Last hoorah for cross country
MCHS finishes regular season in Gypsum, gets ready for regionals
MCHS cross country at Battle Mountain Invite, Gypsum
5K - packed gravel/downhill
Team results -
Girls - DNP
Boys - third out of four teams
Individual results -
1. Alicia Nelson 16:34.5
2. Maddy Jourgensen 16:43.1
13. Megan Knez 20:34.6
45. Laura Zirkle 20:48.0
4. Chris Zirkle 15:12.2
7. Colt Criswell 15:46.6
13. Alfredo Lebron 16:08.1
15. Cory Wojtkiewicz 16:12.8
21. Jarred Blevins 17:12.0
25. Jimmy Howe 18:00.1
28. Kevin Murray 18:11.4
41. Kye Adams 20:22.9
Training season is over.
Moffat County cross country coach Todd Trapp has said all season that everything his team does throughout the regular season schedule is geared toward the season-ending state tournament.
Trapp believes each week his team competed from August until now has been an opportunity for them to improve, adjust and gain confidence.
“Each of these meets that we compete in is just gearing us up for what comes next,” Trapp said. “This weekend was just another workout.”
The Bulldogs proved they are rounding into postseason form Saturday in Gypsum, placing seven runners in the top 20 – three in the girls race and four in the boys.
MCHS sophomore Jarred Blevins placed 21st in the boys race and sophomore Jimmy Howe 25th.
All told, the Bulldogs placed nine runners in the top 25.
“Overall, I’m really happy with our times,” Trapp said, “and I’m really excited with how fast the kids ran.”
The track in Gypsum was the fastest Moffat County has raced on all season, and for good reason.
The 5,000-meter home course of Battle Mountain High School is a continuous down-hill trek, one that lets runners frequently achieve personal- best times.
“Everything that course is, is meant for a fast time,” Trapp said. “It’s good to run a fast time, but the kids know those times are skewed because it is downhill and the wind was behind them, the weather was perfect.
“There’s no course that will ever be like that again. There’s no course that is three miles of continuous downhill.”
Since there is no other course like it, the Bulldogs took advantage.
Senior Alicia Nelson (16:34.5) and sophomore Maddy Jourgensen (16:43.1) finished first and second in the girls race, each running personal best times.
The victory was Nelson’s fifth meet win in eight races this season.
Senior Megan Knez’s time of 20:34.6 earned her 13th, while Laura Zirkle finished 45th in 20:48.0.
Sophomore Nike Cleverly traveled with the team, but didn’t race this week because of an injury. Cleverly’s absence resulted in the girls team not having the required five runners to place in the event.
“Individually, to compete, it was good for Alicia and Maddy to have good performances,” Trapp said. “It was good for Megan and Laura to run faster times and gain confidence, knowing they can run well for us at the regional meet.”
The boys placed third out of four teams, four points behind second-place finisher Eagle Valley.
Hayden resident Chris Zirkle paced the boys team, finishing fourth in 15:12.2.
Colt Criswell placed seventh in 15:46.6, Alfredo Lebron 13th in 16:08.1.
Cory Wojtkiewicz placed 15th in 16:12.8, and Blevins rounded out MCHS’ top five, in 17:12.0.
“Once again, our top four are carrying us,” Trapp said of the boys team. “Jarred is really coming around. He’s closing that gap really well for our No. 5 guy.”
Now that the regular season – or Trapp’s so-called “training season” – is over, the postseason is next.
The Bulldogs head to Delta on Saturday, to compete in the 4A regional meet, where state championship berths are on the line.
John Vandelinder can be reached at 875-1793 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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