Ignacio boys sixth on Hillcrest course 

Ignacio High's Eppie Quintana (551) was IHS' top boys' finisher Friday afternoon, Oct. 1, in Durango at the Four Corners Southwest Classic.
Ignacio Middle's Judah Ashley (466) works on passing Bayfield's Payton Cieske (423) Friday afternoon, Oct. 1, during the Four Corners Southwest Classic's mid-school boys' race.
Ignacio Middle's Max Montoya (470) advances on runners back in the pack Friday afternoon, Oct. 1, during the Four Corners Southwest Classic's mid-school boys' race.
Ignacio High's Phillip Quintana (552) and Camron Cooper (547) ran well in tandem during the 2021 Four Corners Southwest Classic Friday afternoon, Oct. 1, in Durango.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

Quintana’s 14th-place run leads ’Cats  

Given a mid-season day off the previous weekend, the Ignacio boys’ cross-country team began the 2021 campaign’s last month running against competition on, fittingly, its first day. 

Which didn’t make anything easier, what with all crews attending the Oct. 1 Four Corners Southwest Classic all looking to ramp up their performances in preparation for the fast-approaching postseason. 

“We have two more…kind of ‘trial’ meets to go before the ‘big’ one,” said head coach Daniel Holley, “and I’m really liking what I’m seeing – from the results and they effort they’re putting in at practice.” 

“I think they’re finally starting to find that shape they need in order to compete in a few weeks at our regional.” 

Junior Eppie Quintana led the Bobcats with a 14th-place time of 19 minutes, 7 seconds, as Durango seniors Land Lambert (16:26) and Damian Frausto (16:39) set a scorching 5K pace at Hillcrest Golf Course only Shiprock, N.M., senior Orye Franklin (17:40) could even consider following. 

IHS sophomores Phillip Quintana and Camron Cooper crossed back-to-back, taking 30th and 31st, respectively, in 20:22 and 20:25, while classmate Corey Gomez finished 57th in 22:14 and junior Dylan McCaw 79th – out of 88 finishers – in 27:16. 

As the Durango/Bayfield/Fort Lewis College-hosted race’s last scoring entrant, that effort was worth 47 points towards Ignacio’s adjusted score-5 tally of 161, which ended up being good for sixth place ahead of Aztec, New Mexico’s 204. 

“The boys did everything I asked them to do,” Holley said. “They ran together, and they fed off each other’s energy all week. They’re finally starting to feel good about their times and their running, so that’s awesome.” 

With five runners ultimately placing top-10, DHS won easily with a 24-point low. Shiprock settled for second with 57 and Blanding, Utah, San Juan came in third with 85 – just three points clear of Albuquerque, N.M., Sandia Prep, and four of Beehive State neighbors Monticello. 

Up next, the ’Cats will head west on Oct. 9 to Mancos for the Chicken Creek Challenge, with the 10/15 Eric Wolff Invitational out in Monte Vista the squad’s final test before the 2A-Region IV Championships on the 22nd in Delta. 

MIDDLE SCHOOL UPDATE: At the Classic, Ignacio totaled an adjusted score-5 count of 144 points and placed fifth out of 11 qualifying teams participating in the middle-school boys’ 3K. Durango mid-schoolers combined to post a winning low of 26 points, as Blanding, Utah’s Albert R. Lyman Middle (51) earned second place and Bayfield Middle (107) third. 

Cayson Burcham paced IMS with a 14th-place time of 12 minutes, 48 seconds, and Judah Ashley (13:25) crossed the finish line next in 26th. Trace Crane came in 36th with his 13:46, Thunder Windy Boy (14:10) placed 48th, James Martin (14:36) took 56th and Max Montoya (19:17) was 95th. Elias Pena placed 101st in 21:15 and Joseph Tharp 107th in 24:06. 

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