Fast races at West Central Valley

Ogden senior Cole Bennett clocked a time of 20:46 at the Wildcat Invitational.        -Ogden Reporter photo from Roland-Story meet

Bulldog cross country coach Ryan Kobliska felt conditions at West Central Valley’s Wildcat Invitational last Thursday were perfect for some fast races. “The course was fairly flat, the weather was much cooler, and the races were competitive,” he said. “ We saw some great effort from our runners, and it all added up to improved race times and some strong team finishes.”

The biggest performance improvements came from the high school girls team, where his seven varsity girls averaged 25:42. This was over two minutes faster than their previous season best.

That progression led to a more competitive team finish in the standings, as they caught a Van Meter team that had been over 40 points ahead of them at earlier meets, and finished second among the meet’s 1A teams.

Bella Russo set a major personal best in 23:15. Amber Braniff’s 23:29 was two minutes faster than on this course last year. Those two girls moved into 3rd and 4th on our school’s 5K list, a distance we started racing in 2015. Maddie Grisham and Aidan Skalicky made big improvements from this race last year, while Reagan Kruse and April McGriff set new personal bests.


The high school boys were led to a runner-up team finish by a 5th place performance from Garrett Buxton. Stephen Flynn ran a great last mile and out-sprinted another runner at the finish to take 6th. His 17:28 becomes #3 on the school’s all-time sophomore list. Rhett Johnson ran under 19 minutes for the first time, and Linden Seeger had his best race to finish just behind our final scorer.

“Each of our varsity boys have now had at least one very strong individual performance this season,” commented Kobliska. “If and when we’re all ready to race well on the same day, we think we can compete with some of the best teams in our area.

“Big PR’s were set in our JV group by Cade Barnett, Lance Longhorn, and Jacob Samuelson.”

Ogden’s junior high runners continue to make improvements each week. The boys used a strong pack to take second overall and first among the conference schools. Each of the girls ran faster than the previous week’s race at Roland-Story.

For team standings and individual results, see the Oct. 3 issue of The Ogden Reporter.