Moffat County cross-country runners preparing for regionals after Whistle Pig Invite
For the Craig Press
Though they weren’t carrying any clubs, Moffat County High School athletes covered plenty of ground Friday at Yampa Valley Golf Course.
The second annual Whistle Pig Invitational was the final regular season race for Bulldog cross-country, during which the distance runners kept their times on track as they move into the last leg of the fall.
With only five schools in attendance and only three having enough runners to field a full team, MCHS teams each placed second behind Steamboat Springs, with Sailors Bowden Tumminello and Autumn Oslowski winning the boys and girls races, respectively.
Steamboat boys were only four points ahead in the team scoring, with Hayden senior Kale Johnson earning bronze honors with a 17:47.6, followed closely by teammates Ian Trevenen and Owen Gifford in fourth and fifth, as well as Boden Reidhead in seventh and Alex Nichols rounding out the top five for the squad in 13th.
Placing 18th, Forrest Siminoe was more than pleased with the finish of 20:21.8 in the second consecutive week for MoCo taking on a golf course setting, the previous week earning many runners their best times ever.
“We all went a little slower than last race, but it was still good,” Siminoe said. “It’s a little more hilly, there are some gradual hills here.”
Siminoe was unable to run the first MCHS home event in September due to a family vacation, but at the start of the race, he heard a familiar sound, with his mother Kamisha calling one of cinema’s most beloved quotes: “Run, Forrest, run!”
“Every meet, it’s just something you get used to,” he laughed. “I’ve been hearing it since sixth grade.”
Kadin Hume, Chase Serio and Travis LeFevre finished in close succession, while Carson Laehr’s first race back after a hiatus for the season saw him nearly 90 seconds ahead of the final four runners.
In the girls race, Steamboat earned the first four finishes, but senior Emma Jones took fifth at 20:53.1. Halle Hamilton was next in seventh, and Bree Meats ninth.
With points still in play, sophomores Joslyn Bacon and Brook Wheeler were next for the Bulldogs, and though the two have tended to pace each other in most races, Bacon took the No. 4 spot this time, placing 12th in a race she felt was her best of the season.
“This year I’ve been struggling with my hip flexor, but I think it finally healed up,” Bacon said.
She added that the slightly tweaked course layout helped her.
“My kick was really good as soon as we turned that really hard right corner,” she said. “The flatness of the course really helps.”
Though a little frustrated with her own result after not feeling at peak physicality, Wheeler bore no ill feelings for her teammate.
“I’m kind of glad she passed me. She deserved it,” Wheeler said of Bacon.
Hayden’s Bella Simones and exchange student Marta Pelanconi took 28th and 29th on the day, while Alyssa LeWarne and Natalia Lopez finished 36th and 41st.
An expedited awards ceremony saw top 10 runners take their meet t-shirts, as MCHS students rushed back up to the high school for the Bulldog football game against Aspen, which included a halftime ceremony for the cross-country seniors: Johnson, Nichols, Serio, Hume, Jones, Hamilton, Meats, and Pelanconi.
The Whistle Pig marks the transition into the last two weeks of the season, with the 3A Region 1 Meet hosted by Coal Ridge coming up on Oct. 22.
While older students have been to regionals and the subsequent state meet multiple times, the regional event and beyond will be a new experience for some.
Bacon was an alternate last year for the state meet, and she’s looking forward to the prospect of the bigger races.
“Since we’ve run that (Coal Ridge) course before, we know where all the good kick points are,” she said.
Likewise, Siminoe is ready for the competition that comes with the final stretch.
“We’ll just be hitting it as hard as we can and give it our all,” he said.
Moffat County High School cross country results at Whistle Pig Invitational
Runner Time; Place
Kale Johnson 17:47.6; 3
Ian Trevenen 18:16.1; 4
Owen Gifford 18:24.3; 5
Boden Reidhead 18:50.9; 7
Alex Nichols 19:47.8; 13
Forrest Siminoe 20:21.8; 18
Kadin Hume 21:18.5; 24
Chase Serio 21:21.4; 25
Travis LeFevre 21:29.1; 26
Carson Laehr 24:07.2; 37
Emma Jones 20:53.1; 5
Halle Hamilton 21:08.5; 7
Bree Meats 22:14.7; 9
Joslyn Bacon 23:25.9; 12
Brook Wheeler 23:30.3; 13
Bella Simones 25:44.3; 28
Marta Pelanconi 25:46.4; 29
Alyssa LeWarne 27:14.1; 36
Natalia Lopez 28:54.4; 41
— MCHS teams both placed 2nd.
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It wouldn’t be a league event for Moffat County High School track and field athletes without bringing home some hardware, and the Bulldogs earned some metal last weekend.