Colorado Week in Review, Week #4


Coronado's Dusty Solis and Arapahoe's Connor Winter break away from the pack at Thursday's Coronado Cougar Classic. Photo by Mark Weeks.


You won't find this on the master schedule of cross country events for Colorado high schools, but this was "go run a brutal course" week. Consider that Summit's 9100 Foot Invitational, the Hotchkiss Invitational, the Ridgway Ramble at the Reservoir (tis far more than a mere ramble, that race), the Pagosa Springs Cross Country Invitational and Hill Climb, the Rock Canyon Invitational, and the Snow Mountain Invitational all fell on the same weekend. Not only is the terrain challening, but the altitude is over 6000 feet in each case. And, the Broomfield Invitational isn't exactly the easiest of races in urban park settings.


So, now you know, this is the weekend we pick to honor those who tend more toward the strength end of the spectrum than the speed end.


It was also yet another weekend with a lot of notable names sitting out while their teams competed. Without specifying any reasons for the absences (and in most cases I don't know the reasons for the absences), the following notable runners were out of action this weekend:


Alamosa: Jenny DeSouchet

Boulder: Sam Lewis, Ashi Guiles

Cherry Creek: Clare Gallagher

Denver South: Mifta Ali

Faith Christian: Evan Fortney

Fort Collins: Rachel Viger, Marci Witczak, Erin Hooper

Green Mountain: Renuka Jain

Liberty: Hannah Everson

Lyons: Melissa Roberts

Mancos: Kelsey Corbin

Middle Park: Sam Berggren

Nederland: Kelley Robinson

Pine Creek: Heather Bates, Ruth-Ann Hadjis

St. Mary's: Kara Slavoski

Silver Creek: Alex Paul

Smoky Hill: Matt Caldwell

The Classical Academy: Shebly Stableford, Emily LaValley, John Metzger

ThunderRidge: Dominique Gerard


And, honestly, I'm probably missing several more. There's some injuries to blame in some cases, needed rest in others, and flu-like symptoms in still more cases. Still, we hope to see many of these back in action soon.


Last Week in Review

9100 Foot XC Invitational

Denver Christian's Ryan Poland scorches a 17:21 in this very difficult course. Palmer turns back all pretenders for both team titles. Meet management breathes a huge sigh of relief that the weather cooperated for this one.


Broomfield Cross Country Invitational

Adam Sinda returns to the lineup after a week's absence and leads Pomona to a title in a large meet. Pomona looks better and better all the time. Boulder wins the girls division even without the help of #2 runner Sam Lewis. Kelsey Lakowske breezes to any easy victory. Fairview's girls continue to do well while dealing with being the current #2 team in their home town.

National Elite Performances

5000 Meter Run


Brush Cross Country Invitational

Amos Bowen whips through the course in 15:52. Though Fort Morgan wins the boys title with three in the top 10, nobody is within sight of Bowen at the finish. The Brush girls continue to impress, winning the team title in their home meet. Limon is clearly only one girl away from being a major contender in 2A girls.

National Elite Performances

5000 Meter Run


Buena Vista Cross Country Invitational

Once a much bigger meet than it is now, this Tuesday affair still yields interesting results. Josh Noriega of Salida takes down Woodland Park's Shawn Dubbs for the individual title. Salida crushes the competition for both team titles. Those not yet giving Salida respect may feel differently after the state meet. This program has come of age.


Chatfield Challenge

Times are good for the meet the runs at the Denver Botanical Gardens at Chatfield. A huge field. Numerous quality teams. All on a Tuesday evening. The freight train known as the Evergreen girls continues to build momentum. Ralston Valley's Colin Brewster backs up his win last weekend with a very close second to Pueblo West's Mike Cernoia.

Coronado Cougar Classic

Quite possibly the best Classic in several years. Coronado uses its own meet to broadcast their re-entry into the 5A boys sweepstakes. Dusty Solis, Jesse Mathews, and company are not to be dismissed lightly. On the girls' side, ThunderRidge gets a big win even without the services of #1 runner Dominique Gerard. Hannah Krumreich steps up ably into the role of lead runner. Arapahoe claims second in both races.

