Moffat County cross country racers set new bests in Delta
The last leg of the season is coming up soon for Moffat County High School cross country runners as Bulldogs start to hit some of their best numbers in anticipation of the biggest races to come.
MCHS harriers are pushing themselves at just the right time and reaching new marks, as evidenced by results from Friday’s Delta Pantherfest.
The site at Delta’s Confluence Park is one of the favorite venues for racers, MCHS coach Todd Trapp said.
“They get really pumped up and excited about that course,” he said. “That’s something they talk about over the course of the season until we get to run there. It’s a place where we get to run fast, and it’s a different mindset they have coming into that race. They just seem like they’re ready to go when we get there, so the results kind of took care of themselves.”
After working through physical hindrances much of the fall, Wyatt Mortenson hit his lowest time yet this season, gaining the bronze at 16:17.18.
“He’s starting to get back there. He’s had two solid weeks of training, and he’s really getting back to where he was,” Trapp said. “All the kids overall ran a really good second half of the race. We were passing people coming in, so that was really good.”
Finishing behind a pair of Durango runners, Mortenson was the quickest for the day among 3A boys, a distinction that becomes more important as the Bulldogs look at the contenders from the region.
An abundance of personal records were broken for the rest of the Bulldog boys varsity — Keaton Knez hitting his lowest time to date, placing 12th at 17:08.51, as did Coltyn Terry at 17:11.77 for 14th, Kale Johnson 40th (18:17.25) and Noah Mortenson (18:40.92) for 49th in the group’s fourth-place results. PR’s by Ian Trevenen at 69th (19:38.65) and Wilson Eike 75th (19:52.99) rounded out the varsity results.
For the girls team, who placed fifth, Kelsey McDiffett led with a PR 20:02.57 for 17th and a season best for the group.
“Kelsey had a goal going in, she’s been talking about it since the beginning of the year, she’s wanted to go under 20,” Trapp said. “She got out well, and she was probably in about 25th at the first mile and just started passing people the last second half.”
Halle Hamilton finished at 20:29.94 for 27th, while Alayna Behrman hit her lowest time of 20:52.85 for 33rd.
Emaleigh Papierski took 34th (20:57.92) and Emma Jones 40th (21:22.90) for the points.
Stephenie Swindler also PR’d at 22:03.21 for 48th, with Bree Meats 66th (22:59.28) in the varsity race.
Wyatt Mortenson — 16:17.18, 3
Keaton Knez — 17:08.51, 12*
Coltyn Terry — 17:11.77, 14*
Kale Johnson — 18:17.25, 40*
Noah Mortenson — 18:40.92, 49*
Ian Trevenen — 19:38.65, 69*
Wilson Eike — 19:52.99, 75*
— The team placed fourth overall.
Garrett Mercer — 20:48.78, 23*
Kadin Hume — 21:44.70, 31*
Forrest Siminoe — 22:00.60, 35
Chase Serio — 22:12.90, 39*
Zach Craig — 25:19.55, 67
— The team placed fifth overall.
Kelsey McDiffett — 20:02.57, 17*
Halle Hamilton — 20:29.94, 27
Alayna Behrman — 20:52.85, 33*
Emaleigh Papierski — 20:57.92, 34
Emma Jones — 21:22.90, 40
Stephenie Swindler — 22:03.21, 48*
Bree Meats — 22:59.28, 66
— The team placed fifth overall.
Mackenzi Telford — 25:26.69, 38
Tiana Nichols — 28:25.97, 55*
— * denotes personal record
Several Bulldog JV racers set new bests, including Garrett Mercer, Kadin Hume, Chase Serio, while Forrest Siminoe and Tiana Nichols ran their first event of the season.
“Those kids have made some huge improvements over the course of the season,” Trapp said.
MCHS will compete at Rifle Wednesday afternoon, with the 3A Region 1 race scheduled for Oct. 18 in El Jebel hosted by Basalt.
Basalt is among the main contenders giving the Bulldogs a run for their money.
“We’ve got a really tough region, so it’s good for us to be competing with teams like that on a weekly basis,” Trapp said. “We’ll just keep working, trying to stay as focused as possible during Homecoming.”