FIVE ALIVE: IHS harriers earn first team placing Junior’s arrival helps girls earn fifth in Pagosa

Girls from all three local cross-country teams: Ignacio, Bayfield and Durango, jostle for position at the start of the Bayfield Cross Country Invitational, held Saturday, Sept. 22.
Jonas Nanaeto (261), leads the Bayfield Wolverines at the start of the Bayfield Invitational, Saturday, Sept. 22. The boys cross-country team took second in the team standings, behind Pagosa Springs.
Courtesy James Chenowith
Courtesy Melanie Brubaker Mazur | Pine River Times

Following the recent [Sept. 15] Bayfield Invitational, Ignacio Girls’ Cross-Country head coach Marissa Duffey again was ecstatic regarding the reborn program’s progress.

“Each lady knocked off at least three minutes from their previous time,” she’d said.  “I am overjoyed with their success on and off the course and look forward to our upcoming meets.”

That included the Pagosa Springs XC Challenge, where the boss’s beaming was a new type of bright.

For just about two months ago, Ignacio Girls’ Cross-County officially became a team in name.  But Saturday morning, Sept. 22, the Lady Bobcats at last became a ‘team’ in a meet’s final standings.

Duffey proudly stated that Tatum Bebo, a junior, had joined the fledgling crew prior to the event, and with her addition IHS competed with the minimum needed to place collectively at a score-5 competition.

Getting her first taste of a long-distance race, Bebo completed the course in 38 minutes, 58 seconds and stepped across the finish line 57th out of 60.  Continuing her emergence as Ignacio’s front-runner (pun intended) this fall, freshman Avaleena Nanaeto again paced the squad with her 20th-place 27:07, and with the pair book-ending IHS’ trip into Archuleta County, the Lady ’Cat quintet accumulated an adjusted 99 points and earned fifth place.

Junior Brianna Henderson placed 29th in 28:30, and sophomores Vanessa Gonzales (29:21) and Jayden Brunson (29:29) finished 37th and 38th, respectively.

“This weekend was a success for each,” said Duffey.  “The ‘fierce five’ went out again with the same mentality as the weeks before, but now with an additional goal in mind of setting a new PR.”

Helping the hosting Lady Pirates take first place easily with a perfect score of 15, PSHS freshman Sierra Liverett also took first individually in 22 minutes, 47 seconds, with classmate Nell Taylor (23:05) second and sophomore teammate Megan Greenly (23:21) third.

Monticello, Utah, freshman Lily Long was a non-scoring fourth overall in 23:22, as the 1A Lady Buckaroos, New Mexico A/2A programs Dulce and Santa Fe Desert Academy, plus Colorado 2As Del Norte, La Jara Centauri, Moffat and Sargent competed only for individual honors while 3A Montezuma-Cortez (73 points) took second, 2A Mancos (92) third and 3A Bayfield (93) fourth as units.

Up next, IHS will attack Mancos’ Chicken Creek Challenge on Saturday, Sept. 29, then begin the fast-moving season’s final month traveling farther west on Friday, Oct. 5, to hit M-CHS’ Ancient Trails Invitational.

 

ON THE BOYS’ SIDE

 

Competing in Pagosa Springs for the Bayfield boys, Ignacio High Schooler Elco Garcia, Jr., followed up his second-place result at the BHS Invite with a fifth-place 19:49 at the Challenge.  Fellow junior Jonas Nanaeto wasn’t far behind and took seventh in 19:54 as the Wolverines accumulated 72 points and captured second place.

Led by senior Adam Bunker’s winning 18:40, Monticello dominated the day and took first with a meet-low 23, while PSHS (92), Centauri (96), M-CHS (126), Mancos (134) and Dulce (158) trailed in the standings.

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