Steamboat Springs Girls XC, 2017

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Winter Boese's 7th-place finish in the State 1600 this spring gave Steamboat two medalists in the event.

In case you missed it, Steamboat Springs girls cross country was probably the best 3A story about a team rising from the middle tier of the ranks to become very competitive in 2016.

With the vast majority of that team back in 2017, Steamboat Springs figures to be very competitive again this year. Only this year, they won't be surprising anyone. 

Let's take a closer look, even though we don't figure to be terribly surprised about how good this team is this fall.

Steamboat Springs finished fourth in the 3A Girls state meet race last fall. Of the seven who wore the black and red of Steamboat Springs that day, six are back--including four of the scoring five and each of the top three.

Although Maggi Congdon was only Steamboat's third finisher at the state meet, she had the Sailors' top time of the season. And, she had an outstanding track season this spring. Congdon didn't run the 3200, but she did run 2:18 for the 800 and 5:10 for the 1600. Those are dazzling freshman times. Assuming she can get back into the longer distance groove this fall, she probably jumps to the front of the pack this fall.

But, Congdon's path to the front of the pack isn't a sure thing. There's also Winter Boese to consider. Boese missed a big chunk out of the middle of cross country season with an injury last fall, but came back as the Sailors' top finisher at State. Boese also had a nice track season, running 2:21 and 5:18.

Needless to say, Steamboat looks very solid at 1 and 2.

Sadie Cotton was Steamboats's #2 finisher at State last fall. And, she threatened to break 19 minutes during the season. But, we saw neither hide nor hair of Cotton in track season. Cotton is a Nordic skier during the winter months, but I could find no soccer statistics for her from spring. So, she missed track this spring, presumably without a soccer conflict. What that means about how and if she comes back this fall remains to be seen.

Her contributions will be missed if she is not back. Thus far, last fall was her only season of cross country.

Barring an upcoming freshman moving up squarely into the scoring five, the remaining two scoring positions figure to be handled this fall by Kandice Kittinger and Isabelle Boniface. Kittinger ran a lot of 3200s this spring, topping out with a best time of 12:45. Boniface ran 5:50 for 1600 and 12:31 as a best 3200.

So, if the five of Congdon, Boese, Cotton, Kittinger, and Boniface are all out and healthy this fall, Steamboat is set for a very solid scoring five. It gets better if there's a serious freshman talent or two coming up.

Steamboat doesn't figure to threaten Peak to Peak this fall, but every other team in the classification should have a wary eye on the Sailors.