Climbing the Summit |

Climbing the Summit

MCHS cross country team places third and fourth in Frisco

John Vandelinder

Maybe it was the 2 1/2-hour bus ride.

Or, maybe it was what she ate for breakfast.

Whatever the cause, Moffat County High School sophomore Maddy Jourgensen said she felt sick before her race Saturday at Summit High School in Frisco

That is, until the race began.

The fresh air proved beneficial to Jourgensen – and the rest of the Bulldog harriers – as the Moffat County boys team placed third and the girls fourth at the Summit Invite.

Jourgensen finished second individually, less than 10 seconds behind teammate – and girls race winner – Alicia Nelson.

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“All of a sudden, during the race, I felt great,” Jourgensen said. “I don’t know what got into me, but I ended up feeling great.”

Finishing in the top three will do that.

Nelson won for the fourth time in six races so far this season, completing Summit’s hilly 5,000-meter course in 20 minutes, 44.4 seconds.

“When she goes into a race, I expect her to be out front,” MCHS coach Todd Trapp said of Nelson. “She expects herself to be up front. Whether she wins or gets second or third, there are a lot of things that have to go right in order to win.

“We expect her to be up there and in position to win every meet.”

Sophomore Nike Cleverly placed 13th in 23:12.2, Laura Zirkle 34th in 26:40.9, and Megan Knez’s time of 26:42.7 earned the senior the 35th spot.

Sophomore Chris Zirkle led the boys team. His time of 18:24 earned the Hayden resident a third-place individual finish.

“Chris ran a really good race finishing in third,” Trapp said. “One thing that I keep forgetting is that he’s only a sophomore. He works hard every day in practice, and he’s just a really competitive person.”

Trapp praised the boys team, which placed third overall.

“Those top four guys, and Cory (Wojtkiewicz) coming back from injury, did really well this weekend,” he said.

Senior Colt Criswell placed 14th (19:32.9), freshman Alfredo Lebron placed 20th (19:58.6), and sophomore Jarred Blevins placed 34th in 21:35.5.

Wojtkiewicz – a junior – running his second competitive race since recovering from a knee injury – recorded a time of 19:57.4 to finish 18th overall.

Trapp said the time reduction more than a year ago shown by the Bulldogs, is what has impressed him the most.

Criswell (1:30), Wojtkiewicz (2:15), Blevins (1:30) and Jourgensen (1:30) each ran the Summit course more than one minute faster than a year ago.

Nelson (:45) and Cleverly (:45) showed improvement, as well.

“I’m very happy with where we are at as a team compared to last year,” Trapp said. “You can see a lot of improvement. We are definitely headed in the right direction.”

Next up for the Bulldogs is a trip over the mountain to Longmont on Saturday to compete in the Mountain View New Balance/Centerra Cross Country Classic.

“We gained a lot of confidence this week,” Trapp said. “We have some tough competition coming up next. We have to be mentally ready for the challenge.”

Notes: Sophomore Charlie Griffiths missed Saturday’s race with what Trapp called “shin splints.”

John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or


MCHS cross country at Summit Invite

Summit High School, Frisco

5K – wood chips/gravel/grass

Team results –

Girls – fourth out of nine teams

Boys – third out of 11 teams

Individual results –


1. Alicia Nelson 20:44.4

2. Maddy Jourgensen 20:54.0

13. Nike Cleverly 23:12.2 34. Laura Zirkle 26:40.9

35. Megan Knez 26:42.7


3. Chris Zirkle 18:24.0

14. Colt Criswell 19:32.9

18. Cory Wojtkiewicz 19:57.4

20. Alfredo Lebron 19:58.6

34. Jarred Blevins 21:31.5

47. Jimmy Howe 22:47.7

62. Kye Adams 25:00.9