Colorado Week in Review: Travel Weekend Special (Updated)

For those who stayed here in Colorado this week, there was, of course, the Littleton Runners Roost Invitational to keep things lively on the home front. Photo by Bill Stahl.

Wow, there was a lot of cross country to keep track of this last week:

40th Stanford Cross Country Invitational

Three, no make that four, Colorado teams made the big trip to Palo Alto for this one. ThunderRidge and Durango had the temerity to sign up for and run the Seeded races. In a field of 33 teams, Durango finished 22nd and ThunderRidge 24th. For perspective, Aracadia finished first. TR's Paul Moore was the first Colorado finisher in 52nd at 16:36. 

Durango repeated their 22nd in the girls race, but ThunderRidge climbed to 14th. Top Colorado honors went to Hannah Peterson at 19:11 in 24th, but Kamryn Hart was right on her heels at 19:12. 

Cheyenne Mountain and Peak to Peak both showed up in the D4 races and made a little noise there. In fact, Cheyenne Mountain made so much noise, they stuck a trophy in their hands and sent the boys home in second. That second would match the individual finish of William Mayhew (15:49). But, Mayhew was far from alone, with Tristan Meyers and Tristan Pelto backing up his efforts at 16:05 and 16:31, respectively. 

Peak to Peak finished 12th in the 34-team field.

Among the girls, Greta Sloan ran 18:38 for fith. That got the Cheyenne Mountain girls off to a very nice start, which they completed with another second-place team showing. Madison Lambros's 19:30 was second in the CM order.

Peak to Peak had another very nice showing, with their girls coming up 7th in the D4 race. Dallas Frisbie paced the Pumas effort with a 19:25.

As you read this, there are probably some tired young people arriving back in Colorado. Tired, yes, but they should be happy about how they did.

On-Site Coverage

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Anna Banana Memorial Wildcat Invitational

Michele Bisbee covered this one very nicely in the article linked below, including a nice explanation of why this meet, for all the attention it gathers, doesn't bring in any more teams than it does.

On-Site Coverage

Harriers, Start Your Engines

Jake Erickson leads Grand Junction's Greg Eccher and Telluride's Jack Plantz through early stages of the Anna Banana boys varsity race. Photo by Michele Bisbee.

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Brooks/TCA Titan Thunder Invitational

This is the meet that just about did me in this weekend. My hat is off in a serious way to anyone who hosts more than one meet in a season. 

But, it was certainly fun to watch the Lauren Gregory/Katie Rainsberger showdown. This one was the closest boys team finish in meet history at this one as well. So, while the boys didn't have any individual headliners on the order of the girls, it was a very interesting team race.

For all you fans of 3A cross country, be sure to check out the pack time of the Salida girls in the results link, below, and especially among their top four.

On-Site Coverage

Fourth Time's a Charm

At the midway point of the race Katie Rainsberger and Lauren Gregory were running shoulder to shoulder, but a major change was in the offing. Photo by Alan Versaw.

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Canon City Cross Country Invitational

Marcy Epperson assures me that Canon City will try to find their way back to the Royal Gorge for this meet, but Pathfinder Park worked pretty well in a pinch.

Josh Davis, Jake Rogers, and their Lamar-based compatriots stuck it to the field in this one. This probably figures as Lamar's trip to altitude for the week, and they are definitely making the most of those trips. Among other things, this team is building confidence. We'll follow this story through the end of the year as Lamar seeks to become the lowest-elevation team in Colorado ever to win a state cross country title. If they do win it, the contest is pretty much over, as I'm unaware of a lower-elevation school in Colorado that runs cross country (at least I've not seen anything of Sedgwick County running cross country after a recent attempt at starting up a program). 

Palmer Ridge, down a couple of top runners, took the girls team title, edging Canon City by two points. That count of two, however, would also correspond to the number of top places that went home with the Till family after the meet. If the Tills had spaced their children a little more closely, they could almost have been in the running for the state's first single-family team title. Yes, there are more coming after Aubrey and Katie, but, for now, A and K are holding up very nicely on their own.

