Blistering heat, big time runners

RIVERTON – Thursday afternoon the 1838 Rendezvous Site was packed to brim with all sorts of colors running around the grassy area, representing multiple schools from all over the state of Wyoming at Riverton High School’s (RHS) annual Berry Bryant / Kyle Johnson Memorial Cross Country meet which celebrated the Riverton senior Cross Country team (below). 

Riverton’s seniors smiled with their roses and their teammates after the annual meet (p/c Carl Cote)

Nearly 20 teams from around Wyoming, including quite a few from Fremont County, sent kids from their middle schools and high schools under a grueling September sun that ended up being one of the toughest factors to the already-tough cross country course. Unlike Casper Mountain and Lander Golf Course, the Berry Bryant / Kyle Johnson meet is very much flat and happened to be taking place on an extremely dry ground that was full of different types of challenges that everyone had to overcome. 

“I think I made a wrong decision wearing my spikes, the course is really uneven,” Lander’s Blue Blackburn said after finishing her race. “I definitely rolled my ankle a couple times.”

“There was some loose sand and gravel and it just felt like you weren’t making any progress,” Powell junior Kinley Cooley said after winning the varsity race. “I felt like I was chugging and chugging and just not getting anywhere.” 

The varsity girls race was underway Thursday afternoon in Riverton at the Berry Bryant. (p/c Carl Cote)

It all started with the younger runners getting in a very tough run on ground that many of the student-athletes described as ‘uneven’ or ‘loose.’ Not only was the ground a tough obstacle to get over, but the heat never left the course which obviously affected some of the runners who could not seem to catch their breath. 

“It’s a great course [even though] it’s a little changed up from last year,” Cody senior Charlie Hulbert said after winning the boys’ varsity race. “I think it’s hard with the heat, it’s definitely harder than the last times i came here but it’s a hard one … it’s dusty [and] it’s rocky.”

“I found myself getting drowned in sweat and there were people out there throwing water on me but you can only do so much … that hurt,” Lander’s Diego Lobatos said. Lobatos ended up placing fifth in the varsity boys’ race, finishing 12 seconds away from being in the top three against some of the toughest competition in the state.

eed McFadden got out in the lead for Lander Thursday at the Berry Bryant in Lander. (p/c Carl Cote)

“The heat was the toughest part, I just don’t like the feeling on my body, mentally [but] the rest was okay,” Wyoming Indian’s Colton SunRhodes added. 

Nobody from Fremont County ended up winning the varsity or junior varsity races, falling to Cody and Powell in the varsity races, but many coaches and runners left happy due to some fast times and the knowledge that state will likely be easier than the course they ran on Thursday. 

“The two fastest guys in the state in 3A are here today … so this was kind of like a pre-State [meet],” Riverton Cross Country coach Tawn Gopp said. “It’s going to come down to who shows up.”

“I’m just going to have faith in myself and what I can do in the next month or so before state,” Lander’s Ameya Eddy (below) said after falling out of the top three on Thursday. “There was some great competition today and I just wasn’t on it today, but our team is strong I know we’ve got this.”

Ameya Eddy turned in a 5th place performance for Lander Thursday at the Berry Bryant. (p/c Carl Cote)

“We have an off meet every once in a while but I’m excited for the rest of the season to see what we can do with the rest of it,” Blackburn added. 

Up next, the Run for the Moccasins Meet at Ethete will take place Friday, September 15 and will likely feature most of the same faces from Thursday’s meet. 

Below is the top five placements from each race at 1838 Rendezvous:

Varsity Boys:
1 Charlie Hulbert 00:16:09.28 – Cody High School
2 Trajn Swalstad 00:16:23.82 – Worland High School
3 Kaden Chatfield 00:17:16.80 – Riverton High School
4 Benjamin Stewart 00:17:21.19 – Cody High School
5 Diego Lobatos 00:17:28.06 – Lander Valley High School

Varsity Girls:
1 Kinley Cooley 00:20:32.46 – Powell High School
2 Jessie Michaels 00:20:46.63 – Burlington High School
3 Zena Tapia 00:20:55.91 – Worland High School
4 Kylee Silva 00:21:05.24 – Cody High School
5 Kenna Jacobsen 00:21:09.73 – Powell High School

Junior Varsity Boys:
1 Krew Neighbors 00:18:52.57 – Worland High School
2 Cole Keller 00:19:06.98 – Thermopolis High School
3 Cade Webster 00:19:07.65 – Kelly Walsh High School
4 Rylan Duffy 00:19:23.99 – Kelly Walsh High School
5 Keaton Wright 00:19:24.32 – Kelly Walsh High School

Junior Varsity Girls:
1 Julia Nelson 00:22:14.77 – Cody High School
2 Jordan Black 00:23:10.34 – Powell High School
3 carlee Roth 00:23:18.21 – Thunder Basin High School
4 Elise Kropatsch 00:23:19.77 – Kelly Walsh High School
5 Brooklyn Brooks 00:23:19.92 – Kelly Walsh High School

Middle School Boys:
1 Kellen Winters 00:09:23.72 – Burlington Middle School
2 Alex Werner 00:09:44.61 – Powell Middle School
3 Ridge Rieman 00:09:45.12 – Riverton Middle School
4 Ammon Gevas 00:10:01.67 – Thermopolis Middle School
5 Jude Dellinger 00:10:02.86 – Lander Middle School

Middle School Girls:
1 Raina Wachob 00:10:04.65 – Cody Middle School
2 Dorothy Jensen 00:10:08.65 – Lander Middle School
3 Autymn Bates 00:10:38.22 – Cody Middle School
4 Danielle Foote 00:10:47.01 – Cody Middle School
5 Leanne Croft 00:10:49.06 – Worland Middle School

Below, enjoy some photos courtesy of WyoToday photographer Carl Cote: