The Paonia boys cross country team placed sixth out of 12 scoring teams Saturday at the Anna Banana Wildcat Memorial Cross Country race at Fruita, and first among 2A and 3A schools.
Senior Caden Meilner finished 11th with a time of 17 minutes, 37.3 seconds. Out of 93 runners, juniors Harley Ewert and Ethan Bartlett placed 28th (18:10.8) and 34th (18:39.2) respectively. Ben O'Rourke (18:50) and Elijah Evans (19:06.7) scored 36 and 45 points, respectively, to round out scoring for the Eagles.
Ewert, Bartlett, O'Rourke and Antonio Gonzalez all set new personal best times at Anna Banana.
Ewert finished less than two seconds off of his personal best time, and Bartlett's time of 18:39.2 was the first sub-19-minute race of his career.
The Paonia girls team also placed highest among 2A and 3A schools, placed sixth out of 10 scoring teams, behind 4A and 5A schools.
Katya Schwieterman led Paonia runners, placing 16th with a new personal best time of 21:33.5. Brooke Hillman placed 24th with a time of 22:29.20, Alex Eaton placed 39th (23:16.7). Also setting new personal best times were Jordan Evans (23:59.1) and Jade Ellenberger (24:10.8), who scored 37 and 42 points for Paonia. Abby Reedy scored 60 points with a time of 27:07.60.
A total of 17 schools competed at the meet. Overall times were slightly down from 2016, with rain and cooler weather considered a factor.
Paonia runs this Friday at the third annual Delta Sweitzer Lake Invitational. Please note that vehicles without a state parks pass will be charged $7 to enter Sweitzer Lake State Park.