Sep 14, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports EditorOlivia Thompson was second, Jillian C'Bearing third and Ainur Zhuldybeava seventh.
Olivia Thompson was not even close to full strength on Thursday afternoon, but that didn't stop the Riverton High School cross country runner from placing one spot away from the top.
Thompson covered the 3.1-mile race in a time of 21:28.25 to finish second. Lyman's Ann Wingeleth won the title in 21:28. The race had 26 runners in the field. The invitational was held at the Lander Golf Course.
"My pace was right where it usually is," Thompson said. "It felt fast because I wasn't feeling too great. It was right there."
Thompson did pool workouts all week because of her injured ankle.
"Then I didn't feel so great all day," Thompson said. "My head and stomach were hurting all day. I felt like I pushed through it just fine. I improved my time. I felt pretty good about the race."
In the stretch drive on Thursday, Wingeleth and Thompson were neck-and-neck for the final 200 yards.
Wingeleth passed Thompson in the end to win the individual title.
"I didn't know the Lyman girl was going to be right up there at the first," Thompson said.
RHS coach Jay Dayton liked the way the top two runners went head-to-head in the final stage of the race.
"At the end of the race, the Lyman girl had a set of wheels on her," Dayton said. "That Lyman girl got the better of Olivia today."
Thompson won the Class 4-A state cross country title in her freshman season.
"We are seeing improvement every week just like we did last year from Olivia," Dayton said. "She is getting a little bit quicker and a little bit faster. She is getting into that 5k mind set."
Riverton's Jillian C'Bearing finished third in 29:29, and Ainur Zhuldybeava came in seventh (23:20).
"Jillian had a good race," Dayton said. "She is improving each week. Ainur is really coming on. She is just a talented runner. She is getting quicker and faster. She is feeling confidence in her training."
WIth the three top-seven placers, the Wolverines won the team title with 41 points. Lyman finished second at 45 points. Lander Valley High School was third at 52 points, and Wyoming Indian High School placed fourth (75).
Freshman Ben Zoller finished 18th in the boys team race after being clocked in 19:25.
"The boys are dropping time," Dayton said.
Myron Oldman was 23rd (20:11) and T.J. Beasley placed 24th (20:28).
"We are seeing some freshman boys emerging," Dayton said. "T.J. is pushing things up. We have some kids that are starting to figure things out."
Riverton High School placers from Lander Invitational race
18. Ben Zoller, 19:25; 23. Myron Oldman, 20:11; 24. T.J. Beasley, 20:28; 27. Dalton Perkins, 2):30.43; 30. Bryton Spoonhunter, 21:31; 34. Sean Watts, 21:36.
2. Olivia Thompson, 21:28.25 3. Jillian C' Bearing, 22:29; 7. Ainur Zhuldybeava, 23:20; 18. Bailey Broadbent, 24:56; 22. Asia Durfey, 25:58; 23. Camille Whiteman, 26;06.
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