The Moffat County girls cross-country team ran well once again Saturday, placing fifth overall in the Colorado 3A State Meet.
Running at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs, the Bulldogs beat out teams that had been ranked higher than them in Colorado High School Activities Association state rankings throughout the year, and came in with a great finish to their season.
“Overall, we were really happy and really excited with how we finished as a team,” said head coach Todd Trapp. “Going in, I thought maybe if we were seventh or eighth, that would be a good finish for us. But when they were finishing and the spots were coming in, it looked like fifth or sixth was right there.”
The Bulldogs finished in fifth easily, beating out sixth place Kent Denver by 20 points. They were right in the thick of things at the top of the team scores, as well, finishing just nine points out of third place.
“We were right there with being one of those top teams,” Trapp said. “It is super exciting for those girls. They really put it together at the right time of the year.
Brenna Ciesco was the top finisher for Moffat County in her final race as a Bulldog. Ciesco finished in 21 minutes even and placed 16th overall in the state.
Emily Womble and Makayla Johnson, running in their first state meet, each finished in less than 22 minutes. And freshman Kaylee Durham came up big, coming in at 22:19 to give the Bulldogs a team score of 115.
“We didn’t have a top-10 finish, but those girls, our two and three (runners) weren’t really far behind Brenna,” Trapp said. “Brenna had a good day, and Kaylee ran a great race. For her to be in the top 50 for us was big. When you close that gap up, it makes a big difference.”
Aubrey Campbell (23:16) and Delaney Baker (24:39) also ran for Moffat County.
Salida High School was a heavy favorite to win the state meet in 3A and did not disappoint. The Spartans posted a low team score of 35, beating second-place Estes Park (94) by almost 60 points.
Holy Family and Frontier Academy each narrowly beat out Moffat County, at 106 and 110 points, respectively.
But the final two weeks of the season were satisfying ones for Moffat County, which will return five of the six runners it sent to the state meet next year.
“Overall, the kids ran a great race,” Trapp said. “The competition is just another level when you get to that meet. They ran the hill really tough, which speaks to our workouts this season.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.firstname.lastname@example.org.