Dogs take three of four at home meet

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The only home meet of the year was one for the scrapbook for Moffat County junior Jake Miller and freshman Alicia Nelson. Both runners ran to their first career individual titles at a high school meet.

"It probably won't be their last," Bulldog coach Todd Trapp said. "It was a good meet for everybody to get some confidence after starting the season at several big meets."

The Bulldog harriers had spent three of their first four meets on the Front Range in races with 20 or more teams. Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park there was four complete teams.

Nelson led from the first 400 yards on in the race. Manila's Natasha McCullough stayed 25 to 50 yards from Nelson the entire race.

"I knew she was behind me," the freshman said. "I think it helped me run a little faster."

Trapp said he liked the way Nelson approached the race.

"She looked relaxed throughout," he said. "Then, with 800 to go, she took off and separated herself."

The Bulldog girls dominated the meet with five runners in the top 10.

Sophomore Jeacey Robinson was the Bulldog's second finisher in fifth, and junior Amber Suits finished in sixth. Both girls had their best races of the season.

"I wanted to help close out the gap between Alicia and the rest of the team," said Robinson, who was 1 minute, 23 seconds behind her teammate. "We need to move the rest of our pack up and hopefully that was a start today."

Suits moved from Hayden this year and is running in her first year of cross country.

"I hope this was a breakthrough race," she said. "Coach Trapp told us to pack up and I ran with Katie (Morris) and Jeacey today."

Morris, a junior, was the fourth finisher on the team, coming in at seventh place. Senior Alyssa Macomber was the fifth runner in 10th place. Freshman Laura Zirkle made the Moffat pack five strong with an 11th-place finish. Freshman Erin Urbanoski finished I 17th for the girls.

"Jeacey and Amber had a good week in practice and they're starting to train with Alicia," Trapp said. "Our five girls behind Alicia have all had good races this year and with the work their putting in they're going to keep getting better."

The boys lost by 10 points to Steamboat Springs, which had a tight pack of five runners in the top 12. Steamboat's top finisher, Kieran Corrigan, was third but he was almost two minutes behind Miller and 40 seconds behind Moffat junior Jeremy Bird who was second.

"In a big meet, frontrunners make the difference in points and there would have been a lot of runners between Jeremy and Steamboat's first runner,' Trapp said. "But Steamboat did have a nice pack."

The Bulldog boys are still piecing their team together but Trapp thought the meet was a turning point. That's mostly because of the continued improvement of juniors Shane Braselton and Jake Breslin. It's Braselton's first year on varsity and Breslin's first year of running, they finished 10th and 19th respectively. Moffat sophomore Mike McNicol made his return from an injury to finish 16th. "We have five guys who want to compete," Trapp said. " Injuries have set us back but everyone was back this week."

Bird missed the previous week's meet because of illness. Miller was glad to have Bird back on his shoulder in a race.

"It helped so much to have (Bird) with me again," he said. "He pushed me through the first mile."

Miller and Bird stuck together the first mile and then Miller took off. He ran the final two miles by himself. His time of 17:23 was 20 seconds better than last year.

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