San Luis Valley Has Strong Showing in Regional Meets

Alamosa's Lauren Martin leads a pack up the hill at the 4A Region 4 meet in Colorado Springs on Thursday. Photo by Eric Flores.

Special to Colorado Track XC by  ERIC R. FLORES, Alamosa Valley Courier (

COLORADO SPRINGS— For the fourth year in a row, the Alamosa Mean Moose girls won a regional championship and for the third time in a row, the Mean Moose boys have qualified for state as a team. The two teams advanced after competing in the Cross-Country 4A Region 4 meet at Monument Valley Park in Colorado Springs on Thursday.

In a meet that combined 4A and 5A Regionals into one day, the first race to hit the course was the 4A boys’ race. The race was a close one for Alamosa and the Moose were lead by junior Chad Palmer who finished with a fast time of 16:55, a two second personal record for Palmer. He finished in sixth place which means he qualified as an individual.

The next Mean Moose athlete to pass the finish line was Chad’s brother, freshman Gavin Palmer. Gavin finished the 5,000-meter race with a time of 18:00 and a 20th place finish.

The next two runners to finish for Alamosa were twin brothers, juniors Drake and Darin Sisneros. Drake was the first one through as he finished the race in a 18:23 while Darin finished in 18:47, barely nipping Pueblo Central’s Hayden Trimble at the line. The Sisneros brothers finished in 27th and 32nd places, respectively.

Junior Jordan Wehe, who is normally Alamosa’s second runner and battled sickness since last Friday, finished the race in 18:49 which was good enough for 35th place.

Junior Jed Smith was Alamosa’s sixth runner through the chute as he finished in 41st place with a time of 18:57. Sophomore Chris Reveles finished with a big personal record time of 19:59 and 64th place.

Freshman Jonny Wehe ran in the open race and had a fantastic personal record as he finished the race in 19:55.

The Alamosa boy’s had a 1:54 split between the first and fifth runner and they had an average time of 18:10.8.

After the varsity race Alamosa athletes and their coaches waited to see if they would qualify for the state meet as the results were posted, Alamosa learned that they had finished fifth with 120 points. Pueblo Centennial finished one point ahead of them in fourth place with 119 points.

Pueblo West won the team title as they scored 69 points, Pueblo South placed second with 80 points and Widefield rounded out the top three with 104 points.

Still after the results were released the Moose didn’t know if they qualified for state as they normally take 40 percent of complete teams and there were 12 teams that scored so Alamosa happened to slip in.

The next race Alamosa competed in was the 4A girls’ race and what an exciting race it was.

Junior Nicole DeSouchet led the race from the beginning and she ended up running away with the victory. DeSouchet won the meet with a time of 18:53. “It felt like it was time to do something,” said DeSouchet. “We have been working since the beginning of June.”

“All I could remember thinking was ‘I don’t want Anna [Marshall] to catch me,’” she said.

She didn’t have to worry about that as her teammate, senior Lauren Martin, was the next runner to finish the race. Martin finished the race with a time of 19:17. “We really hyped ourselves up and I just felt like I had a good race,” said Martin. “I have been waiting for four years to pass her ([Marshall] and I finally did it.”

Pueblo West senior Anna Marshall finished in third with a time of 19:33.

Junior Jennifer DeSouchet was the next Alamosa runner to finish as she finished the race in fourth place with a time of 19:40.

Senior Shelby Rushing finished in eighth place as she finished with a time of 20:29 while freshman Karlee Smith finished in 15th place in 21:08. This was such a strong showing by the Alamosa girls that had they not qualified as a team the top five runners for the Moose would have qualified for state individually.

Alamosa’s next runner, sophomore Domonique Cantu, stepped up big for her team as she finished in 23rd place with a time of 22:07. Sophomore Ashley Meek rounded out the varsity runners for Alamosa as she returned from a toe injury she suffered at the homecoming dance and finished the 5,000-meter race in 23:22 which earned her 39th place.

Junior Consuelo Reyes and senior Callie Henton competed in the open race and each had strong showings as Reyes improved by more than two minutes with a time of 24:56.

Alamosa had a pack time of 2:15 between the first and fifth runner and had an average time of 19:53.4.

After all the points were tallied Alamosa only had 30 points to win the team title. Second place, Pueblo West, was 28 points behind with 58 points while Vista Ridge rounded out the top three with a score of 78 points.

This is Alamosa’s fourth consecutive Regional title and Martin is the only person in all of Alamosa’s history to accomplish the feat of being on a regional championship team four straight times.

“It’s awesome! Not many girls get to be in a winning team,” said Martin. “Our girls’ team is always determined to run for something bigger then themselves and when we do that no one can catch us.”

Now the Mean Moose turn their attention to the 4A State meet which will be held at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins on Halloween, October 31.

“I’m anxious,” said Nicole DeSouchet. “I think we could win. It takes the whole team and I think we have very reliable runners.”

“We have improved every year for the past four years,” said Martin. “Now we only have two spots to improve and we don’t want one of them.”

Both the boys and girls team will enjoy the final week before the ‘big show’ and will hope they can accomplish the mission that they originally set out to do.