On-Site Coverage

Girls Highlights

Castle View Sabercat Invitational

This one jumps right away to the top ten scenic courses in the state. Kudos to Mark Kuhn for finding the place and putting the meet on. I've a hunch this one will sprout wings and take flight.

Dolores Barton was good enough to send me a few meet photos, and I've chose this one of Kylie Johnson, below, to give you a feel for the setting of the meet:

Ultimately, though, cross country is more about racing than scenery (though scenery is often a nice fringe benefit), so we'll spend a little time here discussing the outcomes of the race, too...

Mountain View's girls may or may not have enjoyed the scenery, but they certainly did a nice job of capturing the meet hardware. A 1-2 finish from Riley Cooney and Lauren Offerman helped to ensure that would happen. 

Mountain View's boys made it a twofer when they edged Liberty for the team title. There were, however, no 1-2 finishes for the Mountain View boys. Those honors went to Castle View's Forrest Barton and Liberty's Ben Schneiderman. The fact that Barton was 30 seconds slower than his time last week at North Carolina's McAlpine Launching Pad indicates that, for all the appeal of the meet's rural setting, not too much speed was sacrificed.

Chicken Creek Challenge

They keep coming back. They come from Utah and New Mexico, too, but the do keep coming back.

Before we get to the high schoolers, let's take a moment to note that Simon Kearns of Mancos is not far from reaching the high school scene. Remember that name.

Justin Burton and Ro Paschal scored a 1-3 for the host Blue Jays, but it wasn't enough to keep the Durango JV from going home with the meet title.

Pagosa's Emily Bryant was all over this course about a minute faster than anyone else and cruised to the girls individual title. And that definitley helped Pagosa put away the girls team title. Montezuma-Cortez's Rachel Demby ran a solid race for second, but both Bryant and Demby spend a lot of time by themselves among the pines and firs.

Dave Sanders Invitational

Since we didn't do an article on this one, we're going to spend some time here, because there's a lot to be said about this meet.

Before anything is said, however, there's a question that has been asked around the state quite a bit already--What was Coronado doing in D2?  I think the biggest part of the answer to that question is that 4A teams (Cornado doesn't go back to 5A until next fall) were mostly placed in D2. The only 4A schools I see in a quick scan of the D1 results are Broomfield and Battle Mountain. So, Coronado followed the old adage and grew where they were planted. To be sure, they did very well there. Coronado's boys won with 26 points to 89 for second-place Evergreen. Coronado's girls finished second with 57 points, one point behind Evergreen. Bailey Roth was back in action, and back to his winning ways, with a 15:58.

In additional D2 notes, Holy Family's girls ran very well to finish fourth and should figure as a factor in the 3A girls state race in four weeks. Like Coronado, Holy Family will be bumping up a classification next fall. Middle Park's Tabor Scholl posted the fastest girls time of the entire event at 18:31.

Divison 1 boys was all Mountain Vista--just like every other race they've run in this fall with their full varsity. 25 teams in the meet, and MV finishes their scoring at 12th place. You can run, but you can't hide. Arapahoe, which just might be the next-best 5A boys team this fall, finished with 88 points (still very good in a meet of this size) to Mountain Vista's 33. Broomfield's fourth-place finish, right behind Pomona, could portend some concerns for the 4A set.

In D1 girls, Erin Norton took the win at 18:45, with Battle Mountain's Val Constien running a close second. For the most part, the 5A girls heavy hitting teams were playing ball elsewhere this weekend, but Mountain Vista was here and took home a very convincing win, with Grandview and Battle Mountain in sight, but barely so.

Arapahoe's girls were well out of the running, but also were clearly sitting out at least one top gun (see Nike Pre-Nationals discussion below). Mandee Middleton dominated the B race, but Arapahoe did not have the requisite five meets in for Middleton to be running varsity. If my calculations and assumptions about the transfer rule are correct, Middleton should be running varsity this week for the Warriors.

