League meet week in review: large schools

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Marcelo Laguera negotiates the hairpin coming back onto the grass at about 2.5 miles into the Clement Park course. Photo by Alan Versaw.

Oh, what a busy week it was!

The league meets take center stage, but a couple of invitationals make cameo appearances as well. Please note that the Colorado 7 League summary is at the bottom and out of alphabetical order.

Centennial League Cross Country Meet

Jeff  Bliven provided coverage of this meet where Cherry Creek bested their Centennial League rivals below. For those curious, Jordyn Colter was back in uniform for the Bruins and finished as their third runner on the day.

On-Site Coverage

Centennial League start lists

With a faster course and a league meet title on the line, this might be an opportune time to look for a breakout race from Smoky Hill's Blake Yount. Colorado Track file photo by Alan Versaw.

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Continental League Meet

One place soggier than DeKoevend Park on Thursday may have been the little parcel of creekside property Castle View used to host the Continental League meet. "Lord willing and the creek don't rise," was probably uttered once or twice at this meet with an actual glance toward the creek.

When the racing got underway, Forrest Barton put some space between himself and Paxton Smith late in the race, but Mountain Vista got the last laugh by virtue of winning the boys team title with all five scoring runners in the top 15. Dom Compoz and Alex Hebner were both missing from the Chaparral order, which left the Wolverines well out of the running. ThunderRidge took second, Heritage third, and Rock Canyon fourth in a series of very close finishes behind Mountain Vista.

On the girls side, Mountain Vista once again got the win, but it took them 18 places to get their scoring five in this time. Rock Canyon ran a distant, but respectable second to Vista Nation. The order of individuals went Savanna Dalton, Catherine Liggett, and Allie Chipman. For the record, that's a pretty solid top three for any league.

And, when they were all done, everyone got together and pushed a few cars out of the mud. It was that kind of day, but I'm pretty sure most people went home smiling.

On-Site Coverage

Continental League Start Lists

John O'Hagan figures to be looking to recapture some of the magic present in his Cheyenne Mountain Stampede and Liberty Bell races Thursday at the Continental League meet. Colorado Track XC file photo by Alan Versaw.

Girls Highlights

Denver Public Schools Cross Country Meet

We've been informed that some DPS folks wanted a more challenging league meet venue than Bear Valley Park. Evidently, they found it. Like a lot of the rest of us at various times and places, finding the happy medium proved a little elusive.

To give you a feel for the difficulty of the course, the same Kayla Young who ran 17:27 on Saturday at Wiggins ran 20:19 for the win here. And, if you're tempted to think she was sandbagging it at the DPS meet, you should take note that she was 2:40 ahead of second place. Neither Young's heroics, nor those of her teammate Rosa Gutierrez, however, were enough to bring the team title to Denver North. Denver South, the other team in purple, took those honors with a one-point margin over North.

East's Harrison Scudamore took the boys individual title and East was able to keep the team title in house as well. In fact, East pretty much rolled the field. After the course rolled them first, of course.

On-Site Coverage

EMAC Cross Country Championships

Since this meet was on Thursday, I'm guessing it was probably a little on the side of soggy, too. Hinkley's Merhawet Taeme took the win in a girls race in which only five teams showed up with enough girls to score. Taeme's time was 20:46.

Joshua Joseph won the boys title, as expected, in 16:16, but Brighton's Dan Mordecai kept it a little closer than most were expecting at 16:27. As the individual honors went, so went the team honors. Thornton won with 36, but Brighton kept it a little closer than most were expecting at 40. A breakout performance for Kaleb Taylor would have a lot to do with the Bulldog finish in the team scoring.

On-Site Coverage

EMAC start lists

Joe Langer has been Prairie View's top runner all season and figures as a potential top ten finisher in Thursday's championship race. Photo by Alan Versaw.

Boys Highlights

Front Range League XC Championship

The Front Range folks were able to get this one done before the weather turned ugly later in the week. 

As we suspected might happen, Monarch laid off--both boys and girls--at this one with bigger fish to fry on the horizon. Fort Collins, however, has an 11th commandment about always laying it all on the line at the league meet. And so, it's not terribly surprising that Fort Collins won both league titles fairly handily.

After spotting Rocky Mountain's Bryan Hird the individual title, the Lambkins pushed through a 5-7-9-16-19 team score. Those 56 points beat a very good, and still getting better, Fairview team by 24 points. Curiously, Fairview also failed to put anybody in the top four. There's an abundance of talent in this league, and the top end of that talent is nicely distributed.

For the girls, it was Lauren Gregory all alone in first at 17:27. Megan Mooney was 28 seconds back, but got a little separated from her sister Madison who was eighth in 18:38. The name of Boulder's Claudia Burgess in third is, I believe, a name never before mentioned on Colorado Track XC. Clearly, Burgess has been sneaking up on us, but she runs under cover no longer. At 18:12, it might be a little difficult to catch a good glimpse, but cover no longer exists.

