The Moffat County High School boys and girls cross-country teams gathered for a team picture following their Saturday home meet at Loudy-Simpson Park. Runners wearing dark gray T-shirts placed in the top 10 for their races. Both teams won the overall competition, while seniors Chris Zirkle and Maddy Jourgensen both placed first individually.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

The Moffat County High School boys and girls cross-country teams gathered for a team picture following their Saturday home meet at Loudy-Simpson Park. Runners wearing dark gray T-shirts placed in the top 10 for their races. Both teams won the overall competition, while seniors Chris Zirkle and Maddy Jourgensen both placed first individually.

MCHS boys, girls finish 1st individually, overall

Results

Individual Moffat County High School cross-country results from Saturday’s invitational at Loudy-Simpson Park:

Boys

Name Time Pl.

Chris Zirkle 16:06 1

Alfredo Lebron 16:10 2

Miguel Molina 17:26 4

Dale Nakai 17:56 8

Rene Molina 18:14 9

Jarred Blevins 18:40 14

Kye Adams 18:43 15

Taft Cleverly 19:27 25

Wyatt Villa 20:05 30

Matt Hulstine 21:15 39

Team standings, boys:

Team Points

  1. Moffat County 24

  2. Uintah 69

  3. Steamboat Springs 82

  4. Rifle 96

  5. Rangely 161

Girls

Name Time Pl.

Maddy Jourgensen 19:52 1

Brenna Ciesco 20:32 4

Eryn Leonard 21:03 6

Nike Cleverly 21:15 7

Sassy Murray 21:32 8

Bailey Hellander 21:40 9

Kelly Ciesco 22:36 13

Savannah Williams 22:57 16

Jaycee McCoy 23:31 19

Rose Howe 23:36 20

Emily Miller 37:23 41

Team standings, girls:

  1. Moffat County 26

  2. Uintah 41

  3. Steamboat Springs 81

  4. Rifle 116

Threepeat.

The word holds special significance for Chris Zirkle and Alfredo Lebron because it’s a feat they’ve reached together.

The two Moffat County High School cross-country runners placed first and second, respectively, for their third consecutive meet at Saturday’s Moffat County Invitational at Loudy-Simpson Park.

Zirkle, a senior, pulled ahead of his teammate in the final moments of the meet for a time of 16 minutes and 6 seconds, joined four seconds later by Lebron, a junior.

“He’s just too fast for me,” Lebron said.

Zirkle and Lebron were neck-and-neck throughout the race, much like their performance at Grand Junction Central’s Warrior Invitational and the Liberty Bell Invitational.

“They’re both just rocking it and having a great year,” coach Todd Trapp said.

High rankings and low times were widespread Saturday for the Bulldogs, as six MCHS girls finished in the top 10 of their race and five boys in theirs.

The team finished the meet first overall in the boys and girls races, beating out teams from Steamboat Springs, Rifle, Rawlins (Wyo.), Uintah (Utah) and Rangely.

Maddy Jourgensen led the girls, placing first and clocking in at 19 minutes and 52 seconds for the 5,000-meter course.

“I was kind of nervous about the home meet,” Jourgensen said. “All the people here yelling for us really helped us run faster.”

Freshman Brenna Ciesco placed fourth at 20 minutes and 30 seconds.

“I was just trying to keep up with Maddy,” Ciesco said. “At the end, there was a group of girls from Uintah around me. They were my competition.”

Ciesco said the hardest part of the Loudy-Simpson course was the loop around the soccer field, the thick grass of which made for slow running.

“Once you get off the grass, it’s just one turn and then it’s a lot easier,” she said.

Senior Kye Adams agreed about the grass, which made up much of the course’s second mile.

“You have to push yourself twice as hard,” Adams said.

Adams finished 15th in the boys race with a time of 18 minutes and 43 seconds.

“It was a good home race, that’s for sure,” he said.

Junior Miguel Molina finished fourth, junior Dale Nakai eighth, junior Rene Molina ninth, senior Jarred Blevins 14th, freshman Taft Cleverly 25th, junior Wyatt Villa 30th, and sophomore Matt Hulstine 39th.

For the girls, sophomore Eryn Leonard placed sixth, senior Nike Cleverly seventh, sophomore Sassy Murray eighth, sophomore Bailey Hellander ninth, Kelly Ciesco 13th junior, Hayden High School sophomore Savannah Williams 16th, sophomore Jaycee McCoy 19th, sophomore Rose Howe 20th, and senior Emily Miller 41th.

“It was a really good day,” Trapp said. “We had a lot of positive stuff happen.”

Trapp said winning MCHS’s only home meet was beneficial, but he wanted to treat it like any other competition.

“People who were watching got a good idea of what we do on the course,” Trapp said. “It’s a good stepping stone for upcoming meets.”

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