Competing at the huge Wayne Chaney Memorial in Gillette Friday, the Lovell Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs more than held their own among hundreds of runners.
Eighth-grader Brent Snyder placed fourth out of 157 runners in the middle school race, running a time of 11:46.16 to be named the middle school runner of the week for the Lovell program.
“I was really impressed,” Coach Caleb Sanders said. “Out of 157 kids he takes fourth. It was his best time. He’s never gone under 12 (minutes) before. It’s a 3,000-meter course, so it’s a touch shy of two miles. He ran 12:44 last year.
“He’s strong mentally and he’s very goal oriented. And he comes from a running background. His dad (Ben) runs.”
Placing a strong 24th was eighth-grader Kyle Wolvington with a time of 12:54.78.
“That’s very, very good,” Sanders said. “Last year he ran 13:59.”
Sixth-grader James Caldwell raised some eyebrows by placing 32nd with a time of 13:07.98, and seventh-grader Brenden Lundberg was 44th at 13:36.21, eighth-grader Ben Cornia 49th at 13:46.98 and seventh-grader Hunter Steenbakkers 53rd at 13:52.19. Sixth?-?grader Richard Spann ran 17:30.38.
“I imagine James was one of the top sixth-graders, if not the top one,” Sanders said, “and Brenden ran 14:21 last year, Ben 15:02.
“We had six in the top third of the race.”
In the girls middle school race, first-year eighth-grader Jessica Caldwell finished a respectable 37th out of 142 runners with a time of 14:41.63.
“Jessica works hard and has a ton of potential,” Sanders said. “She has great running form. I think she’s going to be a great runner if she sticks with it.
Sixth-grader Lauren Mitchell placed 62nd with a time of 15:32.03, and sixth-grader Patti Sanders was close behind in 65th place at 15:35.94. Both were competitive, the coach said. Allie Burton ran 17:25.94, Megan Cornia 17:46.05, Bailey Mitchell 18:53.96 and Sariah Martin 19:59.51.
High school races
The high school runner of the week is sophomore Jaclyn Caldwell, who placed 23rd in the girls varsity race with a time of 21:25.70, hot on the heels of senior teammate Kim Robertson, who finished 21st at 21:25.01.
“They ran the same time. It came down to 100ths of a second,” Sanders said. “Jaclyn was well behind her at first, but she moved up and was kind of just off her shoulder the last mile and a half. They ran together the whole last half of the race.
“It was a larger and harder course than Billings, and she (Jaclyn) runs 50 seconds faster. She’s heading in the right direction. Kim took a step back this week.”
In the boys varsity race the Bulldogs were without junior AJ Dickson, who was competing in a race in Utah with friends and family, but sophomore Jacob Newman placed 35th with a time of 18:29.60.
“Jacob was disappointed in his time,” Sanders said. “His first mile was 5:26, which is about 15 seconds too fast. Those 15 seconds cost him 45 seconds in the end, and maybe 17 places.”
Junior Mysen McArthur ran 20:22.39, Andrew Mayes 21:43.17 and Alex Sawaya ran 22:15.33.
In the junior varsity boys race, Joey Bassett ran 22:22.52, Dillon Schneider 22:45.73, McKay Mayes 23:38.88, Derek Phelps 25:02.86, Konner Davis 26:28.23 and Dylan Ohman 26:41.85.
As for the girls junior varsity race, Jazmyn See ran 26:48.79, Afton George 28:30.49 and Caitlyn Lundberg 28:58.06.
The girls JV made improvements compared to Billings,” Sanders said, “but the JV boys didn’t make the jump.
The harriers will be off this weekend but will compete Monday at the annual Rocky Mountain Invitational held at the Foster Gulch Golf Course. Running begins at 4 p.m. with the middle school race.
Thursday, the Lovell team will travel to Worland for the Worland Invitational. Running begins at 4 p.m.
Sanders said a few runners may also compete in the Byron Half Marathon and 10K on Saturday, Sept. 28.
by David Peck