Aidyn Woodall, Adugna Moritz, and Brooke Wilson sipped the sweet nectar of national championships of USATF Junior Olympic Cross Country. Colorado Track XC file photos by Alan Versaw.
Any way you look at it, it was a simply sensational day for Colorado at Junior Olympic Cross Country Nationals in Albuquerque.
It certainly wasn't the cold, driving rain. Maybe it was an easy six-hour drive. Or maybe it was simply a superior season of training and preparation.
In any case, a very substantial Colorado delegation came back home over Raton Pass with three national titles, plus a bundle of top-seven finishes.
For Aidyn Woodall, it was a second consecutive national title (third consecutive counting her win in the 9-10 division in 2013). Woodall ran 10:52.1 for 3K to claim the 11-12 title with more than 14 seconds to spare. This one wasn't as fast as last year's, but last year's wasn't at altitude and wasn't in the rain. It was, however, a bigger margin than last year.
Joining Woodall with an 11-12 title was Adugna Moritz. You might remember Mr. Moritz as the one who won the Colorado Middle School State race back in October. Moritz's winning time checked in at 10:22.5.
And, although Woodall leaves the 11-12 ranks next year, Colorado doesn't look to be missing a beat. Parker Panther teammate Brooke Wilson won the 9-10 national title and figures to have a great shot at picking up where Woodall leaves off this year. Wilson ran 11:45 for her win, also over a 3K distance.
With great fear of overlooking a name I don't recognize as a Colorado athlete, the following joined Woodall, Moritz, and Wilson as top-seven finishers at the national championship meet:
9-10 Boys: Conor Campion, Jackson Parrill, Shawn Woodall
9-10 Girls: Lila Crowley, Alexandra Collins
11-12 Boys: Erik Le Roux
11-12 Girls: Emily Glynn
13-14 Boys: Cole Sprout
In all, it represents a job very well done by Colorado's age group athletes and coaches!