Harriers compete at Conference

Laura Murphy photo PHS sophomore Madison Antonino increases her lead against Ally Wheeler of Natrona County, giving a huge kick at the end of the race to win the girls’ varsity division and snag All-Conference honors at the 4A West Regional Championships in Jackson on Oct. 13.

Antonino earns All-Conference honors

JACKSON – Pinedale High School juniors Madison Antonino and Cora Koci entered the postseason with the Jackson Hole High School (JHHS) cross-country team at the 4A West Regional Championships in Jackson on Friday, Oct. 13.

Antonino captured gold in the girls’ varsity division, crossing the finish line with a time of 18 minutes, 22.40 seconds. Antonino beat Ally Wheeler, the runner-up from Natrona County, by 6.5 seconds and earned All-Conference honors in the process.

Antonino reached the 2-mile mark “looking pretty fresh and one-stepping (Wheeler), her main competition at this point in the state,” said JHHS head coach Jeff Brazil.

“As Maddy squeezed down on the pace, Ally went with her,” Brazil added. “(Wheeler) is a tough runner and was not going to fade as quickly as we had hoped.”

The racers approached a key bridge marking a change in terrain and about 600 meters from the finish line – the perfect spot to leave the competition in the dust.

“Maddy changed gears and opened up a big lead on Wheeler here,” said Brazil. “Maddy had so much spring in her step. I can see that the next two races are going to be awesome as Maddy is right on schedule with her peaking. Maddy held on for the victory with a really good 18:22 for a 6-second victory – like 50 yards!”

Koci stepped up to run her second varsity race of the season at Conference, securing 31st place with a time of 24:16.60.

Koci paced herself with teammate Neve Pruzan. Digging deep, Koci made a significant kick at the end of the race, putting up a “fight to the finish” at the end, said Brazil.

Harriers gather in Cheyenne this weekend for the 2023 State Cross-Country Meet on Oct. 21. Races take place at the Cheyenne Country Club and varsity girls run at 1 p.m. Live results will be available through the Wyoming High School Activities Association at www.whsaa.org after each race.