Moffat County cross-country runners finish strong at home meet | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County cross-country runners finish strong at home meet

Lauren Blair

MCHS runners Allie Dildine and Ary Shaffer charge through the last mile of the race Saturday morning at their home meet. They finished seventh and sixth, respectively.

— The Moffat County Cross-Country Invitational went off without a hitch Saturday morning at Loudy-Simpson Park in Craig. A small but respectable showing of five teams made for some fierce competition in the high school races.

Teams from Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Rangely and Rawlins, Wyoming, joined Moffat County High School runners on the newly revamped 5-kilometer course. Middle school teams from Moffat County, Hayden, Rangely and Rawlins kicked off the invitational, which followed in the footsteps of the Leaf Cruncher 5K earlier in the morning, a fundraiser held by Friends of Moffat County Education.

The course featured the addition of a hill element this year, in part to replace the lap around the soccer field, which some of last year's participants complained was soggy.

"It's a tougher course than we have run in the last couple weeks, but good results," MCHS cross-country coach Todd Trapp told his team at the end of the meet.

Sisters Delaney Baker, an MCHS senior, and Makenna Baker, a freshman, both agreed that the hill was the hardest part of the course but thought it would help prepare them for the course at state. The state meet will be held in Colorado Springs this year and features a large hill.

"I think we're doing really well and have the potential to win regionals three years in a row if we keep pushing," Delaney said.

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MCHS girls placed second to Steamboat Springs High School, with four finishers in the top 10. They were led by the team's consistent front-runner, Emily Womble, who finished with a time of 21:19. One of the team's usual top finishers, Lauren Samuelson, dropped out of the race with only about 800 meters to go, Trapp said, which made for a lower team score than anticipated.

MCHS boys had a strong performance and finished first place in the meet by a wide margin, with SSHS placing second, followed by Rangely and Rawlins in third and fourth, respectively.

"The boys, they had a great race. They were able to pack up front," Trapp said. "I heard some encouraging out on the course, and that's exactly what we want to see."

Craig Middle School runners — comprising six girls — also made a good showing with a third-place finish for the girls by eighth-grader Madysen Cramer, who followed shortly after second-place finisher Makenna Knez, from Hayden Middle School.

The CMS cross-country team will run its last meet of the season next week in Saratoga, Wyoming, and the MCHS cross-country team will complete a time trial on the Loudy-Simpson course in order to remain home for homecoming festivities.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.