On-Site Coverage

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Fountain Valley Cross Country Invitational

As expected, we learned something about the small schools here. We may have already suspected, but we saw it confirmed here, that the Vanguard and Crested Butte boys are pretty much a dead heat. Forrest Smith takes the win, but Vanguard packs them in together a little better than Crested Butte to claim the win.

Vanguard had no similar challenges in turning aside the girls competition. Sargent was a solid second, and the Farmers, behind Sarah Storey and Makayla Garcia, very much have the look of a state-bound team.

On-Site Coverage

Littleton Runners Roost Invitational

I've lost count of how many schools Bill Stahl has hosted this meet with. Judging by the results, though, I have a pretty strong feeling that this one may have been a little more about going fast and a little less about getting wet than the Addenbrooke Park editions of the meet were. Still, there was some water and general gnarliness of the course to deal with in this meet (see photo at top of this article). 

Liam Meirow was pretty much alone in first in the boys race, but it was D'Evelyn's Carter Prescott and company equally as alone in the team tally. 

D'Evelyn also welcomed Lexi Reed back, and she came through with a substantial win on the girls side. That started the cascade that would end up with both titles in D'Evelyn's hands. Apparently, water sports are big at D'Evelyn High School.

On your middle school watch list, add the names of Griffin Hampton (Littleton Academy) and Allie Chipman (Mountain Ridge). If you need help associating the latter name, you've only been with Colorado high school cross country a short while.

Meet Results

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Mead Stampede

I'm informed there was a misspelling in the meet title at this one. It was the Mud Stampede, not the Mead Stampede. Dan Betz covered this one nicely in the article linked below, and we certainly send out our best wishes to the folks in the Longmont area who've had a whole lot of too much of a good thing over the last three weeks.

University's Jenna Ptaschek finishes second on a rain-drenched course at Mead. Photo by Ron Eberhard.

On-Site Coverage

Nike Pre-Nationals

If anyone was figuring on taking lightly a Colorado 3A entry in this meet, they've probably had time enough to change their perspective on that by now. We don't yet have results posted for the D1 races, but the Frontier Academy boys finished third as a team, while the Frontier Academy girls took 10th. Officially, Makayla Santos finished second as an individual in 19:50, but there is some evidence she actually finished first and bib chip timing missed the nuances of a very tight finish. Chris Baker led the FA boys with a 19th. It's nice to see Mr. Baker's name returning to the results.

A very nice out-of-state showing for Brett Shanklin's teams!

Emily Wolff ventured to Portland as an individual and ran 19:22. Without knowing any more, I have a hunch the course was sloppy. If dry, it should have run faster than that. Late note: my suspicsions were confirmed by those who were there--pouring rain and 30+ mile-per-hour sustained winds. Not your usual late-September weather for Portland!

Meet Results

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Pat Patten Invitational

This course was definitely sloppy. I've heard that much from multiple people in attendance at the meet. 

Ashley Green's photo (left) of Ashley Bock gives us some sense of the misery that was attending a meet at Viele Lake Park on Friday (running, however, was probably substantially less misery).

Cerake Geberkidane slogged his way to a 15:18 win. How convincing was that? Consider that Satchel Caldwell of Boulder was second in 16:53. If he keeps this up, pretty soon Cerake is going to forget what it's like to run with human company.

Boulder took a bigger-than-it-appears team title over Monarch at this one. I say bigger than it appears because Boulder beat Monarch at every scoring position. In pouring rain, at least, pick Boulder to take the win over Monarch. For now, understanding that there's still a good bit of season left.

Monarch had no similar issues with people getting in front of them in the girls race. Coyotes, it seems, love the rain. Who knew?

The Coyote scoring went 2-3-6-8-9 and included the less-than-familiar names of Holly Bent and Audrey Lookner right behind some usual names like Claire Green and Kaitlyn Benner. It would appear that the reloading process for next year has already begun, but let's make it a point to enjoy what's left of this year while we may--this, folks, is an exceptionally good team.

Isabelle Kennedy took the girls individual title in 18:51. On a day like this, that will do. 

