Week in Review: Opening Weekend!!

Palmer Ridge's Spencer Wenck ran away from the 4A field on Saturday and posted the top boys' time of opening weekend. Photo by Alan Versaw.

Last Week in Review


Long weeks of practice with no meets at the end are now over. The competitive season is upon us.


Deadlines loom and, though I expect to be able to post results from several more meets that took place this past weekend, those results won't arrive in time to make it into this article. So, I offer a quick summary of those meets below:


The University Invitational drew the usual collection of small schools from northeastern Colorado for their two-mile event. Schools such as University and Brush gave us a better look at what they have this year at the Lori Fitzgerald meet on Saturday.


Montezuma-Cortez eschewed the travel to either Aurora or Delta and opted instead to run in Aztec, NM. Still awaiting results from that one. It's likely Mancos and Pagosa Springs ended up in Aztec as well.


Horizon handed out popsicles at the end of their 4K event on Friday, but brought their varsity teams to the Lori Fitzgerald meet on Saturday.


Rocky Ford hosted five 2A and another five 3A teams on Thursday. Unfortunately, the meet timer left town without giving the meet director the results. So, we're hoping to get those shortly after the Labor Day Weekend is done and work schedules return to normal.


And, now, for the meets we did get results from:


Arapahoe Warrior XC Invitational


Arapahoe was an uncharitable host and took both of the first-place trophies home with them. The Warriors edged 5A rising power Mountain Vista by six points without the services of Connor Winter. Winter is projected to return to the lineup before long, and this looks like a good Arapahoe team this fall.


Salida's Josh Noriega turned in an outstanding 16:25 time to win the boys' race. By way of comparison, Joseph Manilafasha won this race in 16:27 two years ago and went on to have one of the best cross country seasons in recent memory. File Noriega's time away for future reference.


On the girls' side, Arapahoe, Mountain Vista, Moffat County, and Salida's Kaiti Davis all had very nice first meets out of the gate. Although Moffat County didn't show it so much the next day at Lori Fitzgerald, this team had the look of a 4A contender on Friday.


National Elite Performances

5000 Meter Run


Delta Cross Country Invitational


It was a big day for the runners from the smaller schools as Basalt's Conner Roper took the boys' individual title and Crested Butte's Erin Kelly did the same with the girls' title.


While Fruita-Monument was a predictable team winner on the boys' side, second and third places were anything but predictable. Second went to the team from Basalt and third to the team from Delta. Basalt appears to have coaxed a few athletes from nearby Roaring Fork into joining their cross country program. It's not at all unthinkable that this little scenario catapults Basalt into the role of a serious contender in 3A this fall.


More interesting still was the team winner on the girls' side--Hotchkiss. Hotchkiss managed to take down Montrose, the best girls team on the western slope last fall, en route to a convincing 22-point margin of victory scoring five runners. Given that Hotchkiss only has to score four runners in 3A, that's a pretty serious statement from a small-school program.


There would seem to be a stirring among western slope small school programs.


National Elite Performances


Lobo Cross Country Invitational


This one is of interest to Colorado high schools because, for the second consecutive year, Chaparral took their teams down to Albuquerque for opening weekend.


The trip wasn't quite as successful this year. The New Mexico girls gained a measure of revenge on the Wolverines who sneaked out of town with the girls' team trophy last September. This year, Chaparral managed a fifth on the boys' side and a seventh on the girls' side. Top individual honors went to Keegan Vargo with a fith-place finish.


National Elite Performances

5000 Meter Run


Lori Fitzgerald Memorial Pre-State XC Invitational


This meet has already been covered in two articles linked below. It should be noted, however, that the performances of several 2A schools who had to score four runners instead of the usual three for their classification, may have flown under the radar.


National Elite Performances


Vista Ridge Cross Country Invitational


This meet is primarily of interest to those trying to scout the 2A classification. Among individuals, Fountain Valley had a first-place finish and two second-place finishes. Tommy Manning's squad is much bigger than last year and just might be very nicely equipped to make runs at 2A titles.


Only top-ten results are posted at this time. Complete results should go up later this week.