It must’ve been the hair.
Celebrating their home cross-country meet with face paint, temporary tattoos and their hair painted screaming orange, Montezuma-Cortez senior Josh Ramos and junior Caisey Duran each won their respective races on Saturday at the Ancient Trails Cross-Country Invitational.
“It’s special for us,” said M-CHS head coach Paul Koops. “We’ve got a really wonderful group of kids this year. They’re really committed to it. And for us to take first for both boys and girls is a great tribute to how hard they’re working and how much it means to them.”
Ramos was coming off a second-place finish at the John Thornton Invitation in Blanding on Wednesday. And he pulled away from the pack on Saturday to win the varsity boys race in 18:26.18.
“Home meet you’ve always got to go all out,” Ramos said. “Every race is different, but you feel a sense of ownership to this place.”
Duran, who finished fourth at the John Thornton Invitational, won the girls race in 22:58.18.
“It was amazing,” she said of her win. “I can’t even explain how good it felt.”
A newcomer to the M-CHS cross-country program, it was just Duran’s fifth race of her career, and she’s coming on strong as the regular season winds down.
“Every week she’s getting smarter about racing and she’s getting faster in her races,” said Koops. “And her enthusiasm and competitive spirit – I haven’t seen the bottom of it yet – it’s really wonderful.”
The Lady Panthers finished in second place in the team standings and the Mancos Lady Blue Jays finished fifth.
Other top-ten finishing area girls were M-CHS senior Sam Bagge (23:42.51), who ran a season-best time to finish in fifth, and Mancos senior Emma Most (24:20.88), who placed eighth.
Mancos finished second in the boys team standings and M-CHS finished third.
Other top-ten finishers were Mancos sophomore Teslin Stecher (18:48.30) in second place, Mancos junior Jake McKie (18:57.65) finished fifth, and M-CHS junior Reid Littlefield (18:59.43) took sixth.
RESULTSAREA BOYS1st - Josh Ramos (M-CHS), 18:26.182nd – Teslin Stecher (MANCOS), 18:48.305th – Jake McKie (MANCOS), 18:57.656th – Reid Littlefield (M-CHS), 18:59.4311th- Ryoya Shima (MANCOS), 19:44.1313th – Sonny Boren (M-CHS), 19:51.5316th - Phillip Hufman (DOLORES), 20:14.4525th – Zane Wilson (MANCOS), 21:15.3327th – Ben Castillo-Calvillo (M-CHS), 21:25.9230th – Alex Fleitz (MANCOS), 22:03.1933rd – Will Brown (M-CHS), 22:20.6434th – Mike Vanik (M-CHS), 22:20.9938th – Marcus Amrine (M-CHS), 23:08.7841st – Blair Rice (M-CHS), 23:11.4543rd - Alex Olson (DOLORES), 23:26.9347th – Colt Spencer (MANCOS), 24:30.4848th – Noah Peterson (M-CHS), 24:41.5153rd – Griff Huver (MANCOS), 27:46.1856th – David Vanik (M-CHS), 28:20.61AREA GIRLS1st – Caisey Duran (M-CHS), 22:58.185th – Sam Bagge (M-CHS), 23:42.518th – Emma Most (MANCOS), 24:20.8812th – Emma Thissen (M-CHS), 25:12.5920th – Kaylee Rose (MANCOS), 25:31.6521st – Regina Schuster (M-CHS), 25:31.9631st – Jessalyn Bay-Voit (MANCOS), 26:25.2733rd – Hannah Skinner (MANCOS), 26:51.4738th – Olivia Coppinger (MANCOS), 27:32.8039th – Hakayla Snow (MANCOS), 27:48.9840th – Maggie Delaney (MANCOS), 28:11.5641st – Mimi Archuleta (MANCOS), 28:24.76 45th – Corinne Damore (M-CHS), 29:17.6346th – Lynda LaPaz (M-CHS), 29:48.7051st – Maya LaMunyon (M-CHS), 31:27.52