AUDUBON — A strong cross country season continued for Panorama Thursday, with the Panther girls winning the Wheeler Invitational while the boys squad continued to show steady improvement.
“Fifteen of the 28 runners who had run this course previously improved their time, most by over a minutes and some by as many as three minutes,” head coach Greg Thompson said. “They did this despite the conditions, with temps in the low 90’s, 60 percent humidity and strong winds, being some of the worst we have ever competed in. Overall, the times weren’t impressive, but with this course and the conditions that wasn’t important — the places and the effort were what was important. I thought they competed very well.”
Class 1A No. 9 Panorama recorded 39 points to best AC/GC’s 55 and Tri-Center’s 56 for top girls team honors. Riverside was fourth at 122, Nodaway Valley fifth at 129 and Audubon sixth at 138.
Ella Waddle broke teammate Brianna Hoffman’s school record on the course by placing second overall in 20 minutes and 23 seconds. Ranked 12th in 1A, Waddle was only 16 seconds behind winner and top-ranked Kate Crawford of AC/GC.
Freshmen twins Gwen and Olivia Steffen were sixth and ninth, respectively, in 23:40 and 24:36. Hoffman was 12th in 25:16, with junior Bryn Steffen 13th in 25:45 to cap the scoring. Molly Simmons (26:26) and Chloe Webster (26:36) were 17-18 for the varsity, as all seven Panther girls earned a medal (awarded to the top 20 finishers).
Jaelyn Waddle (26:43), Abby Cobb (26:44), Taylor Rishel (29:29) and Maddie Knapp (31:56) ran for the Panther junior varsity.
“The depth of the girls team was evident with all seven earning medals without Devyn (Kemble) finishing the race and with Brianna not feeling well,” Thompson said.
“The boys depth is developing,” he added. “The number four through seven and eight guys are sticking together and moving up from where they were at the beginning of the season.”
Top-ranked powerhouse Nodaway Valley’s 27 points won the points varsity race, with No. 13 AC/GC second at 52. Tri-Center (64), Panorama (112), IKM-Manning (125) and Riverside (187) completed the field.
Josh Carstens broke teammate Danny Nordquist’s school record for the course by crossing fifth in 18:43, with Nordquist 19th in 19:45. Kaleb Randel (30th, 20:44), Emry Colby (33rd, 21:16) and Noah Kirtley (34th, 21:25) were the other scorers for the Panthers, with Sam Webster (35th, 21:32) and Erik Olsen (36th, 21:42) also posting a varsity time.
Colton Stogdille (22:33), Levi Richey (22;39) and Lucas Wasson (23:50) led the boys JV team for Panorama. Paul Hansen (25:12), Logan Christe (27:33), Drew Hafner (28:34) and Brady Howard (37:23) also ran for the Panthers.
A two-mile junior high race was also held.
Payton Beckman and Laci Rishel finished in 15:56 and 16:15, respectively, to win the top two spots. Grace Webner (17:38) was fourth, Patricia Underwood (21:16) eighth, Ella Knapp (22:17) ninth and Gracie Phillips (24:31) 12th.
Kevin Cogil was second for the boys squad in 14:30. Ethan Olsen (12th, 17:54), Avery Norman (13th, 19:31) and Jordan Wehmeyer (15th, 20:10) also competed for the Panthers.
Panorama will return to competition Thursday with an appearance in the West Central Valley Invitational.