Fri Nov 4th, 2022
Special to the Drum
Categories: Sports, Cross-Country, Sports
Tags: Cross Country, Eppie Quintana, Fort Collins Heritage Christian Academy, ignacio high school, Karri McCarter, Phillip Quintana
Despite her team being curtailed this fall by injury, first-year Ignacio Cross-Country head coach Karri McCarter indicated she was still pleased with her runners’ progression.
“Yeah, I had a lot of fun,” she said. “I think we had a great first season (together); we took … times from the mid-23s and -24s, down to -19s. Everybody had a PR this season, whether a personal record at a course or overall personal record.”
After placing top-15 at the Class 2A-Region IV meet held at Confluence Park in Delta, senior Eppie Quintana was the lone Bobcat to qualify for the 2022 CHSAA Cross-Country State Championships in Colorado Springs. With the starter’s pistol cracking the El Paso County air – its temperature at that moment in the mid-60s Fahrenheit – at 12:20 p.m. Saturday, Oct.29, Quintana headed out onto the Norris-Penrose Event Center course.
And though he couldn’t keep pace with the leaders, headed by Fort Collins Heritage Christian Academy senior Jack Nauman and Leadville Lake County senior Jace Peters, Quintana still almost achieved top-50 status in his return to the season-ending event. Clocking 18 minutes, 36.3 seconds, he placed 53rd out of 136 finishers.
“I think he did great,” McCarter said. “I don’t know how to phrase it, but he was about three weeks behind – in a sense – everybody else, because he’d had an injury. So to come back from that and do as well as he did was awesome.”
Nauman finished in 15:55.1, with Peters (16:21.3) and HCA senior Ryan O’Loughlin (16:33.6) his nearest pursuers.
“The weather was nice – it was really well done, the whole thing,” said McCarter. “The course seemed well-groomed.”
Freshmen Dillon Brann and Trace Crane were given the option of traveling to NPEC in support of their teammate.
“So when they go next year it’s not so surprising,” McCarter explained. “Trace didn’t get to go; he stayed home with his sister – Trinity, my (team) manager – who had her wisdom teeth (pulled) out. But Dillon went and I think that was a good experience for him … to see all the people and just feel the feel.”
By virtue of being the first San Juan Basin League runner to finish at the aforementioned regional, Quintana earned First Team All-SJBL, and also SJBL Boys’ Runner-of-the-Year. Brann and Crane also received First Team All-SJBL, as did Telluride sophomore Sean McKillop and Ouray senior Canyon Ishikawa.
Honorable Mention All-SJBL nods went to Mancos junior Braxton Dennison and IHS freshman Aven Bourriague.
On the girls’ side of things, MHS sophomore Teagan Archer was named Girls’ Runner-of-the-Year and was joined as a First Team All-SJBL pick by THS freshmen Austin Cooke and Lana Kenworthy, MHS sophomore Adaline Kearns and Dolores sophomore Elia Lowe.
Mancos senior Madilynn Ritter and DHS sophomore Keira LaRose were the Honorable Mention All-SJBL choices.
McCarter was voted SJBL Boys’ Coach-of-the-Year; MHS’ Brady Archer received Girls’ Coach-of-the-Year, with the Lady Jays being the only SJBL squad to qualify for State as a team.