Moffat County High School senior Alicia Nelson leads the Bulldog cross-country team through warm-ups Monday at Loudy-Simpson Park. Nelson earned a second-place finish Friday in the Liberty Invite, her fourth top-3 finish in as many meets.

Photo by John Vandelinder

Moffat County High School senior Alicia Nelson leads the Bulldog cross-country team through warm-ups Monday at Loudy-Simpson Park. Nelson earned a second-place finish Friday in the Liberty Invite, her fourth top-3 finish in as many meets.

Heading home

MCHS cross-country team returns from meet in Colorado Springs, readies for home meet

MCHS cross-country results

Liberty High School, Colorado Springs

5K - gravel/pavement

Team results

Girls - ninth out of 17 teams

Boys - 11th out of 19 teams

Individual results

Girls

2. Alicia Nelson 18:27

* Maddy Jourgensen 20:03

* Nike Cleverly 21:05

* Laura Zirkle 22:57

* Megan Knez 23:47

* Callie Papoulas 24:01

* Britteny Ivers 24:14

Boys

* Chris Zirkle 17:03

* Colt Criswell 17:27

* Alfredo Lebron 17:54

* Charlie Griffiths 19:11

* Jimmy House 20:12

* Jarred Blevins 20:19

* Kye Adams 22:20

* placed outside the top 10

Having completed half of its fall sports schedule, the Moffat County High School cross-country team is right about where coach Todd Trapp wants his runners.

The Bulldogs placed in the middle of the pack Friday in the team's final tune-up before its lone home meet of the season, Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Competing at the Liberty Invite in Colorado Springs, the Bulldog boys team placed 11th out of 19 teams, while the girls team finished ninth out of 17 teams.

"We finished pretty much right where I expected us to," Trapp said. "There was some good competition at the meet. Probably the best 4A runners in the state were there."

Because of the high level of competition, Trapp said the team gained some valuable experience for the postseason.

"It gave us a good chance to see some of the runners that we will see at the end of the year at the state meet," Trapp said. "For us to do well, which I think we did, is a big confidence boost for the team."

Senior Alicia Nelson isn't lacking in confidence.

Nelson clocked a time of 18 minutes and 27 seconds, placing second overall, to lead the girls team.

The top-3 finish was Nelson's fourth in as many meets, including two wins.

"Alicia is running really well right now," Trapp said. "She's kind of found her rhythm. That's good to see considering she's still getting better every time she runs."

Sophomore Maddy Jourgensen clocked a time of 20:03 in her 5,000-meters, Nike Cleverly 21:05, Laura Zirkle 22:57 and Megan Knez's time of 23:47 rounded out Moffat County's team total.

As impressive as the girls team was, Trapp raved about the performance Friday by the boys team.

"The boys are working really hard," Trapp said. "The girls work hard, too, don't get me wrong, but the boys team has a different intensity."

Hayden resident Chris Zirkle, who recorded a time of 17:03 on the crushed gravel/pavement course, led the boys team.

Colt Criswell finished in 17:27, followed by Alfredo Lebron's 17:54. Sophomore Charlie Griffiths returned from an injury, which sidelined him during last week's meet, to run in the fourth spot for Moffat County.

Griffiths ran a 19:11 in his return, while Jimmy House rounded out the top-5 with a 20:12.

Junior Corey Wojtkiewicz - the Bulldogs No. 2 runner - missed his second consecutive meet with an injury.

"I think the guys did really well, considering we are still without our No. 2 guy," Trapp said. "They are really coming along."

MCHS will spend this week preparing for its lone home meet of the season - the Clint Wells Invite - that begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Nelson won the meet last year for the girls team, and Bulldog graduate Mike McNicol won for the boys.

But despite last season's individual success, Trapp said the Bulldogs only would enjoy a slight advantage against the competition.

"It's an advantage knowing the course," he said. "But all the teams that are coming have all been here before, so they know the course. We are going to spend a lot of time here this week though, looking at the turns and the footing in certain places.

"We'll be ready."

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

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