State trips on the line at Delta regional
Electing to forego events like the Sargent-hosted Eric Wolff Invitational, Oct. 14 in Monte Vista, in which runners sought to sharpen their skills and stretch their strides in preparation for their respective postseason races, Ignacio Cross-Country will be rested, if nothing more, going into the Class 2A-Region IV Championships.
Beginning at 11 a.m. on the 21st, the meet will be held in Delta at Confluence Park – a course known to be just as fast, if not faster than the last upon which the Bobcats ran.
Competing most recently at the 2022 Four Corners Southwest Classic, Oct. 7 in Durango, IHS’ first four fellows, despite a mid-pack result, were separated by fewer than 90 seconds – a positive sign for success at the ‘Delta Speedway.’
Senior Eppie Quintana was back in action, placing a team-best 35th overall at Hillcrest Golf Course in 19 minutes, 59.76 ticks. Freshman Trace Crane took 43rd in 21:00.67, junior Corey Gomez placed 46th in 21:13.52, and freshman Aven Bourriague ended up 49th in 21:22.43.
Completing the contingent, freshman Dillon Brann (23:05.63) finished 62nd out of 75 – all paced by Durango sophomore Luke Swenk, who clocked a winning 16:26.72 and won by more than 32 seconds over Alamosa senior Isaac Higareda.
In the girls’ race, Ignacio junior Lauren deKay placed 41st in a time of 26 minutes, 51.65 seconds. Leading the field of 59 was Alamosa junior Sarah de la Cerda, who recorded the only sub-19 effort with her 18:55.12. DHS senior Willow Lott was runner-up in 19:40.17.
To qualify for the State Championships, set for Oct. 29 at Norris-Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs, a runner must either place top-15 at the regional, or be on one of the top five teams in its score-4 setting. Such teams must consist of four to eight entered individuals – meaning the Bobcat boys, at least, could potentially advance as a squad.