The Durango High School boys and girls cross-country teams had a strong end to their seasons Saturday at the Colorado High School Activities Association’s Class 4A State Cross-Country Championships at the Norris-Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs.
The DHS boys team took second with 119 points, and the girls finished fourth with 147 points.
In the 4A girls race, Niwot won the team title with 37 points, Battle Mountain was second with 71, Air Academy took third with 117, DHS was fourth and Palmer Ridge took fifth with 156 points. Samrawit Dishon of Niwot won in 18 minutes, 11 seconds, and Samantha Blair of Eagle Valley was second in 18:15, while her sister Joslin took third in 18:27.
Durango was led by senior Madeleine Burns, who took fourth in 18:33.6, while freshman Willow Lott took 25th overall in 19:45. Kiara Hamlin was not far behind with a 30th-place finish in 19:52. Angela McManus performed well and took 39th in 20:10, while Tea Forrest was 49th in 20:21.
Burns was pleased with her final state meet and was happy to be involved in an exciting finish.
“I thought it was a really good race,” Burns said. “It went really slow at the start, but around the mile-and-a-half mark, there was downhill and that’s where the packs started to separate. I thought my training paid off against some of the top girls in Colorado. When we hit the 2-mile mark, it was just the four of us, (Dishon), the Blair sisters and myself. It was a good finish, and I was happy to have competed against some of the best girls in the state.”
On the boys side, Niwot took home the team title with 70 points. Durango was second, Cheyenne Mountain was third with 156 points, Air Academy took fourth with 163 and Palmer Ridge rounded out the top five with 185 points. Cruz Culpepper won the race in 15:36. Dylan Schubert of Thompson Valley was second in 15:48, and Eric LeRoux of Cheyenne Mountain was third in 15:50.
Durango’s best finish came from senior Luke Tichi, who took fourth overall and broke the 16-minute barrier as he crossed the finish line in 15:53. DHS’ second-highest finisher was Paul Knight, who took ninth in 16:23. Logan Moore was 15th in 16:37. Land Lambert had a strong finish for DHS, as he took 38th in 17:11, and Aiden Quayle rounded out the top five for the Demons, as he took 53rd in 17:30.
DHS head coach Ken Flint was proud of the Demons’ performance.
“They did not disappoint,” Flint said. “The girls took care of business and capped off a really strong year. The guys, well, I think there’s no question as to who the No. 2 team in 4A is anymore. I thought both teams raced exceptionally well, and I am really proud of the work they put in across the board. For Madeleine and Luke to have top-five finishes was awesome, and they both were super focused today. I couldn’t be happier for both teams. They stuck with it, ran for one another and deserve all of the accolades they got.”
Bayfield High SchoolThe Bayfield High School boys cross-country team also had a strong finish to its season, as the Wolverines finished in eighth in Class 3A with 228 points.
Frontier Academy won the team title with 77 points, Classical Academy was second with 89 and SkyView Academy was third with 137 points.
BHS’ Intermountain League rival Alamosa took fifth with 201 points. Mason Norman of The Classical Academy won the race in 15:50, Owen Nolan of SkyView Academy took second in 16:27 and Josh Medina of Alamosa finished third in 16:36.
Elco Garcia, who attends Ignacio High and runs for the Wolverines, led BHS with a fourth-place finish in 16:48. Zeb Shields took 16th in 17:22, and Jonas Nanaeto rounded out the Wolverines’ top three with a 33rd-place finish with a time of 17:50. Senior Rylan Ross took 77th in 18:50, while senior Shane Moore took 101st in a time of 19:46.
“Elco went out and knew he needed to stay at the front of the pack right away,” said BHS head coach Josh Walton. “As kids fell back, he kept near the front. His goal was to beat Alex Baca of Gunnison, who beat Elco last week. I thought all of our others guys all ran really well. From the pre-state meet in August until now, they all improved their times by at least 45 seconds to a minute, so I couldn’t be happier.
“I’m going to miss our four seniors, and it’s been a joy to coach them. They’ve been a part of this team, and we look forward to their future.”
Ignacio High SchoolThe Ignacio High School girls cross-country team fared well at Saturday’s 2A race.
Junior Charlize Valdez paced IHS, as she finished in 26th in 22:11.7. Her teammate, sophomore Avalaeena Nanaeto, took 52nd in 23:22. The Bobcats did not register a team score, as the pair were IHS’ only qualifiers.
Lyons took home the team title with nine points, Buena Vista was second with 61 and Golden View Classical Academy was third with 69 points. Quinn Gregg of Lyons took home the individual title with a time of 19:24, Helen Cross of Nederland was second in 19:34 and Jamieson Legh of Lyons was third in 19:58.