MCHS senior runner Colt Criswell competes in the Bulldog time trials two weeks ago at Loudy-Simpson Park. Criswell helped pace the Moffat County boys team Saturday in Grand Junction by finishing seventh overall.

Photo by John Vandelinder

MCHS senior runner Colt Criswell competes in the Bulldog time trials two weeks ago at Loudy-Simpson Park. Criswell helped pace the Moffat County boys team Saturday in Grand Junction by finishing seventh overall.

Bulldogs run through Grand Junction, Nelson wins second title

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At a glance

MCHS cross country in Grand Junction Central High School

5K - grass/pavement

Team results -

Girls 2/8 (51 pts)

Boys 4/8 (100 pts)

Individual results -

Girls

1. Alicia Nelson, 20:37

5. Maddy Jourgensen, 22:30

7. Nike Cleverly, 23:41

18. Callie Papoulas, 26:00

20. Megan Knez, 26:13

28. Laura Zirkle, 27:02

33. Britteny Ivers, 27:18

Boys

3. Chris Zirkle, 18:37

7. Colt Criswell, 19:21

14. Alfredo Lebron, 19:42

51. Jimmy House, 22:56

57. Jarred Blevins, 23:28

59. Kevin Murray, 24:00

67. Kye Adams, 26:00

During its season-opening weekend beginning Aug. 28 in Denver, the Moffat County High School cross country team competed in the hustle and bustle of the big city.

The Bulldogs competed Friday at Central High School in Grand Junction, returning to the small-town feel of the Western Slope.

The venue proved comfortable as the MCHS girls team placed second and the boys fourth.

"Overall, everyone performed well," Bulldog coach Todd Trapp, said. "The girls team is starting to come together. We've got three girls kind of leading us."

Trapp was talking about senior Alicia Nelson and sophomores Nike Cleverly and Maddy Jourgensen, who are the Bulldogs top-three female runners.

Nelson captured her second individual title in the team's third race of the season

Nelson's time of 20 minutes, 37 seconds throughout Central's 5,000-meter grass and pavement course was more than a minute faster than the second-place finisher.

Jourgensen placed fifth in 22:30 and Cleverly seventh in 23:41.

Trapp said the key to the girls team having more success would come from the four and five spots.

The top-5 scores are tallied for team point totals.

"We are still working on closing that gap between our fifth and third runner," Trapp said. "This week was actually a little bit different."

MCHS girls No. 7 runner Megan Knez moved into the No. 5 spot, placing 20th with a time of 26:13.

Sophomore Callie Papoulas rounded out the team scoring by placing 18th in 26 minutes flat.

The boys team was missing its No. 2 and No. 5 runners on their way to 100 team points and a fourth-place finish.

Sophomore Charlie Griffiths, fifth, and junior Corey Wojtkiewicz, second, missed the meet with what Trapp called "sore knees."

Fourth was "not too bad considering we only had three of our top-five there," Trapp said. "We were 23 points out of second place. With those two there, it probably would have made a big difference, but it was a good chance for some other guys to get a chance to step into those varsity positions."

Chris Zirkle, Bulldog boys No.1, placed third in 18:37 while senior Colt Criswell ran in the No. 2 spot, placing seventh in 19:21. Alfredo Lebron ran as No. 3, finishing 14th in 19:42.

The team was rounded out by Jimmy Howe (22:56) who placed 51st, and Jarred Blevins (23:28), who finished 57th.

The Bulldogs head back to the Front Range on Friday, when the team competes in Littleton at the Liberty Bell Invitational.

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or jvandelinder@craigdailypress.com

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