The Moffat County High School boys and girls varsity cross-country team is front row from left, Alfredo Lebron and Kelly Ciesco, middle row from left, Matt Hulstine, Jarred Blevins, Chris Zirkle, Rene Molina, Corey Wojtkiewicz and Alex McCoy, back row from left, Nike Cleverly, Bailey Hellander, Jaycee McCoy, Eryn Leonard, Sassy Murray, Rose Howe and Maddy Jourgensen. The boys team finished first at regionals, while the girls placed second.

Photo by David Pressgrove

The Moffat County High School boys and girls varsity cross-country team is front row from left, Alfredo Lebron and Kelly Ciesco, middle row from left, Matt Hulstine, Jarred Blevins, Chris Zirkle, Rene Molina, Corey Wojtkiewicz and Alex McCoy, back row from left, Nike Cleverly, Bailey Hellander, Jaycee McCoy, Eryn Leonard, Sassy Murray, Rose Howe and Maddy Jourgensen. The boys team finished first at regionals, while the girls placed second.

MCHS cross-country misses sweep at regionals by 1 point

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Moffat County's Chris Zirkle, right, breaks away from the pack during Saturday's regional meet in Aspen. Zirkle finished first overall.

Results

Moffat County High School varsity cross country results from the regional state meet Saturday in Aspen.

Girls results

Name Time Place

Maddy Jourgensen 20:11 1

Eryn Leonard 21:20 2

Bailey Hellander 22:10 11

Nike Cleverly 22:13 12

Sassy Murray 22:59 16

Kelly Ciesco 23:50 32

Boys results

Name Time Place

Chris Zirkle 17:23 1

Alex McCoy 18:17 7

Corey Wojtkiewicz 18:34 13

Alfredo Lebron 18:46 16

Rene Molina 19:18 24

Jarred Blevins 19:32 28

Matt Hulstine 20:46 48

There are good cross-country meets, and there are great cross-country meets.

And Moffat County had a great one at the regional meet Saturday in Aspen.

The Moffat County High School varsity cross-country team had top finishers in the girls and boys races, the boys team finished first, and the girls finished second.

"Going in, we had some pretty high goals - we were looking to win basically everything," coach Todd Trapp said. "We had two individual winners, the boys team finished first and the girls finished second by one point."

Montrose was able to top Moffat County's girls squad, 41-42, to prevent a Bulldog sweep.

Chris Zirkle and Maddy Jourgensen finished first.

"Overall, it was a great day," Trapp said. "We showed we have a good program going."

With both top-two finishes, the boys and girls teams qualified for the Saturday state meet at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins.

The boys race featured another strong performance from Zirkle, who finished first with a time of 17:23.

Alex McCoy was seventh, Corey Wojtkiewicz was 13th, Alfredo Lebron was 16th, Rene Molina was 24th, Jarred Blevins was 28th and Matt Hulstine was 48th.

"The guys were pretty well lined up, and it looked like we were going to win the race," Trapp said.

The girls race featured the top-two finishers, but Montrose was able to creep in to take the No. 1 team spot.

Jourgensen was first with a time of 20:11, followed by Eryn Leonard who finished second.

Bailey Hellander finished 11th, Nike Cleverly finished 12th, Sassy Murray finished 16th and Kelly Ciesco finished 32nd.

"We thought we were in a good position, but Montrose had a really strong pack, and they just gradually worked their way up over the course of the race," Trapp said. "We knew it was going to be really close."

Losing by one point should fuel the team to push even harder during the state meet, Trapp said.

"Everyone is happy, but they aren't satisfied," he said. "The girls are a little disappointed to get beat, and to get beat by one point - that's tough."

To get there, the team will have one last grueling workout before the meet.

"We call it the 'Bulldog Mile,'" Trapp said. "The goal is to get the kids on the track and run a fast mile. It gets their confidence up - they know they can run fast."

Trapp said the team also will have a chance to rest and recover from any lingering injuries.

Knowing his team can be competitive will be important, Trapp said.

"We really try to build their confidence up over the course of the year," Trapp said. "Our program expects to go to state as a team. And we respect all the teams at regionals, but we knew what we were there for."

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