After a successful 2016 season that included qualifying both its girls and boys teams to state, the Mancos cross-country program is piling up the postseason awards.
The Mancos Blue Jays ran away with the Class 2A Region 4 Championship before placing fifth as a team at the Class 2A State Championships, while the Lady Jays took third at the regional and finished 13th at state.
Now, they’ve added a few more accolades to their treasure chest.
Junior Simon Kearns, who finished fourth at the regional meet, was named the San Juan Basin League’s boys Runner of the Year.
“Simon had to be the top finishing runner from our league at our regional meet,” explained head coach Brady Archer. “Of course, having the season that he had didn’t hurt either. He won two races this year and was consistently near the top of every race.”
Also earning league attention were seniors Emma Most and Kaylee Rose, juniors Kearns, Jake McKie and Caleb Yoder, and sophomore Teslin Stecher.
Most, Rose, Kearns, McKie and Stecher were each selected to the SJBL All-Conference team, and Yoder was Honorable Mention.
“As far as All-Conference is concerned, to have so many runners among the league’s best is an honor,” said Archer. “Our league has some of the best runners in the state on both the boys’ and girls’ sides. The runners in our league are always pushing each other to get better through competition. Our runners do the same in practice as they are always competitive with and supportive of each other.”
The Mancos head man was also recognized by the conference, as Archer was named SJBL boys Coach of the Year.
“The other coaches in our league are among the best in the state,” he said. “Nick, Keith (Telluride) and Bernie (Ouray) always have tough runners and run great programs. To win a coaching award that is based on their votes shows how much respect they have for the work Mancos runners put into their preparation and their races. I am always honored to be recognized by these coaches.”
Lastly, the Mancos boys team was honored for their success off the track.
Together, Kearns, McKie, Yoder, Zane Wilson, Alex Fleitz and Ryoya Shima achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.87, the highest team GPA in Class 2A, to be named the Les Schwab Academic Team Champions.