About halfway through their seasons, several members of the Mancos, Montezuma-Cortez and Dolores high school cross-country teams appear to be rounding into form.
The local racers’ latest opportunity to hone their technique and improve their conditioning came at the Bayfield XC Invitational on Sept. 14, which featured competitors from Colorado and New Mexico.
Mancos shines on tough coursePacing all local runners and leading the way for the Mancos team was junior Grace Manning, who narrowly missed out on her first individual meet victory of the season when she finished second overall with a time of 23:42.
Crossing the line just over five minutes after Manning was freshman teammate Madilynn Ritter, who finished 12th (28:49). Junior Kylie Guile placed 17th (31.02), and sophomore Aspen Bumgarner finished 24th.
“I thought that Grace and Madilyn did a good job of pacing themselves throughout the first part of the race,” Mancos head coach Brady Archer said. “Madilynn moved up nicely throughout the race and was almost in the top 10.”
Among the boys, the Bluejays were led by sophomore Edgar Hernandez, who placed fourth overall (19:53). Also cracking the top 10 were senior teammate John Lund and sophomore teammate Connor Sehnert, who finished fifth (20:08) and sixth (20:13), respectively.
Sophomore Vanfasai Jaijong rounded out the finishers from the Mancos boys team with a 22nd-place finish (24:49).
“I thought the boys did a great job of working together throughout the race as they moved up as a pack,” Archer said. “This was a tough meet. The race starts going up a good-sized hill and then rolls through hills most of the rest of the way in the race. That being said, we had a number of great races.”
Ridley Dennison paces M-CHSLeading the way for the Montezuma-Cortez High School girls team, which finished first in the team standings, was junior Ridley Dennison, who placed third overall with a time of 25:45.
Also turning in top 10 individual finishers for the M-CHS girls were sophomore Emalie Myers, who placed seventh (27:23); junior Trinity Meyers, who placed eighth (28:18); and sophomore Marina Bradley, who was ninth (29:19).
Sophomore Kalea Hunt finished 13th (29:22), and junior Cassandra McCully placed 15th for M-CHS. Giovanni Carta was the only member of the M-CHS boys team to compete in Bayfield, and he placed 21st overall (24:16).
Dolores team shows improvementAlthough no members of the Dolores High School boys’ team cracked the top 20 in the individual standings, the Bears runners continued what has been a seasonlong trend of consistent improvement.
Finishers for Dolores included freshman Triston Scott, who placed 26th (26:28); sophomore Daniel Vandever, who finished 27th (26:48); freshman Keegan Heaton, who place 28th (27:36); and freshman Kyler Acree, who finished 32nd overall (37:15).