Ava Stafford finished first overall – 10 seconds ahead of the second-place runner from Green River – and the short-handed Cody girls cross country team finished a close second to Lander on Thursday in Riverton.

Cody’s top boys and girls runners, Wyatt Becker and Riley Smith, were both sick and missed the race.

“The kids ran really well,” coach Maggie Kirkham said. “I was very pleased with their efforts.”

The Broncs finished fourth, led by David Juergens in ninth overall with a time of 17:44.64. He led through the halfway point, but fell back somewhat and finished third in the race after a nice kick.

The Fillies had four runners finish in the top 10, led by Stafford in first (20:43.31).

“I was very pleased with how I ran,” Stafford said. “The weather was great and I really liked the course. I pushed myself harder in this race and cut off some time from last weekend.”

Kirkham said Stafford ran strong and smart to get the win.

Behind Stafford, Ashton Powell finished seventh (21:30.64), Nicole Wagler ninth (21:37.22) and Keira Jackson 10th (21:45.83). Other Cody finishers included Raelyn Mong in 19th (22:54.08) and Elisa Wachob 21st (23:05.94).

“Nicole Wagler ran really well and finished in a nice pack with Ashton Powell and Keira Jackson,” Kirkham said.

Besides Juergens, the Cody boys finishers were Riley Nielson in 15th (18:39.09), Charlie Hulbert 24th (19:09.21), Kyle Graham 27th (19:19.66), Ian Graham 31st (19:32.74) and Hayden Campbell 36th (20:04.64).

“We had many people run their fastest times for the season,” Nielson said. “Personally I thought I did well, but I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”

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