The Middle Park Panthers had a successful weekend down in Pagosa Springs. Making the seven hour trek across the state was well worth the payout, as the boys team qualified for state, as well as crowned the regional champ.
Mark Simmons led the pack out of the gate and never looked back. He ran a course record of 16:40, beating the field by 30+ seconds. Ty Scholl led the chase pack, but was passed by a few opponents in the final quarter, finishing 5th. The pack of Brevik Petersen, Corbin Frick, and Mark Knight scored for the Panthers as well, with Henry Hoyhtya just a few places back.
The Lady Panthers ran with four runners, which did not allow them to score as a team. Alyssa Petersen and Raelee Granger put in best efforts to make the State Meet as individuals, but came up short. Both were in contention through the mile, and Petersen was even in contact with 15th place heading into the final 1000m. Petersen eventually place 21st, Granger back in 31st. Finishing her short XC career was Lauren Burg, who had a great day finishing in 36th place, which was about halfway up the field.
Congratulations to the boys for continuing the season for one more week. A special congrats to Mark Simmons, who clawed his way from being nearly last (the 72nd of 80) finisher in 2012, to Regional Champ in 2015.
Great season to the girls. It was a tough break, but I am proud of each and everyone of you for battling on and off the course.