As always the Class 4A Western Slope regional cross country meet will be closely contested as it has been in the past years. One difference though may be the results from the Moffat County High School Bulldog teams.
The girls team has won five consecutive regional meets but with second-ranked Mullen in Class 4A and fourth-ranked Steamboat Springs at the meet, the eighth-ranked Bulldogs' streak may be in jeopardy.
"We only have two runners returning from last year's regional championship team," coach Dustin Ence said. "You can't take anything away from those girls though because they have worked hard the last couple of weeks to be the best they can but the title may be out of our reach."
The boys team goes into the region with their last regional championship trophy in the glass case at the high school residing from 1993. The Bulldogs have a chance to give that 1993 trophy some company as they've beat every team in the region in races this year except Montrose, who they lost to when they were without two varsity runners.
"Realistically, we have a great opportunity to get the win," Ence said. "It would help us with confidence going into state."
On both teams, the Bulldogs have individual hopefuls for top-five finishes.
Junior Angela Nelson has emerged as the girls team front runner after sophomore Cortney Grandbouche suffered a season-ending foot injury.
"Angela could be in the top three from the Western Slope," Ence said.
The boys team has had three different runners lead the blue and white in a race, senior Anthony Loughran, junior Steve Crisp and freshman Jake Miller.
"Anthony is still waiting to have a breakout race and this would be a great time for it to happen," Ence said. "He has put in the work to have a great race."
Crisp led the Bulldogs last week in Palisade and Miller has a chance to be the top freshman at the regional.
"I think we could have five in the top 15," Ence said. "I just hope they don't go in with the attitude that we just have to show up to win."
The races will take place Saturday in Delta on a flat course, something Ence has been training his Bulldogs to be ready for.
"Speed work has been out focus lately," he said. "We'll see how it works out."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.