Glenwood Springs Demon XC Invitational

Heritage goes to the western slope and brings back some serious bling (1-2-3-4 in the boys race and 1-2-3 in the girls race). If they can build off the confidence earned here, they will cause some problems for some other programs in the Denver Metro area. Only Basalt's Chiara Del Piccolo (fourth) manages to break up a sweep of the top six places for the Heritage girls.


Hotchkiss Cross Country Invitational

A small field, but still a nice showcase for Johanna Reed of the home school and Ty Williams of Telluride. There's nothing fast about this course, but a win is a win.


John Martin Cross Country Invitational

This one was the big deal of the weekend, but, unfortunately, the home school was down three of its top four runners on the girls side. They still managed to finish third and Kirsten Follett clocked a very nice time to win. Legacy grabs the opportunity to sieze a major meet title. Loveland just edges the short-handed Lambkins. The Loveland boys, however, weren't about edging anybody. It was a pretty serious case of domination for the Indians. Gus Waneka of Thompson Valley comes home with his first major meet individual title. More to come from Mr. Waneka, I'm thinking.

Moffat County Cross Country Invitational

Moffat County dominates a small meet with teams from Utah and Wyoming making about half the field. Probably a bit of a lull in the action for Moffat County, who returns to the Front Range this weekend to knock heads with some I-25 corridor teams.


Orem Kiwanis XC Invite

Greeley Central goes west (way west) to mix things up with the Utah schools. Greeley Central's girls come out a very respectable third in a meet featuring Park City, one of Utah's top programs. The boys have a much tougher time of it.



Pagosa Springs Cross Country Invitational

Rocky forest trails. Sharp elevation gains. Welcome to cross country in the San Juan Basin (it doesn't get much easier next week when most of the same schools head to Mancos for the Chicken Creek Challenge). Two New Mexico schools leave with the team titles, though Bayfield's Derek Laue wins the boys individual title.


Pueblo Central XC Invitational

Mike Cernoia of Pueblo West wins his second individual title of the week, while Rampart rolls as a team. Alamosa's girls get dropped to fourth as Pueblo West wins. Alamosa was running without Jenny DeSouchet and quite possibly without Lauren Martin as well. Assuming they come back to the lineup, Alamosa is a much stronger entry than what they showed here. Gina Hauptman of Liberty runs a very nice time to take the girls individual title. Centennial (San Luis) surprises a little in the D2 boys race.

Ridgway Cross Country Invitational

Gunnison takes the boys title and Montrose the girls. Erin Kelly of Crested Butte dominates for the girls individual title. Arguably one of the most scenic, yet slowest, courses in Colorado.


Rim Rock Farm High School XC Classic

Greeley West's boys travel to Lawrence, KS, and take 8th in the feature race. Kody Leach runs 16:33 to finish 17th.

Rock Canyon Cross Country Invitational

Rock Canyon's boys have their way. TCA's girls have enough to turn back their challengers. The rains last week let up just in time or this course would have been a certified mess.

Roy Griak Invitational

Very interesting. The Greeley West boys go to Lawrence. The Greeley West girls go to Minneapolis. The girls get pushed back to 22nd in a tough field, but Erica Hinchcliffe and Sarah Swenson enjoy very nice performances.

National Elite Performances


Salida Cross Country Invitational

For the second week in a row, Salida runs two meets in the same week. And, the results are starting to become highly predictable. Salida dominates--both boys and girls. Josh Noriega and Lauren Policky add to their collection of individual meet titles.


Snow Mountain Invitational

The Ridgeview Academy boys have no peers in this field. Places 1 - 7 go to the Rams. Quilan Smith takes individual honors. Nederland goes 1-2-9 in the girls field, but is then overwhelmed by numbers from Horizon and Holy Family.


Stanford Invitational

Cherry Creek and Cheyenne Mountain go to the farm to test themselves against several elite teams from the west coast area. Walter Schafer finishes fifth as an individual and his team finishes 10th. Olivia Anderson also runs a very nice 19:10 for the Bruins. Cheyenne Mountain, though still enjoying some nice performances, gets pushed further back in the exclusive field.

National Elite Performances