Bulldog cross-country qualifies full boys team, 1 girl for state championships | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldog cross-country qualifies full boys team, 1 girl for state championships

Andy Bockelman
For the Craig Press
Kadin Hume of Moffat County High School track.
Andy Bockelman / For the Craig Press

It was an up and down kind of day Friday afternoon for Moffat County High School runners.

Part of that was the terrain for the 3A Region 1 Meet, but on an another level it was one of the two Bulldog teams having more of a struggle than the other.

MCHS earned a full boys team berth for the CHSAA State Championships during the regional event at VIX Ranch Park in New Castle.

Bombastic Bulldog boys

With the top four teams moving on to the state race, the third-place MoCo boys were only eight points out of second yet still securely in the mix.

Had the full group not qualified, Hayden senior Kale Johnson and MCHS junior Ian Trevenen would have each made the cut regardless, with the top 15 regional runners guaranteed to head to state.

Johnson placed ninth at a time of 17:54.8, though he was barely paying attention to the clock, focusing more on the other athletes.

“It was all about placement today. This week’s the biggest one for that,” he said.

Johnson was pleased with the results, though he was a bundle of nerves.

“I can’t complain, but I felt like throwing up half the time,” he said. “I wanted to perform well and didn’t want to screw it up.”

While Johnson was free and clear in the final stretch, Trevenen kept it close with Pagosa Springs’ Andrew Bowles late in the race.

“I thought I had him going up the hill, but going down he just kicked in even though he was looking gassed,” he said.

At 18:13.1, Trevenen was pleasantly surprised with how he finished in the field.

“I thought I was only in about 14th, but I’m really happy with our places,” he said.

Owen Gifford, Boden Reidhead and Forrest Siminoe rounded out the point count, placing 16th, 22nd, and 46th, respectively.

Alex Nichols, right behind Siminoe at No. 49, said he felt the course wasn’t too different from when they ran the Coal Ridge Invitational. While the multiple inclines weren’t fun, they also weren’t that much of a killer.

“I feel like it kind of evens out since there’s the same amount of uphill as there is downhill,” Nichols said. “The start was further back (at the Coal Ridge Invite) and the finish was a little shorter, because it used to be all around the field.”

Kadin Hume found himself edging his way between two Rifle runners just before the finish line, though it was teammate Travis LeFevre who provided the true motivation.

“Travis caught up to me and I didn’t want to let him beat me, there was more push to beat him than the two other kids. That pushes us all through,” Hume said.

Hume took 63rd and LeFevre 66th.

“It’s kind of what we expected from our guys to do all year. We’ve been telling them since the first meet how they can be strong,” said MCHS head coach Todd Trapp.

Johnson, Trevenen, Reidhead have been at the state level before, and they expect to use the same tactics that got them there.

“Our ability to stay in a pack and pull each other along really helps us, that’s one of our biggest strengths,” Trevenen said. “We usually do pretty well at state, but it’s always cool to see how we do against the best of the best.”

State will be a new experience for some, including seniors Hume and Nichols.

The sport has been a constant for Hume since middle school and one he’s had to push himself to continue.

“I’ve been doing it seven years, but there’s a lot of times when I think, ‘why do I do this to myself?’ and I keep doing it anyway,” he said.

The final race of the fall will be bittersweet for the upperclassmen as they run side by side for the final occasion.

“I think I’ll miss everybody’s energy. We have a really good team spirit together,” Nichols said.

The battle for Top Dog

Alamosa swept the regional competition with individual and team victories, and in the girls race Basalt and Aspen had plenty of athletes up front.

Unfortunately for MoCo girls, Gunnison and Coal Ridge had plenty of speedsters as well.

“I looked at a lot of results over the course of the season, and I knew Gunnison would be really strong, they’ve got a really good pack. They had the day they needed to have on the day that it counted,” Trapp said.

After staying close by teammate Halle Hamilton much of the race, senior Emma Jones had a great final burst to put her in the upper echelon of the results.

