Kaitlin Hanenburg and Shelby Stableford wasted no time putting an insurmountable lead on the field at this morning's TCA Titan Thunder Invitational. With the lead once established, they settled into a comfortable racing pace and led the Titans to the team title at their own invitational. Hanenburg finished in 18:44 and Stableford in 19:01. It was, as an aside, a pretty big day for the Hanenburg sisters, as Kaitlin's older sister Emily (TCA, 2006) was the top Division I finisher at the Rocky Mountain Shootout in Boulder.
The team title also went to the girls in crimson as they outdistanced second-place Pine Creek by a score of 27-62.
Rising 3A contender Discovery Canyon was third with a score of 105 points. Pencil in the Thunder as a leading candidate for one of roughly four state slots to come out of 3A Region 2 in another two weeks. Freshman Allie Morgan continued to impress, this time with a 20:34 clocking.
Pueblo West's Anna Marshall, at right, ran a solid race to finish third in 19:35, nearly 30 seconds ahead of Pine Creek's Bridget Tiernan in fourth.
The boys team race was a much more tightly contested affair. Fountain-Ft. Carson, led by Frank Socha's 16:57, won the title with 59 points, but was followed closely by Pueblo West with 70, TCA with 80, and La Junta with 97.
Once again, Fountain Valley's Steven Stoot, who led (below) from the earliest stages of the race, threw down a solid race to win in 16:23, with TCA's Sam Feldotto in second at 16:36.1. The Mikes from Pueblo West (Cernoia and Schmidt, below--on the right side of the frame) finished 3-4 at 16:36.5 and 16:47, respectively.
Despite the presence of several local 4A and 5A schools, this meet was, in many respects, a preview of the 3A Region 2 meet to be held on the same Fountain Creek Regional Park course on Friday, October 17. Ten of the 14 teams competing at that regional were present, although most had one or more key competitors sitting out of competition today due to minor injuries, SAT testing, or simply to rest in anticipation of the upcoming championship meets.
On the boys side, TCA and La Junta fared best today, with Lamar well ahead of the rest of the 3A pack. For the girls, TCA, Discovery Canyon, and Salida sent messages indicating they are fully ready to contend for state slots out of this region. St. Mary's should figure in that picture as well--their score was inflated today by the absence of Kara Slavoski from the varsity lineup.
Florence, Dolores Huerta, Peyton, and Rye were not at the meet today, but will join the other 3A schools for the regional competition.