Meanwhile, Over on the Western Slope...

Durango's Abby Scott ran her way to a meet title in her hometown on Friday night. Colorado Track XC file photo by Alan Versaw.

To say that eastern Colorado cross country fans were consumed with Liberty Bell and the St. Vrain this weekend would be to indulge in a serious bit of understatement.

But, there was also some cross country taking place on the Western Slope. So, instead of the weekly weekend-in-review article, we'll just do a little more detailed coverage of this weekend's Western Slope meets here and now.

Chronological order seems like a reasonable order to cover them in, so we start with the Southwest Sunset. Durango and Bayfield joined forces to host a meet for the entire region on the Hillcrest Golf Course in Durango.

And, guess what? The whole region came. Including schools from Utah and New Mexico.

Despite the gathering, however, Durango's boys hung a perfect score on the field. Benjamin Lachelt, Nicholas Turco, William Chandler, Jordan Helms, and David Moenning got all their crossing done between 16:52 and 17:13, and all that everyone else could do was just watch.

Alamosa got the next two across, and then Seamus Millett crossed for Durango to add his exclamation point to the piece of domination. Alamosa and Pagosa Springs would go 2-3 to make for an all-Colorado kind of podium.

The same three teams took the top three places in the girls race, only with Pagosa Springs and Alamosa swapping places. There was, however, a hint that Alamosa might be up to something, with Tara Sowards out of the lineup and all five scoring runners finishing within seven seconds of one another.

Abby Scott and Sarah Smagacz of Durango nailed down the top two places at a little over 21 minutes before yielding to Pagosa's Olivia Reinhardt for third.

Ultimately, though, nobody came close to toppling Durango's 38 points for first place in the team scoring.

The Western Slope's other meet of the weekend took place on the dobies of Hotchkiss on Saturday morning. The usual teams at this meet were thinned out a bit with Telluride and Ouray making the trip to St. Vrain, but there was still plenty of competition to go around.

Although the Hotchkiss girls managed a 1-7-8 behind the winning effort of Mae Anderson (22:09, this course does not run fast, and especially not when it's hot), the team title would belong to Eagle Valley. And Eagle Valley would have won scoring three, four, five, or even six. Avery Doan, Shawna Adams, and Taylor Hermosillo made sure of that. If the name Avery Doan doesn't ring familiar you to, you have a lot of company in the Colorado cross country community. She is a freshman and, evidently, a rising star on the Devils' roster.

Even Ian Meek was relegated to a 17:47 on this course under a withering sun. Gunnison's Cooper Wiens was six seconds back, and the only other finisher under 18 minutes.

Wiens' finish was instrumental in pushing 3A Gunnison ahead of 5A Fruita Monument and 4A Eagle Valley for the team title. Once again, Gunnison got another big contribution out of freshman Colton Stice.

It took until sixth place until they could find a finisher whose school colors weren't black and red (think of how much worse that could have been if Durango hadn't been hosting and had come up for this meet).

Kelly Cowan is probably already pondering the possibility of pushing next year's meet back into October.

Southwest Sunset Results and Photos

Hotchkiss Results