The Moffat County High School cross country team placed high in both of its races at the Liberty Bell Invitational in Denver, but it wasn't as high as coach Dustin Ence would have liked.
"We had a tough week in practice and it showed because we were tired," he said. "I saw some good individual performances, but we were down a bit as a team."
The race, one of the largest in the state all season, was divided into four divisions based on school size. The Bulldogs were in the third division, which included mostly Class 4A schools and some larger 3A teams.
Senior Amelia Parker led the girls once again with a fifth-place finish. She was followed by sophomore Katie Morris in 17th, junior Cortney Grandbouche in 21st, senior Angela Nelson in 52nd and junior Alyssa Maycomber in 66th. The girls finished in fifth place behind 4A competitors Mullen, Woodland Park and Evergreen. Mullen won the meet with 63 points. Ence said with the absence of senior Emily Sperl the Bulldogs were about 60 points higher.
"If we have a couple of girls run better and Emily is there, we're competing with Mullen," he said. "That is a positive out of the meet that could serve as encouragement later."
Ence said he was impressed with the way his JV girls ran. They finished fourth as a team in the JV race and freshman Nicole Collins would have been near the top five on varsity with her time.
Sophomore Jake Miller led the boys with a seventh-place finish. Sophomore Jeremy Bird was the Bulldogs' second finisher with a 12th-place card. Senior Steve Crisp (22nd), junior Ricardo Pinedo (48th) and junior Lincoln Cleverly (54th) rounded out the scoring runners for Moffat County. The guys took third place behind D'Evelyn and Scott's Bluff, Neb.
"Jake and Ricardo had good races for us," Ence said.
Going into the meet, the new rankings were released in the Rocky Mountain News, and both teams were in the top 10. The boys were sixth and girls eighth.
The Bulldogs host their only home meet of the season Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park.
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.