Runners get set for state |

Runners get set for state

David Pressgrove
Cross-Country ChampionshipsVineyard Golf Course, Colorado Springs

Class 4A boys, 10:30 a.m. SaturdayClass 4A girls, noon Saturday

The fall hasn’t quite gone the way both of Moffat County’s cross country teams would have hoped this year. Injuries, ups-and-downs and absences have hurt results, but as preparationsfor Saturday’s state meet come to a close, they’re ready to go.

“Low numbers and early injuries have hurt us,” Coach Todd Trapp said. “But there have been some good things to reflect on.”

On the boys side, juniors Jeremy Bird and Jake Miller established themselves as the top runners in Class 4A on the Western Slope. They are capable of leading the team to a better finish than last year’s seventh-place finish at the Vineyard Golf Course in Colorado Springs.

“Having those two up front should really help that,” Trapp said about improving from last year.

Sophomore Mike McNicol missed two weeks early in the season with an injury. He has helped the team out since returning but hasn’t been in the form he had his freshman year. After the team’s traditional Bulldog Mile Tuesday, Trapp said McNicol looked closer to being back.

“He ran the same time that he ran last year,” Trapp said. “After all he’s been through this year that could be a good thing.”

Senior Ricardo Pinedo is a three-time state qualifier. After leaving the team for a brief time, he has returned and finished in the top 10 at the regional meet.

The fifth and final runner for the Bulldogs is junior Shane Braselton. Braselton has improved his times by 1 1/2 minutes in every race compared to last year.

That’s it for the boys. Although seven runners are allowed on the team, they only have five at state. It doesn’t leave much room for error.

The girls have the depth, they just don’t have the experience the guys have. Four of the team’s runners will be running in their first state meets. One of those rookies is freshman Alicia Nelson. She has led the team all year.

“Alicia has really turned herself into a good runner,” Trapp said. “She understands she is capable of being with the front girls every race.”

Alyssa Macomber is the team’s only senior. She overcame a mid-season injury to run well in the team’s last two meets. Trapp said her improvement is a good sign for the girls.

Sophomore Jeacey Robinson, freshman Laura Zirkle and junior Katie Morris have raced together for the past two meets. Sophomore Elaine DuBois has steadily improved to earn a spot on varsity. Freshman Erin Urbanoski rounds out the top seven.

The Bulldogs will be without Amber Suits, the team’s second runner throughout the season, because she missed the regional meet.

“I think the girls are capable of a top-10 finish,” Trapp said. “This team reminds me of what we had two years ago.”

The team from two years ago finished 15th at the state meet.

“I think the two seniors will run well because it’s their last race,” Trapp said. “For the others, this is a good chance to experience state and develop for the future.”

The boys race first at 10:30 a.m. and the girls will follow at noon.

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