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Clifford has winning debut at Lander XC invitational

Sep 14, 2012 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Wilson Clifford is a perfect one for one.

The Wyoming Indian High School junior cross country runner won his first meet of the season Thursday at the Lander Invitational.

Clifford posted a time of 17:12 on the 3.1-mile course.

Clifford missed the first couple of cross country meets because he played football for the Chiefs.

"I wasn't surprised, but I was happy for the team," Clifford said. "Everybody did pretty decent."

The course was held at the Lander Golf Course. The course had a big hill in the early stage of the race.

"The hill was OK," Clifford said . "As soon as the big hill was over, I just set a cruise pace. I was good to go. That was the ugly part of the race."

The varsity boys race had 37 runners in the field.

"It was kind of a small meet," Wilson said. "It was decent competition. I'm not in the best shape right now,"

As a sophomore, Clifford finished fourth at the Class 2-A state meet in Douglas.

"I thought that Wilson ran an excellent race," Wyoming Indian coach Chico Her Many Horses said. "This is a really challenging course. Everything is right on for him. Our training is right on schedule. That hill is something."

WIHS teammate Alvin Spoonhunter finished seventh in a time of 17:53. Lander's Kade Simonson was second at 17:22.

Spoonhunter placed second in the state meet last year.

"Alvin is right with me," Clifford said. "He just had a hurt shoulder today. We have been pushing each other pretty hard."

Keegan Her Many Horses was 11th in 18:15.

"Keegan knocked off 35 seconds from last year," coach Chico Her Many Horses said. "I'm really glad that we came here."

In the boys team standings, LVHS won by scoring only 26 points on its home course. Worland finished second at 65 points.

In cross country, the low score wins.

WIHS was third in 69 points. Riverton High School was fourth (109), and Lyman finished fifth (130).

In the girls race, Wyoming Indian's Kiana Wallingbull was ninth (23:24) and Drew Whiteman finished 10th (23:27).

"All my girls did an outstanding job," Her Many Horses said.

The Chiefs compete Thursday at the Thermopolis Invitational.

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