Moffat County XC runners stay the course in Whistle Pig home meet, prep for regionals
Bulldog distance runners took to the grounds of Yampa Valley Golf Course Friday afternoon for the third annual Whistle Pig Invitational, co-hosted by Steamboat Springs. The Sailors took top team honors for both boys and girls groups as well as winning the girls race, while the Bulldogs were close behind with second place in both team rankings.
MCHS junior Owen Gifford also took his best placement of the season as the runner-up for the boys, 13 seconds behind Rangely’s James Talbot with a time of 18 minutes.
Seniors Boden Reidhead and Ian Trevenen also made it into the top 10, with Reidhead sixth at 19:08 and Trevenen ninth at 19:46.
MoCo sophomore Josefina Kuberry led the girls team with 10th place and a time of 23:21, securing a spot in the awards ceremony despite Steamboat locking up the top eight spots.
Kuberry said she preferred the golf course’s terrain compared to Loudy-Simpson, as well as an afternoon meet versus one in the early morning, though the amount of competitors had some drawbacks in her view.
“There was a lot less people, so it’s kind of harder to pace yourself,” she said. “It was nice to have a small meet, but it’s easier like that with big ones.”
Sophomore Alyssa LeWarne was just outside the top 10 with 11th at 23:44, while junior Brook Wheeler took 13th in her first race back after a foot injury.
While she gutted it out, there was some pain.
“Some parts of the course I hit them just right, so it really hurt. It’s been kind of a bummer this season,” Wheeler said. “All last week I couldn’t practice, so this was my first week practicing again. All the girls and everybody on the team have been super supportive. It’s nice with cross country because it’s a smaller team, so we’re pretty close-knit.”
Junior Joslyn Bacon finished 17th, sophomore Hannah Kilpatrick 21st, Hayden senior Bella Simones 27th and junior Nancy Nunez 28th in the girls race.
With only five runners in the mix, MoCo boys were in the top half of the day’s 40 competitors. Freshman Karson Fedinec took 17th and sophomore Travis LeFevre 18th.
Fedinec said most of the team has been fighting a bug in recent weeks, including himself. Even with all the challenges, he’s appreciated the increase in strategy for high school running.
“We try our best to pack up with each other, since it’s usually better for team scoring,” he said.
The Whistle Pig served as an opportunity for local runners to get in one more competition before the 3A Region 1 Meet, which takes place Friday, Oct. 21, at Delta’s Confluence Park.
The venue’s layout is a favorite of runners on the Western Slope, Bulldogs among them.
“It’s super-flat and there’s a little bit of downhill too, which is nice. Makes me feel a lot faster,” Fedinec said.
The teams already ran the Delta course at Sept. 30’s Pantherfest, during which Gifford placed fifth and Trevenen sixth, both with their best times of the season.
Neither of them were thrilled with their results at home, they expect the regional event to be a solid finish as they make a bid for state qualification.
The final weeks of the season are hitting seniors especially hard after being part of a program they’ve come to love.
“I’ll miss it here and running around the course,” Trevenen said. “It’s good seeing all the people from the community who come out to support us.”
Moffat County High School 5K
Boys — 2. Owen Gifford, 18:00; 6. Boden Reidhead, 19:08; 9. Ian Trevenen, 19:46; 17. Karson Fedinec, 21:09; 18. Travis LeFevre, 21:11.
Girls — 21. Josefina Kuberry, 23:21; 11. Alyssa LeWarne, 23:44; 13. Brook Wheeler, 23:48; 17. Joslyn Bacon, 24:24; 21. Hannah Kilpatrick, 24:51; 27. Bella Simones, 25:32; 28. Nancy Nunez, 25:48.
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