Fri Oct 26th, 2018
Special to the Drum
Tags: Aliyah Jackson, Ashleigh Gardner, Avaleena Nanaeto, Bobcats, Brianna Henderson, Class 2A-Region IV Cross-Country Championships, Elco Garcia Jr., Ignacio, Jayden Brunson, Jonas Nanaeto, Katie Woodman, Layton McLaughlin, Marissa Duffey, Norris-Penrose Events Center, Tatum Bebo, wolverines
Three ’Cats bound for Colorado Springs
To hear Avaleena Nanaeto tell it, personal-bests seemed to be crumbling all around her as she competed at the Class 2A-Region IV Cross-Country Championships held Friday, Oct. 19, at Confluence Park in Delta.
Known for being a fast course, it was perfect ground on which the reborn Ignacio program would either earn the right to see the 41st CHSAA-sanctioned girls’ season’s final competition, or at least afford head coach Marissa Duffey one last memory of her first prep squad striding across a varsity finish line.
As it turned out, she got a little bit of both.
Challenging the field straight-up, with four entrants available for an accommodating score-3 format, IHS closed out the 2018 campaign accumulating an adjusted 85 team points and placing ninth, closely trailing Hotchkiss (83) but bettering both Ouray (89) and Meeker (103).
And with one harrier – a freshman – now headed for Colorado Springs and the grand finale.
Knowing that only the top 15 individuals would qualify, if they weren’t already part of one of the top five teams, Nanaeto punched her ticket in dramatic fashion. After falling off the pace of Rangely’s Aliyah Jackson, who clocked 21 minutes, 24.91 seconds and finished 14th, Nanaeto (21:44.55) out-legged Ouray’s Katie Woodman (21:47.07) to clinch the final State transfer spot.
With sixth-place Ashleigh Gardner of Grand Junction’s Caprock Academy factored out of the team scoring, Nanaeto’s result was worth 14 team points.
Junior Brianna Henderson’s 39th-place 23:43.89 was worth just 35 after additional individuals were excluded, and sophomore Jayden Brunson’s 41st-place 24:05.06 earned only 36. Junior Tatum Bebo also participated – giving the Lady ’Cats a potential tie-breaker if needed – and took 58th in 32:28.69.
Led by sisters Chloe (1st, 18:53.87) and Betsy (3rd, 20:27.11) Veilleux, Oak Creek-based Soroco High earned the regional’s title with a low score of 15 points. Paonia (28), RHS (32), Kremmling West Grand (40) and designated meet host Mancos (60) captured the remaining State team berths.
“Each young lady continues to push themselves on the challenging courses,” said Duffey.
“I’m proud of their focus and determination to improve each week their mental toughness and personal records. The ladies continue to grow in their knowledge of this fabulous sport and look forward to their upcoming meets.”
Nanaeto’s next is scheduled to begin at 12:20 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, upon the Norris-Penrose Events Center route, and she’ll have some travel company joining – but competing separately from – her.
Representing nearby Bayfield, IHS juniors Jonas Nanaeto and Elco Garcia, Jr., will take the earlier 9:00 a.m. starter’s gun in the Class 3A boys’ feature – sewing up the 76th year of Association-sanctioned boys’ action – after both qualified at 3A-Region I, with the Wolverines as a whole not missing by much.
Also held on the 19th, but at the even more distant Aspen Golf & Tennis Club minutes west of the famous ski town’s core, Nanaeto clocked 17:44.20 at the meet and earned sixth place overall behind winner Colton Stice (16:40.80) of Gunnison.
Garcia (18:14.60), meanwhile, finished a long blink after Olathe’s Layton McLaughlin (18:14.40), but bagged top-15 status by taking 12th. Helping GHS prevail with a score-5 low of 50 points, Brennan Stice (18:22.80) beat Montezuma-Cortez’s Davian Robinson by 1.1 seconds in the closing dash for 15th.
Craig-based Moffat County placed second with 86 points, and AHS (118) and Pagosa Springs (130) also earned State team berths while BHS (143) rounded out the top five.
CLASS 2A-REGION IV GIRLS’ STANDINGS
1.Oak Creek Soroco 15, 2.Paonia 28, 3.Rangely 32, 4.Kremmling West Grand 40, 5.Mancos 60, 6.Carbondale Colorado Rocky Mountain 63, 7.Telluride 63, 8.Hotchkiss 83, 9.IGNACIO 85, 10.Ouray 89, 11.Meeker 103.
CLASS 3A-REGION I BOYS’ STANDINGS
1.Gunnison 50, 2.Craig Moffat County 86, 3.Aspen 118, 4.Pagosa Springs 130, 5.BAYFIELD 143, 6.Olathe 150, 7.Leadville Lake County 199, 8.Delta 238, 9.Rifle 240, 10.Montezuma-Cortez 274, 11.Basalt 276, 12.Granby Middle Park 286, 13.Parachute Grand Valley 310, 14.New Castle Coal Ridge 320.