The Moffat County cross-country teams travel to the Liberty Bell Invitational in Denver every year to see how they stack up against the best teams in the state.
Their performance Friday showed them just that.
Because of sickness and/or injury to five runners, the boys team had only four in the race. They didn't fill the full five-man roster to place as a team, but they did have some individual highlights.
Junior Jake Miller finished fourth in the race. His time of 16:18 was 30 seconds faster than his performance at the race last year.
"Jake is starting to understand how to race smart," coach Todd Trapp said. "He has learned he doesn't have to be up front at the beginning of the race to be able to finish well."
Miller's splits in the 5,000-meter race were nearly even every mile. Trapp said Miller also had a strong finish to make it into the top five.
Junior Shane Braselton was the Bulldogs' second runner. He improved his time from last year by more than two minutes. Other finishers for the Bulldogs were Jake Breslin in 20 minutes and Trenton Duarte in 23:39
In the girls race, freshman Alicia Nelson continued to lead the Bulldogs. Her 13th-place finish helped the Bulldogs to a 10th -place finish out of 19 teams. Junior Katie Morris was the second Moffat County finisher in 49th place for the Bulldogs. Senior Alyssa Macomber and sophomore Jeacey Robinson finished 53rd and 56th, respectively. They both improved by at least a minute from the previous year. Freshman Laura Zirkle was the fifth finisher right behind Macomber in 57th.
"Our second through fifth runners had a good pace, but they need to be farther up," Trapp said. "They saw where Battle Mountain and Glenwood were, and they know that's where they need to be."
The Husky girls were third, and Glenwood was sixth in the race.
The Bulldogs host their only home meet of the season this weekend. It starts at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park.
Making a return for the guys Saturday will be junior Jeremy Bird and sophomore Mike McNicol.
"We're still putting in a lot of mileage, and the workouts are tough," Trapp said. "We should have most of our guys back this weekend, and the girls know where they need to improve."