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Warriors and Lady Warriors run well at home meet


September 29, 2022

NORTHERN WYOMING NEWS/ Alex Kuhn Warrior Kiyoshi Smith grits out the final stretch during the Warrior Invitational at the Green Hills Golf Course in Worland on Sept. 22

WORLAND - Running on their home course on Sept. 22 at the Green Hills Golf Course, the Warrior and Lady Warrior cross-country teams turned in some quality times in front of their family and friends.

The Warriors finished third at the Warrior Invitational, scoring 76 points. Buffalo was second with 74 points, and Cody won the meet with 58 points.

Trajn Swalstad was the Warriors top runner at home, crossing the finish line at 17:14.10 and finishing fourth. The next Warriors to place were Jack Bishop 8th (17:17.58), Melvin Croft 16th (18:13.50) and Kiyoshi Smith 22nd (18:22.16).

"It was a battle of a few points with Buffalo, which was exciting. Kobe Swain had an amazing race and got himself a [personal record]. Scottie Thomas is running well for us. Yoshi was outstanding, coming off an illness. All of the boys did a great job pushing each other," said WHS cross-country coach Tanya Kienlen. It was also exciting for our seniors too. It was the last time they'd run their home course, and I think that gave them some motivation too."

The Lady Warriors also had a good day at their home meet. Running for the first time as a full varsity team, the Lady Warriors finished fourth.

Zena Tapia led the way for the Lady Warriors, finishing fourth with a time of 20:23.20. Nyssa Leyva was 17th (21:52.80), Isaira Matamoros 22nd (22:13.99), Keira Woffinden 34th (23:25.48), Carly Venable 35th (23:41.18) and Sarai Matamoros 36th (23:44.06).

"The girls team ran really well overall. The twins ran great. Zena was outstanding," said Kienlen. "It was the first time I ran them all together as a varsity score. It was exciting for them to see a starting point and that they can only get better from there."

Individually, the Lady Warriors have improved each week. One of the runners to make the largest gains week to week has been Leyva. The first-year runner has moved up the team's rankings and posted a personal record at last week's home meet.

"Nyssa is gaining experience and wisdom from race to race. She's been building off her teammates, who have done a great job of pacing for her. Now she's finally getting that speed under her legs, and it's making the difference. And, her track season transferring into what she knows as a runner."

Only two regular season meets remain before the postseason arrives. This week's meet is on Friday in Cody, the Fox and the Hounds race, and the regular season finale in Powell on Oct. 7.

And while the postseason looms, what's really been encouraging to Kienlen is how her runners have taken ownership of this season.

"I saw a lot of dedication to our program. We had an early morning practice on Saturday, and they had a strong workout. That speaks a lot to their work ethic and goals they have for this year," said Kienlen. "They've definitely taken ownership. They're pushing each other in practice physically and encouraging each other mentally with quotes or videos. They're taking ownership of their season, and they want to be in that top four."


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