On-Site Coverage

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Rampart Foxes and Hounds Invitational

Normally, foxes and hounds among the sheep are a serious problem. Not so this time. Rampart's Rams were all over the foxes, hounds, Eagles, Falcons, Hawks, Cardinals and other assorted feathered and furry beasts. Led by Ben Dingman and Reid Bartels, the Rampart boys perfect scored the meet. Nay, they perfect scored it all the way down to seven positions.

If you're having the same consternation I was about a winning time of 18:53, that would owe to the delayed start for runners. The clock started when the seventh runners for each time began. 20 seconds later, the sixth runners for each team began, followed 20 seconds later by the fifth runners, etc. Times were not readjusted in the results reporting.

Rampart took 13 places to get their scoring done in the girls event, but still took a relatively easy win over the Cheyenne Mountain JV girls. Emily Dingman made it a family affair, winning the girls individual title in 21:38. 

Rim Rock Farm High School XC Classic

I thought there would be two Colorado schools in the results, but only one showed.

The one that showed, however, did a whole lot more than just show. For the second year in a row, the Pine Creek girls demolished the field. Kaleigh Kroeker led the charge in fifth at 15:22 (4K), Even while abosbing 63 points at the fifth scoring position, Pine Creek was 17 points ahead of second place.

The boys met with less success. Zachary Alhamra had a very nice third at 15:40, but the Eagles finished 29th as a team.

On-Site Coverage

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Rocky Mountain Shootout

Normally, college meets don't warrant a place on the high school week-in-review article. But, normally, high school seniors don't win college races. It happened here, and you've probably already guessed the culprit.

Elise Cranny took the 5.8K win in 20:39, 16 seconds ahead of CU's Carrie Verdon (an NCAA runner of no small reputation). In addition to the usual factors of Jawbone Hill and rocks liberally strewn around the course, there was also mud to deal with this time. For Elise Cranny? No problem.

Roy Griak Invitational

Cherry Creek made the trip to Minnesoa for the big upper midwest meet. They've been here before, so it's probably not like a lot of anxiety accompanied the trip.

Cherry Creek's boys probably came expecting better than a 10th in the boys gold race, but that is what they left with. Shane Rhodes led the Bruins at 16:30, and training in Colorado is probably not great preparation for running on vast expanses of grass.

The Bruin girls, however, enjoyed a better showing. Wayzata (Minnesota) was simply untouchable on Saturday, but Cherry Creek finished a very nice second, despite being without the services of Devon Peterson. Jordyn Colter got the individual win in 17:48.

On-Site Coverage

Roy Griak Invitational HS Preview

Milesplit and Flotrack have partnered to broadcast the 28th Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the University of Minnesota. Let the excitement begin!

Roy Griak Invitational Live Webcast

MileSplit and Flotrack have partnered to broadcast the 28th Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the University of Minnesota. The Roy Griak Invitational is one of the most competitive early season cross country competitions nationwide.

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Sweetheart Invitational

Somebody stop the Thompson Valley freight train. Like railroad cars, the TV girls crossed 6-7-8-9-10 for a big win at a big meet. And, their sixth and seventh weren't exactly lagging far behind. Megan Irvine, Emily Leidig, Hayley Berg, Kendra Larson, and Kacie Kaufman are names you need to know and account for. It's that simple, really.

Rocky Mountain took the boys team title with David Messerli in front at 16:42. And, since Kacey Doner took the girls individual title, that made it two-for-two for the Lobos in individual titles.

On-Site Coverage

Girls Highlights

Thornton Cross Country Invitational

Slowly, but surely, the Thornton boys team is starting to come together behind Sean Paiz and Joshua Joseph. They were certainly a good deal more than anyone at this meet could handle.

Ben Espinola of Machebeuf took small school honors with a 16:34 in third, reminding not a few that he will be reckoned with at state in four weeks.

For the girls, it was a major piece of domination by Legacy. And, with Abby Cohen joining Emma Gee in sub-19 territory, it's looking more and more like Legacy is forming a complete team. As if the top of 5A wasn't crowded enough already--sort of like hiking Mt. Bierstadt on a weekend (or Longs Peak any day of summer).

Meet Results

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights