Rosalise Coombs was the only girl from Rio Blanco County to qualify. The Panther sophomore finished the race in 24:38.81.