League Meets, The Early Returns

Cerake Geberkidane crosses the finish mats just a little over 15-flat at Tuesday's DPS meet. Photo by Lyle Knudson.

There's still a lot of league meet action left to ponder, and even yet to be run, but let's take a look at what we saw from this week's first meets to report...


Continental League Meet

Maybe the most surprising thing we saw--or didn't see--here was the ThunderRidge girls. If you go down through the list of names, the names ring familiar, but the times and places don't. For now, I'm going to chalk this one up to a very controlled effort on the part of ThunderRidge. In the scheme of an entire season, there are much bigger fish to fry than the league meet title and all-conference honors. Kudos to TR if that's the guiding light of their thought right now. Of the eight girls under 20:00 at this meet, three were from Rock Canyon. And therein lies the difference in the team scoring.

I don't know exactly how hard the Mountain Vista boys would have to run to win this thing, but they clearly ran harder than the bare minimum. Parking your scoring five all in the top ten exceeds the minimum (except, perhaps, in a dual meet). 

Times from this meet suggest that the course was a Dalby-esque kind of course. MV can do the flat-and-fast thing just fine, thank you, but it seems they prefer a little hill grinding when given the choice.

Meet Results

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Denver Public Schools Cross Country Meet

This was the meet that Cerake Geberkidane was going for the magical 14:44. Unfortunately, the barometer wasn't cooperating. Extremely low barometric pressures on Tuesday afternoon mean sharply reduced available oxygen. That Geberkidane could take those conditions and finish in 15:05 is a huge indicator of how fast he really is. Take a look at the times for the rest of the field if you don't think something other than just athlete-against-course was in play here.

Darby Gilfillan posted a big win on the girls side, but, once again, well off of her season-best marks. 

And, guess what, Denver East (boys) and George Washington (girls) picked up the team titles, too, though Denver North made it rather interesting on the boys side.

On-Site Coverage

League Meet Frenzy!

If you were figuring on the Arvada West girls rolling over and playing dead for the Jeffco 5A title, you'd be sadly mistaken about that. Photo by Della Moore.

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Frontier League Cross Country Meet

Sheridan hosted this one. The usual suspects ran away with the boys race--Jacob Benson of Platte Canyon and Robert Tekansik of Lake County. Mason Phillips won the race for third. Placing didn't really get very interesting (if competition defines "interesting") until fourth. Team-wise, Platte Canyon has no peers in this league.

For the girls, Rainie Toll of Denver School of Science and Technology took the win over Meghan Gerritsen of Platte Canyon. The fact that I didn't recognize Toll's name in the slightest degree prompted me to do some digging. This race is her first win, or at least her first win of any race recorded in the MileSplit database. She also ran two minutes faster on this course than she did about a month ago at the Sheridan Ram Charger Invitational. Somebody is on a very nice improvement curve at this point in the season!

The girls team contest was about as good as team contests with only four scoring teams get. Clear Creek took a 2-point margin of victory over Platte Canyon for the league title.

Tri Valley League Meet

The first-reported times for Erie's top two runners were not what they first appeared in the results as. So, all of you 4A types concerned about how to answer Shane Mathis at 15:54, you may relax a little. Erie coach Scott Leiding gave me corrected times of 16:39 and 16:54 for the first two Erie finishers. Do keep in mind, however, that Mathis is only a junior. He could be a load to deal with next fall.

But, you all can worry about Erie as a team right now. Erie beat everyone in the Tri Valley by at least two points (and mostly more--a lot more) at every scoring position. These are no paper Tigers; they are the real kind. If Erie isn't in this week's 4A top ten, they could plead a good case for robbery.

Kiah Leonard took the girls individual title, but it was Windsor that went to the top of the team pile. Thank you, Windsor, for making my assessment of your chances look like a well-though-out kind of statement. Erie was a sound second.

On-Site Coverage

Tri Valley League Meet Start Lists

Senior Ally Bronson is one of the reasons Windsor's girls have an excellent shot of winning the Tri Valley League title. Colorado Track XC file photo.

University High School 2-Mile Break Your Pace Race

Um, not exactly a league meet, but you can think of this as a sort of after-prom for the Patriot League meet dance. About half the Patriot League was there. Maybe a little more than half.

I don't think anyone set any two-mile PRs at this one, but the boys did have an interesting outcome where University beat Sterling on a tie-breaker. And, the top four places all went to Bulldogs and Tigers. The order would be Dilka, Hernandez, Bernatchez, and Coles. If that last last name sounds a little familiar, it should. It seems that Garrett's younger brother is picking up nicely where older brother left off.

Despite Jenna Ptaschek and Amie Bray taking the top two places, the University girls could not hold on for the team title. That honor would pass in the direction of Eaton. For the record, Eaton has a very young girls team that, if they continue to develop, could spell some reworking of the Patriot League's established order in the next year or two.