The weather and the Sand Devils from Page, Ariz., dominated the Durango Invitational cross country meet Friday afternoon at Hillcrest Golf Club.
Just as the girls varsity race concluded with a big win for the visitors from Arizona, the foul weather took over. Rain and hail rolled across the local golf course on the mesa above Durango.
Then lightning - intense and close - triggered the alarm siren at Hillcrest, sending runners, coaches, fans and officials scurrying for cover.
After an extended lightning delay, meet officials were forced to postpone the remaining races because of the weather and approaching darkness.
The boys varsity race was postponed along with the junior varsity events. Those races have been rescheduled for 10 a.m. today on the Fort Lewis College campus. Today's course will start and finish near the FLC football stadium.
The girls from Page, meanwhile, collected their first-place trophy after placing six runners among the top 10 in the 3-mile race around the golf course.
Junior Kelsey Corbin of Mancos won the girls varsity race in 20 minutes, 14 seconds, her second consecutive cross country victory. Corbin won the Bayfield Invitational at Sauls Creek last weekend.
"I just wanted to not get out too fast," Corbin said. She ran among the leaders for the first mile Friday.
In the second mile, Corbin pulled away to a sizeable lead as she stepped up the pace. She maintained the faster pace through the third mile.
"That's what I usually try to do (in the second half of the races)," Corbin said.
Allison Martin of Montrose finished second Friday, 25 seconds behind Corbin.
Katarina Medici of Page was third in 20:48 - the first of the six Sand Devils in the top 10.
Celeste Claw of Page was fourth in 20:56.
Durango's Anna Ortega raced home in fifth place (20:58) to lead the Demons.
Jayde Secudy, Bronté Carley and Nicolette Coleman, all of Page, followed in sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
Miranda Lashell of Durango was ninth (21:05), with Nicole Douglas of Page rounding out the top 10.
Freshman Nicole Cyr was 11th to lead Bayfield's girls.
Page's domination netted the team title with 35 points. Second-place Montrose totaled 67. Durango finished third with 78 points. Pagosa Springs was fourth (112), followed by Bayfield (116), Mancos (120) and Piedra Vista (182).
"Our girls did really well," a soaked DHS head coach Mark Dutro said as he waited out the weather delay in the shelter at the end of the driving range at Hillcrest.
"They packed well. And we didn't run Karli (Foreman)," Dutro said.
"If we can do well against a team like Page, that bodes well for us. And we can get Karli up there, too," said Dutro, who added that the Sand Devils are perennial state contenders in Arizona.
"The pace (at first) was about right," Ortega said as she congratulated her teammates when they crossed the finish line Friday afternoon.
"This course (on the golf course) is nice. But it's a little tough toward the finish," she said with the rain and hail pounding down.
She credited her DHS teammates for their help and support, just as her teammates did a week ago at Sauls Creek.
Dutro said most of the teams will return to Durango today for the boys varsity race and the JV races.
"We'll have four or five teams," Dutro said. "Page was planning to stay over (in Durango) anyway, and they wanted to get in a race for their boys."
He said Bayfield, Piedra Vista and probably Pagosa Springs will be back for today's second edition along with the Demons.
"My varsity guys want to race. And we need a race, really," Dutro said.
Today's varsity boys event will feature two of the region's top runners in Bayfield's Derek Laue and Durango's Rogan Brown.
Dutro said the Durango varsity teams will compete Thursday in the Cougar Classic at Coronado High School in Colorado Springs where they'll run on the same course used in the Regional Championships.
The Durango JV teams will compete in the Pagosa Springs Invitational on Sept. 26.
The Bayfield cross country teams, varsity and JV, also will race in Pagosa Springs next week.
Additional results from Friday's girls race will be available today.
In the middle school races that preceded Friday's varsity race, Durango's Cully Brown won the boys division, with Dominic Carrillo of Mesa View Middle School in Farmington second.
Bayfield's Danielle Miller and Sonja Fleming finished first and second, respectively, in the girls middle school race.