Cross-country team prepares for state championships

— Top 10.

That is what Moffat County cross country coach Todd Trapp is hoping his boys and girls teams each finish at Saturday's state championship in Colorado Springs.

"Our Girls have shown they can run with the top teams in the state," he said. "We should be able to finish in that top-10 range. The boys will have a more difficult time. They will need a great race to finish in the top half. I want them to shoot for that."

"I am really excited for this meet,'" he added. "The kids really stepped up at regionals. They are ready to run."

The Bulldogs will be one team in a field of 20, vying to bring home the state title. The last time a Bulldog athletic team brought home a state championship was 2003.

The meet is being held at the El Pomar Sports Complex, a familiar site for the Bulldog harriers.

"This will be our fourth time running that course in the last year," Trapp said. "We know the course, so the expectations will be greater. Most of this team has run here before, so they know what to expect."

Freshman Mady Jourgensen, who is making her first trip to the state finale, is expecting a difficult race.

"This meet is going to be harder than all the other meets we've been in this year," she said.

Jourgensen placed fourth at the regional meet last weekend and she is shooting for a top 20 finish this week.

"I am going to try to stay with Alicia (Nelson) as long as I can. If I do that, I should get top 20."

Alicia Nelson has won four meets this season, including the individual title at the regionals. Trapp said Nelson is Moffat's best chance at an individual title.

"I really believe in Alicia," Trapp said. "I expect her and Mady to do very well this weekend."

Senior Mike McNicol will be running his last meet in a Bulldog's uniform. He has captured three individual titles this season and will be shooting for No. 4 on Saturday.

"Mike is our top runner. Period," Trapp said. "He has gone low all year for us. Low numbers always mean great team results."

Practice for the team has been light this week. Trapp is keeping his team well rested for the championships.

"We ran the annual Bulldog mile Tuesday," Trapp said, "but that is the hardest training we will do in preparation for Saturday."

Confidence is what Trapp is building in his runners this week.

"We had a ton of personal records in the mile," he said. "Now they know they can hit records in the mile and after (regionals), they know they can hit them in the 5K. They have confidence in every range of running."

Callie Papoulas wants to simply finish in the top half of the girls' draw.

However, she does have a celebration planned if the Bulldogs do win the state championship.

"I'm going to be very proud of the team," she said. "Then I'm going to pop open a Dr. Pepper to celebrate."

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