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Camel cross-country has best state finish since 2015

CCHS senior standout Reilly Wilson capped her cross-county career with a seventh-place finish at the state meet to help lead the Camels to their best team finish since the split of the schools. (RJ Morgan/County 17)

Campbell County High School cross-country coaches and team members have been hungry to push the program in a positive direction and once again field teams that cause opponents plenty of concern.

The Camels proved that commitment over the weekend at the Wyoming High School Activities Association’s 4A state meet in Ethete. Both CCHS boys and girls’ teams had their best state performances since 2015.

CCHS seniors Braik Hurm and Sam Kjerstad (RJ Morgan/County 17)
Since the split of the high schools, the rebuilding has been a work in progress. Now CCHS will carry its best season in six years into the offseason and use it as fuel for next season with most runners on both teams returning.
Overall, the Camels had three runners finish in the top 14 of races that had as many as 82 runners. The Campbell County girls finished seventh overall with 159 points, while the boys were eighth at 190 points.
Cheyenne Central had the biggest day as the Indians won both team titles, while Jackson High School swept the individual state champions in both boys and girls.

CCHS girls

Camel sophomore Makayla Mayer (RJ Morgan/County 17)
The best season in years required the efforts of the entire team. From chasing their own best times to finishing ahead of competitors to help with the overall scoring.
It was a Camel veteran who led by example at the biggest meet of the season. Reilly Wilson, the only senior on the team at the race, was seventh overall among a field of 70 runners as she completed the 5,000-meter course in a time of 19 minutes, 42.76 seconds.
Two more CCHS runners finished in the top half of the talented field which proved the future of the program is bright. Freshman Jayden Haugen delivered like a veteran with a time of 21:22.29, which is 21 seconds faster than she ran a week prior at the east conference finals.
Third among the Campbell County crew was freshman Kendra Jensen. The young talent posted a time of 21:31.40.

Next in for CCHS and chalking up valuable points was sophomore Makayla Mayer who was clocked at 21:40.42. Fifth among the team was sophomore Madison Melinkovich who tallied a state time of 22:03.90.

CCHS sophomore Madison Melinkovich (RJ Morgan/County 17)
The Camels also made a big impact at state thanks to junior Bella Sheehan who crossed the finish line in 22:47.93 and freshman Sammy Marshall at 24:40.92.
CCHS girls individual state times
Reilly Wilson, Sr., 19:42.76
Jayden Haugen, Fr., 21:22.29
Kendra Jensen, Fr., 21:31.40
Makayla Mayer, Soph., 21:40.42
Madison Melinkovich, Soph., 22:03.90
Bella Sheehan, Jr., 22:47.93
Sammy Marshall, Fr., 24:40.92

CCHS boys

Campbell County freshman Lawson Lutgen (RJ Morgan/County 17)
The Camels were led in the sport’s season finale by a pair of their veterans. The top finisher was senior medalist Braik Hurm who captured fifth place out of 82 runners with a three-mile time of 16:36.67, which was 15 seconds faster than his conference time the previous week.
Also placing in the top 15 was standout Sam Kjerstad. The senior was 14th overall after he was clocked at 17:06.94, which also was 15 seconds quicker than he posted at the east finals seven days earlier.

Third among the Camels with a quicker time was freshman Corbin Branscom who crossed the finish line in 18:16.04, six seconds ahead of his previous pace. Next in was freshman Lawson Lutgen with a time of 19:34.99, a stunning 23 seconds faster than at the conference finals.

Camel freshman CJ Gaskins (RJ Morgan/County 17)
Fifth on the Campbell County roster was speedster Deacon Cain who had the biggest one-week time improvement. The freshman posted a state time of 19:40.94, which was 52 seconds faster than the week before.
Freshman Matthew Israelsen completed the race next for CCHS with a time of 20:39.26. Classmate and freshman CJ Gaskins followed at 21:07.83.
CCHS boys individual state times
Braik Hurm, Sr., 16:36.67
Sam Kjerstad, Sr., 17:06.94
Corbin Branscom, Fr., 18:16.04
Lawson Lutgen, Fr., 19:34.99
Deacon Cain, Fr., 19:40.94
Matthew Israelsen, Fr., 20:39.26

CJ Gaskin, Fr., 21:07.83

Campbell County senior Sam Kjerstad (RJ Morgan/County 17)