MCHS girls results
Maddy Jourgensen – 11th – 19:58
Brenna Ciesco – 34th – 20:40
Eryn Leonard — 80th – 21:30
Nike Cleverly – 93rd – 21:45
Sassy Murray – 138rd – 22:38*
Kelly Ciesco – 144th – 22:48
Bailey Hellander - 153rd - 23:07
*time and place unofficial
Aurora Maddy Jourgensen’s watery eyes summed it up for the Moffat County High School girls cross-country team.
“It was just not a good race,” she said, fighting off tears after her race at the Colorado State High School Cross-Country Championships.
Jourgensen finished her stellar cross-country career with an 11th-place finish. As a junior she was fourth and as a sophomore she was sixth.
“I looked at the girls in front of me at the two mile mark and thought, ‘that gap is big’” she said. “I think mentally, I had a hard race.”
Despite the frustration, Jourgenen’s body of work makes her one of the top runners in Moffat County’s thick history of female running accomplishments.
“Ever since her first race as a freshman, Maddy has competed well at all levels,” coach Todd Trapp said. “She may not be super satisfied with how she finished her last race her senior year, but the last four years have been incredible. She will be a standard of excellence for us as we move on. She battled some injuries this year and I think it kept her from being at the top level she wanted.”
Jourgensen led the Bulldogs to what was posted as an eighth-place finish on Saturday, but a scoring error placed Sassy Murray 50 places higher than her actual finish. Although the error hadn’t been corrected in the official results as of Sunday, the team’s actual finish was 12th.
“The girls had some great finishes this year, with the regional title last week as probably the best,” Trapp said. “The ultimate goal was a regional title and this week it just didn’t happen at the higher level to be a top-10 team.”
The girls finished ninth as a team last year and returned all of their runners for this season. But, none of the six girls who returned from last year’s team improved on their place.
“We looked a little tired,” Trapp said. “I’m not sure what it was, but I just think it was tough to come back after such a high at regionals.”
Jourgensen and fellow senior Nike Cleverly competed together in four state championships. Cleverly finished the race in 93rd.
“I wanted to improve on my 79th-place finish last year,” she said. “It’s kind of a bummer because we had such a great season and accomplished so many goals.”
One bright spot for the girls was freshman Brenna Ciesco’s 34-place finish. She improved her time from the same course on the first weekend of the season by three minutes.
“Over the course of the season, Brenna kept moving up. I think she learned a lot about herself as a competitor and has become one of the top runners on the Western Slope,” Trapp said. “She can definitely build on this year and she has the ability to improve and put herself in a place to be our next top individual in our storied program.”
Other finishes for the Bulldogs were: Eryn Leonard, 80th, Sassy Murray (unofficially) 138th, Kelly Ciesco, 144th and Bailey Hellander, 153rd.
Just like the boys team, the girls graduate two runners.
“I think this team will only get better,” Cleverly said. “It was fun to win regionals together and I’m proud of everybody.”