Alicia Nelson runs during cross-county practice Thursday. Nelson is going for a personal record at the regional meet Saturday in Delta.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Alicia Nelson runs during cross-county practice Thursday. Nelson is going for a personal record at the regional meet Saturday in Delta.

One common goal

The Moffat County cross-country team travels to Delta to compete for state

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Mike McNicol runs through Woodbury Park during cross-county practice Thursday afternoon. McNicol said all of the hard work put in by the Bulldogs should pay off Saturday at the regional meet in Delta.

— Bulldogs cross-country team members have each run more than 500 miles this season.

They have all survived the grueling training period nicknamed "peak week."

They're hard work has come down to one day.

One event.

The state regional tournament.

Moffat County travels to Delta's crushed gravel Saturday, for what could be the final meet of the season for some Bulldog runners.

"If you aren't excited to make the trip to regionals," coach Todd Trapp said, "then you are not into (cross country) for the right things."

Trapp will take 15 Bulldogs with him to Delta, with the mission of qualifying both teams as his goal for the state championships.

"I'm pretty nervous," Mike McNicol said. "We've had good practices all year. We're ready."

Trapp expects the fastest times of the year out of his team because Delta is a flat, fast course.

"It should bode well for the team," he said. "They should all run a personal record Saturday."

The runners know what is at stake.

"I'm excited and a little nervous," Josh Classen said. "I'm feeling the pressure. I want to finish in the top 15."

Alicia Nelson is out to capture a victory - her fourth - of the season.

"I'm nervous," she said. "For all of us. If I can go sub-19 minutes, I think I can win."

Freshmen Mady Jourgensen, Nike Cleverly and Callie Papoulas are making their first trips to regionals.

"I'm excited and confident," Jourgensen said. "I want to finish in the top 15. I don't think it should be a problem for the team to qualify."

Cleverly had a different feel.

"I'm really anxious," she said. "I'm hoping to do my best out there."

"If I can beat the pack of Battle Mountain runners that beat me last week, I'll be really happy."

Papoulas expects a difficult meet.

"It is going to be tough," she said. "This is my first chance at qualifying for state. How could I not be nervous?"

For senior Elaine DuBois, she knows what to expect heading into what could be her final cross-country meet.

"I'm really excited," she said. "We have worked really hard this year compared to years past. This is my last chance at going to state."

Trapp worked his team out lightly this week, in preparation for the big dance.

"I want to keep them fresh," he said. "Everything we've worked on throughout the season is what we count on.

"It's time now to watch them go."

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