Cross country runners will participate in a unqiue doubleheader today at Hillcrest Golf Club in Durango: Middle school and high school runners will race in the annual Durango Demon Invitational this afternoon; college runners will compete in the annual Tom Standt Memorial Run, hosted by Fort Lewis College.
Its always fun to race at home, DHS coach Mark Dutro said. Its nice to run in front of your friends and your family.
Dutro said the DHS meet will feature a small but stellar field today, with a start time at 3:30 p.m.
Durango will be joined by Farmington, Piedra Vista and Creede for the four-team cross country meet. Junior varsity and varsity runners will compete in the same heats, Dutro said.
All of the kids can run against each other, said Dutro, who added the small field will give the JV runners incentive to run with the varsity group.
I think there will be some JV kids who will want to see how they fare against the varsity, Dutro said.
The middle school girls race will kick off the festivities at 3:30 p.m. The middle school boys race will start at 3:50 p.m. The varsity girls will take off at 4:15 p.m., followed by the varsity boys at 5 p.m.
The start/finish for the cross country races is located on the 13th fairway on the east side of Hillcrest.
Access to the cross country trail around the golf course will be from the far east side of Hillcrest. Parking will be available in the large FLC parking lot north of the football stadium.
FLC cross country coach Ken Flint and the Skyhawks will host a similar meet this evening.
The womens collegiate 5K will start at 6 p.m.
The mens collegiate 8K will begin at 6:30 p.m.
We want a good solid effort where we can go out and learn from last week ... we want a good hard workout, Flint said.
FLC will race against Mesa State College, Diné College of Tsaile, Ariz., and Navajo Tech of Crownpoint, N.M.
Last weekend, I was encouraged by the group of newcomers and their intensity of effort, Flint said. The way they ran was impressive.
Kip Mutai of Kenya led FLC last weekend with a 10th-place finish at the stacked Adams State College event in Alamosa.
FLC also returns Kenyan Michael Birgen to this years roster.
Kip knocked time down from last year. Hes showing hes put in the work (in the offseason), Flint said.
Jeff Hofferber (Littleton) ran close to a personal record last week, Flint said.
Derek Laue was a pleasant surprise in his first race, Flint said of the FLC freshman from Bayfield.
Laue, targeting an 8K time less than 30 minutes, finished in 27:30.
Ashley Kelly (Brighton) is the top retunree for the FLC women. Today will mark her first race of the season.
FLC sophomore Helen Smith (Westerville, Ohio) led FLC last weekend in 17th place at Alamosa.
Morgan Derschang (Cherry Creek) had quite an impressive performance, too, Flint said after Derschangs 24th-place result in Alamosa.
Liz Schwab (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) was 20th for FLC.
We should be almost at full strength for both races, Flint said. A couple of Skyhawks from the mens side likely will sit out today with minor, nagging injuries, he said.
We should have great weather ... were looking forward to it.
DHS, like FLC, is coming off a strong showing last weekend in Alamosa. Durango ran the Don Graf Memorial Cross Country Meet in conjunction with Adams competition.
The DHS girls, with Karli Foremans runner-up finish, won the Alamosa meet.
The DHS boys, behind Joe Maloneys third-place finish, were second as a team at Alamosa.
Miranda LaShell finished fifth for DHS last weekend, and teammate Kaylee Blevins was seventh. Jason Sampson of DHS was fifth in the boys race. Sepp Kuss was 16th and Cully Brown 22nd.
Piedra Vista has a good team, and Farmington has some good kids, Dutro said.
Farmington sophomore Lindsay Friesenhahn finished second last weekend in the girls race at the Bayfield Invitational at Sauls Creek.
The Piedra Vista boys team dominated to win at Sauls Creek, placing three runners in the top seven: Brandon Levi (fourth), Kevin Mike (sixth) and Colby Gibson (seventh).
Even though its a smaller field, its still going to be tough competition, Dutro said.