MCHS runners prep for state meet

After winning big at regional competition last week, the Moffat County High School cross country teams will take their show to the Class 4A state meet Saturday in Englewood, Colo.

According to coach Mike Gleason, the team is ready for the big race.

"The state meet is finally here and everybody is excited," said Gleason. "The attitude is 'let's do it and enough of this prep stuff' let's run it. We had a laid-back practice this week. The kids are starting to get a little bit more energy to run."

Gleason said the boys will be challenged by the Mullen and Lewis-Palmer schools. For the girls Mullen will be the hands-on favorite. Evergreen, Fort Morgan and Cheyenne Mountain will all be at the top.

"Team-wise if we finish in the top 10 then it's been a really good season for us," said Gleason. "Anything better than that is just bonus. For the guys they can finish somewhere around the top five. Girls can end up anywhere from second to sixth."

A week ago, Bulldogs varsity runner Kelly Christensen, a senior, finished ahead of the pack by 34 seconds and won the race with a time of 16 minutes and 27 seconds.

Other Bulldogs boys with solid performances were Brett Duncan, a senior, who finished in sixth place (18:02) and Colton Grinholds, a sophomore, came in 10th place (18:17).

"I was fairly pleased with the way things went at last week's regional," said Duncan. "I think that if I hadn't been injured for a few weeks I could have done a little bit better. Class 4A has a lot of really good runners and the top 10 guys will be right there. It will be a pretty fun race."

"Kelly has a chance at winning the state championship," said Gleason. "I would like to see all the boys finish in the top 50. If Brett can finish in the top 20 that would be a great race for him."

For the girls, Stephanie Hurd, a junior, finished in fourth place (20:17) to pace the team at regional.

Sheila McNicol, a freshman, came in sixth place (20:55) and Beth White, a sophomore, finished in seventh place (21:02).

"Last year Stephanie was 13th and this year she has a chance for a top 10 finish," said Gleason. "Four of our girls could finish up in the top 20 and that would be a great performance."

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