Fairview also finished second in the girls scoring, but with nobody in the top 10 and Maya Browning finishing at 22nd, Fairview has opened the door to some speculation as we draw closer to regionals.

On-Site Coverage

Front Range League start lists

Adam Lund, Emil Graf, and Omar Ridinger have helped Fairview maintain a consistent presence up front in invitationals, but Fairview's biggest test yet could come at Wednesday's Front Range League meet. Colorado Track XC file photo by Alan Versaw.

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Jefferson County 4A/5A League Championships

Things played mostly according to form and with several tight team races on Friday at Clement Park. For detail on the meet, please click on the coverage article linked below.

On-Site Coverage

Keeping it tight at Clement Park

Katherine Bearup got Ralston Valley rolling toward a team title with a fourth-place finish in the 5A girls race. Photo by Alan Versaw.

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Pikes Peak Athletic Conference XC Championship

The PPAC went to NPEC/BCRP to settle their league championship. Air Academy rested a few regulars here, leaving things mostly to Cheyenne Mountain and Palmer Ridge to butt heads over.

Palmer Ridge displayed all the same inclinations toward mercy they've shown all season--meaning none--on the boys side of things. The Bears mauled Cheyenne Mountain by a team score of 23 - 50. And Cheyenne Mountain pretty much had the regular roster on the course. Eric Hamer took the win in 16:44, then the wave started with Thomas Herebic at 17:45. If that seems like a large pack time, consider that Hamer is very fast and only two runners came between Hamer and the wave.

Six of the first eight, and eight of the first 12 places were Kelly Christensen's crew.

Audree Furst contemplated changing the spelling of her last name but decided it would be statement enough, and less paperwork to deal with, to simply win the race. And, that kicked off another Palmer Ridge scoring deluge. Going 1-3-7-8-9, Palmer Ridge won the team title before anyone could count to ten--eyes closed or open. The 28 - 69 margin over Cheyenne Mountain was even more decisive than the boys' margin.

Clearly, there exists a Bear problem in northern El Paso County.

Pueblo City/South-Central League Cross Country Meet

Like the Front Range League, there are probably lots of people down in Pueblo happy that they got this one in on Wednesday. You can put the golf course maintenance crew at the top of that list.

Centennial's Emily Perez took the girls title in 20:56, but the team scoring drama ended rather abruptly when five of the next seven places wore Pueblo South black-and-white. I think this league misses Canon City already...

Michael Duran took a very unsurprising win in the boys race. Zack Retzlaff and Jacob Sloan went 2-3 for Pueblo West, and that got the Cyclones started on a team scoring rout.

Meet Results

Boys Highlights

Rifle Cross Country Invitational

There were not many pure invitationals to be found in the state this last week, but this would be your best example of that.

Brendan Wagler probably had a hope or two of winning his home invitational his senior year, but had to settle for second in 16:04. If you have to settle for second, though, 16:04 is not a bad consolation prize. Battle Mountain ran what appears to be mostly--though not entirely--a second varsity to a relatively easy team title.

Tatum Burger, back in the roster after a week off, led a Steamboat armada in four of the top six places. Battle Mountain's B+ girls managed to keep it close, but nobody was going to take this one away from the Sailors. Those four names, in case you want to make a special note in your state meet program, would be Burger, Kathleen O'Connell, Abigail Miller, and Alexandra Tumminello. 

On-Site Coverage

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights

Tri Valley League Meet

Score one for the Tigers. Holy Family marches into the Tri Valley League in August and marches out with the girls league title in October. Berthoud's Kiah Leonard finished first in 19:19, but Isabelle Hren got the Holy Family team scoring underway with a second. Save Berthoud at #1, Holy Family beat every other team in the league at every scoring postion. I'm not sure what they call that in Broomfield, but it's known as domination where I come from.

Erie's boys apparently came to the meet with a similar mindset. In fact, Erie did beat every other team at every scoring position. 1-3-4-5-10 is, in fact, an unbeatable team score. That is to say that if every team in the field had put on the same uniform and run against Erie, Erie still would have won. Hats off to the quintet of Shane Mathis, Sean Fitzgerald, Kyle Leahy, Taylor Johnson, and Andrew Yurko. For those looking for a reprieve somewhere down the road, four of those five are seniors.

On-Site Coverage

Tri Valley League start lists

Isabelle Hren is key to Holy Family's league title hopes in their first year in the Tri Valley League. Photo by Alan Versaw.

Girls Highlights

Wiggins Cross Country Invitational

While this is a mostly small school meet and an invitational, it's not a strictly pure invitational as the LPAA league title is settled here. But, this being a "large school" week in review, we're more concerned about the large schools at the moment.

And, there were large school notes to be made from this meet. To see what those were, please consult Ben Hershelman's article linked below.

On-Site Coverage

Wiggins Invitational start lists

Heritage Christian Academy? They're probably coming to Wiggins for the same reason most everyone else is--to set a few new PRs. Photo by Alan Versaw.

Girls Highlights

Boys Highlights