Littleton's Garrett Sapakoff rounds the final turn with Arvada West's Carson Aberle at the Arvada West Invitational. Sapakoff would go on for the win. Photo by Cliff Jurgens.
Last Week in Review
A tongue-in-cheek look back at the last week of action in Colorado High School cross country...
Contrary to the perception left many places, possibly including this site, there were other meets this past week than Liberty Bell. Let's take a tour of all of last week's meets. Or at least all for which I've been able to scare up results...
This one has already been covered in the article linked below, but we can still add a few comments. It was hot and dusty. A 3 PM meet start time didn't help matters, but temps had abated a little in time for the Division II races. The dust never did abate, however. Dust is our constant companion these days.
The lowlight of the meet for a number of Division II boys runners may have been when the meet director's ATV sped by the competitors at just past one mile--leaving a cloud of dust to settle on the runners. All survived, however, and a couple of water stations placed on the course helped to keep runners from commingling with the dust.
Arvada West wins the boys' team title despite losing a tight one at the finish of the individual contest (see cover photo). Littleton grabs the girls' title. Victoria Eagen of Golden wins the girls' individual title with ease.
The served pancakes to the runners at this one. I believe it was after the race not before. I hope so. Otherwise, I definitely wouldn't want to be part of course clean-up duty.
DCC (the second 'C' stands for "Campus," it's a K-12 school) cleaned up at their own meet. Molly Spalding and Jacob Huisingh (bonus point if you can identify the nationality of that last name--unless, of course, you happen to share in that nationality) won the individual titles. Pine Creek sent a JV team. Some other Colorado Springs area 3A teams sent varsity squads.
This meet was mostly Denver Prep League schools with a cameo appearance from Standley Lake. Although Denver South ran away with both individual titles in the names of Sydney Scott and Kidane Berhane, East proved to have the deeper squads and claimed both team titles.
For Tuesday meets, this was a big one. I'm inclined to think that one or two schools were present here in order to give their fifth meet in so that they could bring transfers up to varsity for their next meet (Liberty Bell, perhaps?). Call me on that if I've guessed incorrectly. In any case, there were something on the order of 15 schools in attendance at the meet, and many of them were 4A schools. Not bad for a meet hosted by a 3A school.
Both meet trophies went to the Steel City (or very close). Pueblo West (not quite Pueblo) won the boys' title, while Centennial captured the girls' title. Of note, however, is the fact that Salida showed very well in the boys' team race. The team in purple is showing its strength once again.
The course is pancake flat and times responded accordingly. Except for Liberty Bell, you'd see a lot of times from this meet on the front page of the rankings.
This one is the northeastern Colorado meet of choice for schools not attending Liberty Bell. Seems like it's a pretty good thing Fort Morgan has going.
Legend (boys) and Berthoud (girls) won team titles. Rikki Gonzalez won the girls' individual title by a huge margin of 45 seconds. Eaton posted a very respectable 3A boys performance in this meet somewhat dominated by larger schools.
If you haven't clued in yet that the Hotchkiss girls have a big-time program going on, please clue in now. I'm guessing it's been a while since a 3A school took home the big trophy from this meet. They got the individual title, too, as freshman Natalie Anderson continued her winning ways. Grand Valley's Brandi Krieg dropped out mid race with an injury issue that we hope proves to be a minor one.
Another 3A program, Aspen, was second in the girls team standings. Fruita-Monument was an easy winner in the boys' division.
Note: I promise I'll find a way to use a photo of Natalie Anderson if someone sends one along.
Gunnison, probably the most geographically isolated cross country program in the state (along with neighboring Crested Butte) gets one annual break in their murderous travel schedule. This meet would be the break.
Salida took both team titles (not a bad week to be a Spartan--and Lukas Garcia isn't even running for them yet), and Telluride edged out Gunnison for second among the boys. The Cowboys did beat everyone else, however. Conspicuously absent from the Telluride line-up was Ty Williams. That makes their second-place finish all the more noteworthy.
Also of interest is the resurgence of the Crested Butte girls' team. Crested Butte was easily the top 2A finisher in this meet.
Enough has probably been said already. See links below if you like reading reruns. Great meet, I'm just ready to talk about other meets for a while :-).
National Elite Performances
In the 1990s, Clear Creek was the dominant 3A cross country program in the state. In this meet, they looked like that again.
The Roberts sisters go 1-2 as Niwot holds out their top kids in the district "championship" meet. Sunset Golf Course is kind of the prototype for a rolling hills kind of course and several of the programs used this meet to train for the state course. The grass is probably a little better groomed at Sunset, however.
If you live anywhere in Colorado except La Plate, Dolores, or Montezuma County, Shiprock likely doesn't mean much to you. Shiprock is the massive rock formation in northwestern New Mexico that can be seen from numerous vantage points in southwestern Colorado. I kind of miss seeing Shiprock on the distant horizon. And, there's a middling sized town there on the Navajo Reservation.
Now that we've completed our geography lesson, I can tell you that Mancos and Montezuma-Cortez were in attendance at this meet. Kelsey Corbin extended her meet winning streak to three. Eric Lewis finished third in the boys race. There wasn't a lot else in the way of highlights for the Colorado schools, however.
The race was actually a 5K, not the three-miler I currently have it posted as. I'll fix that when the opportunity arises.