Girls take third at state; Taper, Clark finish All-State

Eddie Poe photos
Annelise Clark pushes herself down the final stretch of the 2A girls race. Clark finished in 10th ahead of Hallie Martinez of Thermopolis and earned an All-State recognition while helping the Lady Herders take third overall. 

By: 
Eddie Poe eddie@glenrockind.com

After finishing just one point shy of fourth place at last year’s cross-country championships at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Sheridan, the Lady Herders took things one step further this year.
Led by All-State runners Emily Taper and Annelise Clark, Glenrock took third at last weekend’s state championships. It was their best finish since they took third as a 3A team in 2008.
As a freshman this year for Glenrock, Taper led the girls team with seven top-10 finishes, including last week at state. Moorcroft’s Hailey Jones took an early lead in the 2A girls race and cruised to a first-place finish for the second straight year. Behind Jones, Taper kept close with Larissa McElroy of Wyoming Indian and Jordan Jones of Moorcroft for much of the race but slipped a bit down the final stretch. She crossed the finish line at 20:57 in fifth, her personal best of the season by two and a half minutes. No problem for the freshman.
Last year at state, Clark took seventh and earned All-State recognition for the first time. So when she returned to state last weekend to run her final high school race, she set out to do the same. Clark improved her time from last year by seven seconds and took 10th with a time of 22:06. It was her fifth top-10 finish of the season and a fitting way to end a phenomenal high school cross-country career.
Also running her final high school race last weekend, Yesi Hermosillo finished on a high note by recording a PR. She took 17th with a time of 23:10 and improved upon last year’s time at state by over 40 seconds. As they did most of the season, Abbi Cerny and Abby Nunez ran a friendly pace and finished 27th and 29th, respectively. Emma Cotton took 40th in 26:34, a PR and an improvement by over four minutes from the beginning of the season. Kayleen Harris rounded things out for the Lady Herders in 41st, also in 26:34, and an improvement of over four minutes from the start of the season.
Coaches Chris Gray and Misti Allen beamed with pride as runners and spectators gathered following the last race of the day to honor All-State runners and the top three teams from each classification. Clark concludes her career as a two-time All-State runner and Taper could soon be following in the same footsteps.
In the 2A boys race, freshmen James and John Halvorsen kept close pace with the middle of the pack for the duration of the race and crossed the finish line in 15th and 16th, respectively. Both set PRs and improved from the beginning of the season by over two minutes. Much like his fellow senior teammates, Skyler Piasecki closed out his high school cross-country career with a PR of 19:48 in 31st and improved from the beginning of his senior season by over a minute.
Skyler’s younger brother, Paxton, entered the chute in 46th with a time of 21:26. Wes McCollough ran his best race of the season at 22:14 in 49th. Andrew Albrandt and James Huck finished things out for the boys team in 55th and 57th, respectively, and both improved from the beginning of the season by over two and a half minutes. The boys took sixth overall.
Glenrock’s top finish of the season came at the Wright Invitational when they took first, but no finish will stack up with third at the state championships. 

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