Kevin Batt (301), Tabor Stevens (behind Batt), Julian Florez (302), Jovanny Godinez (303), and Kyle Masterson (306) pack things up front for Adams early in the race. Photo by Rick Wilson.
The regional qualifying meet isn't where you want to have your best meet of the season, but it's always nice to come away with a win even so. On the theory that if one is good, two is better, Adams State swept the regional titles, setting up the possibility of a bigger story for the Grizzlies two weeks from now in Spokane, Washington.
Western's Vegard Olstad took the men's individual title on the Canyon, Texas, course, but saw mostly green when he turned around to see what was taking place behind him. Jovanny Godinez, Kevin Batt, and Tabor Stevens crossed in 2-3-4, throwing the scoring advantage sharply back in Adams' favor.
But, this is a mercilessly tough region, and nobody is going to pack the top ten. Colorado Mines claimed the next two places, then two more for Western. Suddenly, you need a scorecard and a very quick pencil. And, you're cursing the fact that you didn't pop for that scoring program for your tablet.
Eventually, the dust did settle and Adams State took him the hardware by a 31-38 margin over Western. Anyone thinking that margin is safe for nationals two weeks from now is on a collision course with reality.
Rounding out the region's qualifying men's teams were Colorado Mines (89), Metro State (171), West Texas A&M (171), and New Mexico Highlands (192). Individual qualifiers went to Mitch Kraft (Black Hills State), Christian Gering (Fort Lewis), and Mikey Davila (Eastern New Mexico). It says something about the depth of your region when the #23 finisher is the third, and final, individual qualifier.
Adams State encountered far less resistance on the women's side of the region. The Grizzlies started things off with a 1-2-3 finish from Lauren Martin, Kelly Lamb, and Alyssa Selve. That set up a 28-point finish that left Western State in the dust with 62 points, even though Western had two top ten finishers in Tara Richardson and Anna Marshall.
Other teams qualifying for nationals included West Texas A&M, Metro State, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and Tarleton State--two teams from Texas and four from Colorado. Colorado School of Mines missed the final qualifying position by five points.
Individual qualifiers went to Regan Mullen (Colorado Christian), Chloe Gustafson (Colorado Mines), and Kelsey Bruce (Dallas Baptist).