Spectators weren’t letting her forget the need to finish strong in the last bit of the race.

“My coaches and parents kept telling me, ‘you’re 14 right now, you gotta finish top 15!’” Jones said.

At a time of 20:54.2, Jones stayed in 14th and hit the ground promptly after the finish line.

“I was pretty tired. It was a hard last stretch, but I really wanted to finish, that’s what motivated me,” she said.

Hamilton took 18th moments later and joined her friend on the grass.

Though a little emotional that she missed the spot at state after three straight years making it there, Hamilton was more concerned about supporting Jones.

“Emma just really went for it and I didn’t, that’s what happens sometimes. She crushed it; I’m so proud of her and so excited to watch her next week,” Hamilton said.

The final member of the senior girls triumvirate, Bree Meats, placed 36th, with sophomores Joslyn Bacon and Brook Wheeler 43rd and 48th.

“I feel bad for Bree and Halle not to get to experience senior year at state, but I’m really proud of Emma,” Trapp said. “Those three seniors have committed so much time to this program, and they’ve showed kids what it means to work hard and have great attitudes.”

Hayden’s Bella Simones earned 68th, Marta Pelanconi 77th, Alyssa LeWarne 81st, and Natalia Lopez 85th.

Though Jones is the only one who will be officially competing, the girls team will continue to help her train in the coming week, and Jones hopes to see as many of her teammates as possible attend the state meet.

“We all deserve to go together because we’ve all been pushing each other super well this season,” she said.

That team spirit

With multiple exchange students running for the girls team — including Pelanconi and Lopez — athletes who come to Craig for long-distance running practices are a common occurrence most years.

Before this fall, Simones, a Hayden junior, mostly had experience with a different style.

“I wanted to get more serious about track, so my coach said join cross-country in Moffat County. I do sprinting, so it was quite a leap. I’d never ran more than like, a mile when I came in,” she said.

The adjustment was intense.

“Lung-wise, it was awful, and I wasn’t mentally prepared. People don’t realize how hard it is mentally to go from sprints to long-distance,” Simones said.

Evolving over the course of the season was made easier by the Moffat County team, she said.

“Everyone’s super-sweet and even though I was new, everybody was really welcoming and the coaches are amazing. That’s why I’m gonna do it again next year,” she said.

Johnson has run for MoCo XC since he was a freshman, and while he runs track for the Tigers in the spring, he says the Bulldog experience is always enjoyable.

“The morale is a lot higher around here than in Hayden. They’re always so positive,” he said.

Jones said the energy among teammates is incredibly helpful.

“It’s how well everyone works together and pushes each other. Everyone being so positive and working so well in our workouts, everybody has improved significantly,” she said. “It really does make a difference when people believe in you. It’s a hard sport to get into, but once you do, you don’t want to leave it because it’s such a fun group of people to run with.”

While she would have preferred to go all the way, Hamilton noted it was a memorable season.

“This year was kind of different, but we worked really well as a team and it was awesome to run next to Emma every single race,” she said. “We had a great season, and I can’t wait for what’s next.”

Moffat County High School cross country results at 3A Region 1 Meet


Runner Time; Place

Kale Johnson 17:54.8; 9

Ian Trevenen 18:13.1; 11

Owen Gifford 18:38.2; 16

Boden Reidhead 18:53.9; 22

Forrest Siminoe 20:25.1; 46

Alex Nichols 20:32; 49

Kadin Hume 21:32.3; 63

Travis LeFevre 21:40.8; 66

—MCHS boys finished 3rd of 12 teams.

Girls Varsity

Emma Jones 20:54.2; 14

Halle Hamilton 21:29.2; 18

Bree Meats 22:52; 36

Joslyn Bacon 23:40.3; 43

Brook Wheeler 24:02.3; 48

Bella Simones 26:06.9; 68

Marta Pelanconi 27:27.7; 77

Alyssa LeWarne 28:28.6; 81

Natalia Lopez 30:26.4; 85

— MCHS girls placed 6th of 12 teams.

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