All uphill: Runners compete in Aspen

Strong performances by Moffat County High School's cross-country teams resulted in second and fourth place finishes Saturday in Aspen.

The boys took home second place with 50 points -- just six points out of first -- and the girls came in fourth with 69 points.

The course, the toughest any of the Moffat County runners have seen all season, was a long uphill battle that proved a worthy challenge to even the best runners.

Winning the overall title at the Chris Severy Cross Country Invitational for the boys was Noah Hoffman, of Aspen. Hoffman finished in 17:36, nearly a minute faster than Moffat County's Jake Miller, who crossed the line in 18:29, good for second place.

"I was really happy with how the guys ran," coach Todd Trapp said.

Along with the second-place finish by Miller, senior Jeremy Bird followed closely behind at 18:37.

"We had three guys finish in the top 10," Trapp said.

The third runner down the chute for the Bulldogs was Mike McNicol. McNicol, who has been running strong this season, finished in 19:17, 40 seconds off Bird's finish.

Rounding out the boys scorers was Corey Wojtkiewicz, who finished 38th with a time of 21:17, and Josh Classen, who finished in 22:01.

"Corey really stepped up," Trapp said of the young runner.

The girls also had a strong showing, but were missing a key runner -- Katy Nottingham -- on their team Saturday.

Although Nottingham has finished strong for the Bulldogs lately, Trapp was still impressed with his team's resilience.

Sophomore Alicia Nelson, continued to lead her team in Aspen, finishing third in 22:52.

"Alicia ran really well," Trapp said. "I thought Amber Suits ran well, too."

Suits crossed the line in 24:03, and Jeacey Robinson was on her heels, finishing in 24:07.

"I think if we get things together we're in a good position," Trapp said.

Elaine DuBois, Laura Zirkle, Alisha Stephenson and Katie Knez rounded out the girls' team, finding the finish line at 26:13, 27:17, 27:46 and 29:11, respectively.

"I looked at results today and both the guys and the girls are sitting in that No. 3 spot," Trapp said. "And that's where you want to be."

The Bulldogs have one final regular season meet before moving onto regional competition.

With a strong showing, there is potential for both teams to qualify for the state meet at the end of October.

On Saturday, they travel to Battle Mountain to compete and will head back there the week after for the regional meet.

Melanie McDaniels can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 211, or mmcdaniels@craigdailypress.com.

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