Nanaeto leads Lady ’Cats at Ancient Trails

Photo Credit: Ignacio High School

Freshman takes fifth at M-CHS’ 5K feature

Admitting her choice to come out this fall for cross-country was more a means to an end (“I wanted to get in shape for basketball,” she said), Avaleena Nanaeto couldn’t help grinning when talking about the Oct. 5 Ancient Trails Invitational, where her end placing – and the Lady Bobcats’ overall performance – was more than mean.

“We all did great,” she said.  “We all p.r.’d this week; it was fantastic.”

Running with the leaders upon the Montezuma County Fairgrounds course and ultimately following 3A Montezuma-Cortez sophomore Ridley Dennison across the finish line, Ignacio’s freshman leader earned fifth place overall with her 24-minute, 10-second effort.

“I enjoyed it,” Nanaeto said.  “It was a really nice course and there were some hard parts, but we finished off right.”

Dennison clocked 23:59 to lead the meet-hosting Lady Panthers, while 2A Mancos sophomore Grace Manning took first place in 22 minutes, 35 seconds.  4A Durango soph Bailey Freeman was just a tick behind in second, and teammate Kristina Bodewes (23:33) ended up taking third.

Attacking a route described as half unpaved roads and half single-track with one ‘stride-breaking hill’ halfway through, IHS sophomore Jayden Brunson ended up 30th in 27:02, with fellow soph. Vanessa Gonzales 32nd in 27:13 and junior Brianna Henderson 33rd in 27:25.

In score-5 format, DHS ended up tallying a meet-low 28 points to earn the team title, while M-CHS finished second with 65.  3A Pagosa Springs earned third with 75, while MHS (99) and 3A Bayfield (106) rounded out the top five.  However, had the Invitational been score-4, the standings would have been slightly different.

Durango still would have won with an adjusted meet-low 20 points, with Montezuma-Cortez (42) and PSHS (50) following.  Mancos would still have placed fourth with 58 points while IHS and BHS would have tied for fifth with 65.  But with one more entrant than Ignacio, Bayfield senior Mylee Sanders (43rd, 30:28) would have been the tiebreaker.

Up next, the Lady ’Cats will compete Friday, Oct. 19, at the 2A-Region IV Championships in Delta’s Confluence Park with berths into the 10/27 Class 2A State Championships in Colorado Springs up for grabs.  Results from Ignacio’s Oct. 12 appearance at the Bloomfield, N.M., Invitational—their last tune-up meet prior to regionals – were unavailable at press time.

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