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Wood River Cross-Country Runners Cap Season at State
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Friday, November 17, 2023
 

By KEITH WILSON

Wood River Cross-Country recently traveled to Lake Walcott State Park for the 4A District IV Championship. Anticipation was high and yellow leaves drifted down as the team stood on the start line with Burley, Canyon Ridge, Jerome, Minico, Mountain Home, and Twin Falls.

In order to qualify for state, an individual runner needs to finish in the top third fastest times. This year, the numbers meant the first 16 competitors to cross the finish line would go.

The girls--Scout Kendall, Becca Atienza, Hannah McLaren, Lucy Jacoby, Elli Siegel, and Mabel Thompson--walked side by side head into the sun beaming on the green field. Their smiles turned to ferociousness as the gun pointed to the sky and the race was on.

All the girls put up a decent fight with McLaren crossing the finish line first among the Wood River group. She finished in 21st place out of 75 with a time of 22:14.02. Close behind was Mabel Thompson in 23rd place with a time of 22:14.02.

Expectations were high for their male counterparts, especially for Matt Wilde, a junior, and Emmett Stouffer, a senior. While Wilde is new to the team and has had State on his mind for the duration of the season, Stouffer has been chasing qualification for state his entire high school career.

If nerves and raw energy weren’t longing enough for the blast of the gun allowing for release, the first click had no boom, no gunpowder, no excelling forward for the seven teams. When they did begin, Stouffer maintained 15th place, pulling Wilde along in 16th. Excitement picked up at the finish line after the first ten boys crossed the line and Stouffer was next, in a final push to finish 11th with Wilde in 13th.

The State Tournament took place two weeks later on a blustery cold day at the Portneuf Wellness Center in Pocatello.

Matt Wilde finished with a time of 17 minutes and 28 seconds—good enough for 49th place in the Boys 5000m 4A Varsity where the top score was 15:38.02. Stouffer finished in 18:05.13, coming in 78th

Sun Valley Community School’s Ben Haynes finished with a time of 18:09.81 in the Boys 5000 Meter Run 2A Varsity, while John Harris finished with 18:10.00 and Stratton Cunningham posted a time of 18:11.37. The winning time in that race was 15:52.74.

Mykayla Wesley finished the 5000 meter run for girls in 21:01.16.

 


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