Former Bulldog place at national meet
Jinny Mortensen, former Moffat County High School standout, ran onto the NCAA Division II national cross country scene Nov. 20 at the championships in Joplin, Mo.
Mortensen, a senior cross country runner at Adams State in Alamosa, Colo., ran to a 16th place finish. The effort helped her team win the team title for the ninth straight year.
“With my 16th place finish I made All-American honors,” said Mortensen. “The top 25 Americans are All-Americans. It was really exciting because this was my first Division II national race. I just had a good time.
There were 140 to 150 runners in the race and they were from all over the country in Division II schools.”
The finish was an accomplishment for Mortensen’s cross country career.
“I was really happy with how I ended,” said Mortensen. “With it being my senior year I was happy to make All-American. I was happy that our team won the team title.”
This year Adams State finished the meet with 23 points. Western State in Colorado was a distant second with 47 points.
“I have been the women’s cross country coach for 11 years,” said Adams State coach Damon Martin. “Eleven years ago I certainly didn’t plan on winning that many.
“The girls work hard and things have just seemed to turn out that way. The more you run the more people are going after you.”
Martin remembered first meeting Mortensen when she was still in high school.
“Jinny didn’t come here right out of high school,” said Martin. “I recruited her really hard and she came down here for a trip and everything. She decided to go to Ricks Junior College.”
“She went there for a year and things didn’t work out for her,” said Martin. “She then came here for her second year. I really enjoyed having her on the team. The first year she made some good progress and did some real good things.”
Martin said Mortensen is also a standout on the track team.
“I think in outdoor track she was a national qualifier in track in the 3,000 meters and the 5,000 meters. I was really proud of that,” said Martin. “Last year she came really close to making the team the week before the national meet.”
According to Martin, Mortensen improved the last month of the season.
“The turning point for Jinny was when we went down to Arizona,” said Martin. “She went from being our sixth and fifth runner to our first runner in a week.
“She really turned it on. The week that she was our number one runner she turned the lights on for a number of our runners on the team. She just had a great last six months of training and all of her summers paid off.
Mortensen’s running career isn’t over. When she was at Ricks College she only ran cross country.
“I am extremely excited to have her two more years in track,” said Martin. I think that her experiences are going to help her in the future for track.”
Mortensen will hit the track in a couple of weeks when she starts to workout for the indoor season.
“We will take two weeks off from training,” said Mortensen. “Then our first indoor track meet will be in the middle of January. Then we just train year around. In track I ran the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters. We usually put in 50 or 60 miles a week.”
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A chase to catch a runaway teenager on Monday morning ended after the teen jumped in the Yampa River in an attempt to escape police.