SAN LUIS— The San Luis Valley will be well represented in this weekend’s State Cross Country Meet that will be held at Fossil Ridge High School as 46 athletes will be competing.
The state qualifiers were determined last weekend in regional meets that were held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday around the state. The first meet was the Class 2A Region 3 meet that is normally held in Monte Vista but this year was hosted in San Luis by Centennial High School.


All the 2A schools in the Valley, along with Custer County and John Mall, competed in the meet.

Because of CHSAA rules the girls competition was only able to send one team onto the state meet since there were only three complete teams competing, however, the top fifteen runners also advance.

On the girl’s side the Sargent Farmers won the team title and advanced to state by scoring 19 points. Second place went to Center while third went to Del Norte. The two teams scored 32 and 41 points, respectively.

The boy’s race was able to send more teams on since there were more complete teams. Since there were seven complete teams, three teams advanced. The regional champions were the Center Vikings as they scored 18 points. The Del Norte Tigers got the runner-up trophy as they scored 23 points and the host Centennial Rams scored 31 points to advance.

The individual regional champion on the girl’s side of 20 runners was Kelly Lamb of Creede who finished the meet with a time of 21:21. Second place went to Sargent’s Tai Zollars who finished the course in 22:18. Maggie Murphy of Moffat High School took third place as she finished the 5,000-meter course in 22:44.

Sargent’s Jasmine Gomez was the next across the finish line as she finished in fourth place with a time of 22:58.

The next Valley runner was Antonito’s Sabrina Garcia who finished in sixth place in 23:55. Trisha O’Rourke of Del Norte was 16 seconds behind in seventh place with a time of 24:11.
Center then had two runners who finished in eighth and ninth places, respectively. First to finish was Christina Burch who had a time of 24:26. Daisy Solano was just two seconds back as she finished in 24:28.

Antonito’s Jodi Mora was next through the chute with a time of 24:31 and tenth place. Centennial’s Tiffany Labato and Sargent’s Kylie Wilkinson battled at the finish line as they finished with identical times of 25:24 to earn 12th and 13th places.

The final two runners to make it to the state meet advanced individually were Megan McPartland of Del Norte and Monique Villagomez of Center as they finished with times of 26:05 and 26:21, respectively.

On the boy’s side out of the 33 runners, there were only three boys from Valley schools who advanced individually.

The individual regional champion was Center’s Joel Villagomez who finished the race in 18:38. Four seconds behind him in 18:42 was runner-up Jacque de Ginestel of Custer County.  Centennial’s Julio Madrid rounded out the top three as he finished the course in 18:46.
Two Del Norte Tigers were next in line as Joe Murrelle and Kaleb Stephan finished in fourth and fifth places, respectively. Murrelle finished the race in 19:05 while Stephan finished in 19:16.
Then the runners really bunched up as the race to qualify was on. Sixth place went to Moffat’s Abe Conley who finished the race in 19:54. In the next 19 seconds, 11 runners would come through the chute but only nine would advance to state, unless they were on a team that qualified.

Seventh place went to Center’s Fidel Francisco who finished the race in 19:56. Three seconds behind Francisco was John Mall’s Shawn Dickman who nabbed eighth place with a time of 19:59.

The next six finishers were all a second apart from each other. Ninth place and a time of 20:00 went to Ryan Mix of Sargent. Tenth place went to Center’s Rene Bustamante who finished in 20:01. Next in line was Cameron Nelson of Creede who finished with a time of 20:02 for 11th place. Jose Olivas of Center ran a time of 20:03 to nab 12th place.

Carlos Jaquez of Centennial and Patrick Gallegos of Del Norte finished in 13th and 14th places, respectively, as Jaquez had a time of 20:04 while Gallegos clocked 20:05.

Creede’s  Cord Tiley missed out on the last state qualifying sport as he was nipped at the line by Del Norte’s Dwayne Carson as they had times of 20:10 and 20:11, respectively.
Centauri sends three to state.

ASPEN— The Class 3A Region 1 meet was held at Aspen Municipal Golf Course in Aspen on Saturday and the Valley was represented by the Monte Vista Pirates and the Centauri Falcons; however, there were only three runners to advance to the state meet.

The boy’s side was dominated by the Gunnison Cowboys who ran away with the team title as they scored 30 points. The Bayfield Wolverines nabbed second place with 50 points and the Pagosa Springs Pirates rounded out the top three with 55 points.

Centauri fielded a full team and finished in ninth place with a team score of 143 points.
On the girl’s side Pagosa Springs won the regional title with 47 points while Gunnison got the runner-up trophy. Bayfield finished in third place with 58 points.  The Falcons finished in fifth place with 72 points.

The three runners who advanced to state were Diana Miller and Alisha Sorensen on the girl’s side and the lone boy was Tyler Sorenson. These were all from Centauri.
Miller finished in second place with a time of 21:51 while Alisha Sorensen finished in seventh place with a time of 22:32.

Tyler Sorenson finished in eighth place with a time of 18:39.

These athletes will be joining the Alamosa Mean Moose teams that qualified for the state meet on Thursday afternoon and make the journey to Fort Collins this weekend. The meet is scheduled for Saturday with the 2A girls set to start at 9:30 a.m. The 2A boys will follow at 10:00 a.m., 3A girls will then run at 10:30 a.m., followed by the 4A boys at 11:00.  The 3A boys will then run at 12:00 p.m. before the 4A girls will finish the San Luis Valley action at 12:30 p.m.