Eryn Leonard runs at Rifle Thursday afternoon. Leonard placed third in the race, running 20:50. Moffat County's next meet is the Regional meet in Delta Wednesday.

Jeff Caspersen/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Eryn Leonard runs at Rifle Thursday afternoon. Leonard placed third in the race, running 20:50. Moffat County's next meet is the Regional meet in Delta Wednesday.

Moffat County runners look to regionals

photo

Jeff Caspersen/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Junior Brenna Ciesco placed second in Moffat County's race in Rifle Thursday. Ciesco led the Bulldogs in the race, finishing in 20:15.

Times from Rifle

Boys:

Jarrett Johnson 18:39

Tyler Gerber 19:22

Steven Walls 20:51

Remmy Kohpay 21:02

Jacob Arculeta 21:07

Ashley Suits 21:40

Jesse Demoor 21:47

Isaac Chacon 21:56

Andrew Keiss 22:05

Wyeth Kremery 25:07

Girls:

Brenna Ciesco 20:15

Eryn Leonard 20:50

Aubrey Campbell 21:33

Bailey Hellander 22:18

Savannah Williams 22:24

Katelyn Peroulis 22:34

Delaine Baker 23:12

Felicia Vasquez 23:20

Emily Womble 23:23

Jesse Suits 24:20

Marlee Chacon 24:31

Yoli Molina 29:28

Andrea Angelo 30:45

The Moffat County cross-country teams are now staring down the final part of their season, when the results matter most.

After running Thursday in Rifle, season is over for some members of the team. For the rest, all eyes are turned toward next Wednesday's Colorado 3A Region 1 meet .

The girls team placed second out of five teams in Rifle, losing only to Battle Mountain, one of the top 4A cross-country teams in Colorado. The girls were led by Brenna Ciesco (20:15) and Eryn Leonard (20:50) who placed second and third in the race.

The Boys team finished fifth, but got a top-10 performance from Jarrett Johnson, who ran his best time of the year by more than a minute, coming in at 18:39.81.

Head coach Todd Trapp said it was a good way to finish the regular season.

“A lot of our kids were a little tired just because of the workload last week and having less recovery,” Trapp said. “So we had some kids who ran tired. But Jarrett had his best race of the season. We had a couple other breakthroughs on the guys’ side. There was a lot of growth and kids just understanding what it takes in cross-country.”

Now looking ahead to regionals, the name of the game is turning in the best performance of the season.

Moffat County runners will enjoy fast times on the course in Delta, but the important part will be beating out their opponents. The teams with the lowest five scores and the top 15 individuals will advance to the state meet in Colorado Springs Oct. 27.

The girls team looks to be a contender to win the regional. Despite not winning any meets this year, they have lost to mostly 4A schools.

Pagosa Springs, Olathe and Gunnison all have tough girls teams, but Trapp thinks Moffat County will be a favorite because of its team depth.

“We are fortunate our girls team is very deep,” he said. On any given day our four, five and six runners could be one of three people. One of the girls’ goals is to win the regional title. We also have two girls up front, and that’s huge in a big meet.”

For senior Eryn Leonard, there are two weeks left in her cross-country career, and she hopes the Bulldogs can make the most of them.

“We’re just resting and recovering so we have an extremely awesome race,” Leonard said. “We’re working on our mindset for regionals to do really well there and then at state.”

The boys team is not likely to place in the top five, and will therefore probably be running its final race. Trapp thinks getting the experience will be valuable though, and the runners could still produce good results.

“We just want to see them continue to get better at cross-country and understand what its like to be at one of those championship races,” he said. “And maybe Tyler and Jarrett have a chance of qualifying as an individual. I think both those guys with the way they’ve run lately, that’s on their mind.”

Leonard still anticipates running two more races, though, and having a chance to meet her lofty preseason expectations.

“I’m definitely going to try and freshen my legs up and keep them healthy and strong,” she said. “I’m working hard on the mental aspect, so I’m mentally strong for state.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com. Follow Craig Daily Press sports coverage on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.

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