Farther back than they hoped
Boys finish 12th at state; girls take 14th
COLORADO SPRINGS — The cycle continues.
Since Todd Trapp started coaching for the Moffat County cross country team four years ago, first as an assistant and now as the head coach, the Bulldogs have performed to expectations at state one year and then not as well the next. This year it was time for the latter, and the teams followed through.
The boys went into the meet hoping to improve on their seventh-place finish from last year. They finished 12th on Saturday at the Vineyard Golf Course. The girls knew they weren’t going to improve from their second-place finish last year, but the goal was for a top-10 finish. They ended up 14th.
“This gives the teams something to build on and motivate them for next year,” Trapp said. “We didn’t have a lot of good summer training put in, and it showed a bit this year.”
The Bulldogs had performances to build on. Junior Jake Miller was the first boy to finish in the top 20 in five state meets. He finished in 17th place.
Two-thirds into the race it looked like Miller might finish higher. He was in sixth place at the second mile.
“I put in a huge surge after the first mile because I was pretty far back,” he said. “It’s a move I need to make, but I think I might have gone too hard. I started to get dizzy around the two mile.”
Although he faded a bit, Miller was happy with his race because he didn’t think he had run well at the state meet the previous two years.
“I’m just glad I didn’t choke,” he said. “It feels good to at least come close to my goal of the top 10.”
Regional champion Jeremy Bird had a tough finish, collapsing at the finish line.
“I don’t remember the last part of the race,” he said.
He finished in 34th place.
Senior Ricardo Pinedo finished his career with a 66th-place finish.
“I really thought Ricardo had a good race,” Trapp said. “He had the mindset that he was going to have a good race his senior year, and he was going after guys the entire race.”
Pinedo felt good about his race.
“I felt more focused than I have ever been,” he said. “I went out relaxed, and although I started to lose it at the end of the second mile, I was able to run some people down.”
Mike McNicol and Shane Bras–elton finished out the scoring for the Bulldogs in 124th and 140th, respectively. The boys were close to their goal of being the best team from the region. They finished with 381 points, four points behind Montrose and 30 points behind Battle Mountain.
Mountain View won the championship with 115 points. Liberty was second with 123, and Denver South was third with 131 points.
Pack too far back
The girls team had four girls finish within 20 seconds of one another, but the pack was too far back to get the girls into the top 10.
“We got stuck in the back early in the race,” said junior Katie Morris, who was the team’s third runner at 107th. “At state, you have to go out, and we didn’t do that.”
Freshman Alicia Nelson went out in the top 20 and floated around that spot most of the race. She crossed the finish in 25th, an impressive showing for a first-year runner.
“The last part of the race seemed really long,” Nelson said. “It was a nerve-racking day but exciting to finish where I did.”
Sophomore Jeacey Robinson finished as the team’s second runner, in 94th, and then came the pack.
Morris led the group with senior Alyssa Macomber next, at 108th, and freshman Laura Zirkle finished at 110.
Macomber was happy with her last race as a Bulldog cross country runner.
“This was the best season I’ve had,” she said. “This team was a lot of fun be with.”
Sophomore Elaine DuBois and freshman Erin Urbanoski made their state debuts with 123rd and 162nd-place finishes, respectively.
The girls finished in front of Summit, a team that beat them at the regional, and four points behind Glenwood Springs in the team race. Regional champion Battle Mountain won the team title with 117 points. Thompson Valley was second with 148, and Mountain View was third with 167 points.
Both teams have a strong core of runners returning next year. One senior graduates from each team.
“We need to work hard for the future,” Morris said. “If we can train in the summer, both teams can be good.”
“Everybody could use some more miles to get stronger,” he said. “We have a lot coming back to work with.”
And if the up-and-down cycle holds true, they have a lot to look forward to.
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