MCHS runners compete in large meet

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The Moffat County High School girls cross country team finished in a solid fourth place Saturday at the Aspen Invitational while the boys team came in 10th place.

The girls finished the meet with 84 points. Durango came in first place with a team score of 48 points. Rocky Mountain was second with 78 points and Cheyenne Mountain came in third with 79 points.

"The Aspen Invitational was a big meet and it always is," said coach Mike Gleason. "We ran extremely well and there was some good competition there. In the girls race the team that won it was Durango and they were pretty tough."

Individually, Stephanie Hurd, a junior, crossed the line in third place among 200 runners with a time of 20 minutes and 40 seconds. Beth White finished in 14th place, Daniel Brown came in 27th place and Sheila McNicol ended up in 40th place.

"Stephanie ran her best race that she has ever ran," said Gleason. "Stephanie is learning how to compete in those big races and that is what we look for. She is starting to run at another level which is good, and I think the whole team is getting better by Stephanie's performance."

Natalie Hughes of Palisade came in first place (20:12) and Rachel Anderson of Grand Junction Central finished in second place (20:22)

On the boys team, Kelly Christensen, a senior, came in second place (16:47) to lead the way for the short-handed Bulldogs. The team was missing Brett Duncan, a senior, who missed the meet because of a stress fracture in his foot.

"For the guys we had one person hurt in Bret or we would have done a lot better," said Gleason. "Brett hurt his foot a couple of weeks ago in Montrose, but he will be back for regionals."

Jon Severy of Aspen took home the top spot (16:38) and James DeMichels of Ponderosa finished in third place (17:20).

"Kelly has never beaten Jon, but Kelly ran against him really tough," said Gleason. "He only lost by eight seconds and so that is pretty good. Jon is a 3A kid and Kelly will be in 4A at the state meet."

The boys finished the meet with 186 points. Durango won the meet with a team score of 30 points. Cheyenne Mountain came in second place with 65 points and Ponderosa finished a distant third with 87 points.

The Bulldogs will close out the regular season on Saturday at the Rangely Invitational and Gleason praised his teams' efforts this season.

"I have been really pleased with the way things have gone this season," said Gleason. "Everybody has improved their times from the year before and that is what you look for and that is what you want.

"The Rangely meet is a pretty small meet and that is what we like to have right before regionals," said Gleason. "Our girls team has won the meet for a lot of years in a row and last year our guys team won the meet."

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