The course at Chicken Creek may have been wet and muddy, but even so, the Mancos Bluejays cross country team was excited to compete near home.
Racing just outside of Mancos in the Chicken Creek Challenge on Saturday, Sept. 28, Bluejays' runners fared well as the girls team finished third and the boys' team finished fourth.
First across the line for the Bluejays' girls was Emma Most, whose time of 23:20 was good enough for seventh place.
Following Most across the line, Kristin Adams finished 12th (23:44), Hannah Skinner finished 13th (23:51) and Kia Baikie finished 18th (24:00).
Also crossing the line for the Bluejays girls' team was Jessalyn Bay-Voit, who finished 30th with a time of 25:11, and Maya Bonde, who finished 46th with a time of 28:54.
"Our girls ran a great race as a team," wrote Bluejays' head coach Brady Archer, in an email to The Mancos Times. "They have done such a good job of running as a pack. It was nice to see them continue that and move the pack closer to the front of the race."
As a team, the Bluejays girls finished third ahead of Centauri, Aztec, Bayfield, Monticello and Montezuma-Cortez. Pagosa Springs finished first and Durango finished second.
On the boys' side, the Bluejays were again led by Justin Burton, whose time of 18:17 was good enough to earn the standout senior his second win in as many weeks.
"Burton had a great race," Archer wrote. "It means something to come win your home meet in front of your home crowd your senior year."
Closely following Burton were Ro Paschal, who finished third with a time of 18:36, Asa Kearns who finished 22nd with a time of 20:21, and Nic Archuleta, who finished 28th with a time of 21:25.
Taking up the rear for the Bluejays' boys were Vincent Grego, who finished 29th (21:35), and Zane Goodell, who finished 30th (21:53).
"I was very impressed with the races that we got from Vincent Grego and Zane Goodell," wrote Archer. "Those guys bettered their times from last year's meet by over 2 minutes. Every runner that those guys pass helps our team score."
As a team, the Mancos boys finished fourth ahead of Montezuma-Cortez and Centauri and behind Pagosa Springs, Monticello and meet winner Durango.
"I would like to thank all of the people of Mancos who came out and supported these runners," wrote Archer. "I would also like to thank the volunteers who helped out at the meet."
With their home meet behind them, the Bluejays enter a busy week, competing in South Fork on Tuesday, Oct. 1, and Cortez on Saturday, Oct. 5.