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Valley cross country preparing to peak

Posted: Wednesday, Oct 3rd, 2012

Alamosa's Brianna Molina won Friday night's Small School Open race in the 6th Annual Desert Twilight XC Festival. Courier Photo by Eric R. Flores

Courier Sports Editor

SAN LUIS VALLEY— With less than 24 days until the 2012 Colorado High School Activities Association State Cross Country Championships take place as the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs, several San Luis Valley cross country teams are winding down the exhibition phase of their seasons and are preparing for the peaking and championship season.

The San Luis Valley has one more big meet remaining in the San Luis Valley as Sargent will host the Eric Wolff Meet at the Monte Vista Golf Club next Friday with action starting at 11:20 a.m. All the San Luis Valley Schools will be in attendance.

Below are several meets from the past couple of weeks that included San Luis Valley teams.

6th Annual Desert Twilight XC Festival

GILBERT, Ariz.— Friday night’s 6th Annual Desert Twilight XC Festival at Toga Sticks Golf Course in Gilbert, Arizona was truly an event that the Alamosa High School cross country team won’t soon forget as over 100 cross country teams and 5,200 cross country runners from around the Southwest converged for an unique atmosphere.

The festival had 22 races going off within a five hour period. The main races were the championship and sweepstakes races that were ran under flood lights and the Arizona night sky. The uniqueness continued into sweepstakes and championship races as all four races started with a fireworks show and the blasts making a substitute for the starting gun.

Alamosa had girls in the small school open races and the girls’ championship race while the boys had runners in the big school open races and girls’ championship race. There were five runners scored in the meet.

In the open races, Alamosa freshman Brianna Molina was a strong point for Alamosa as she was the first runner out of 156 to cross the line for the girls as she finished with a time of 21:43.90. She helped lead the girls to a sixth place finish out of 12 complete teams in the team standings. Taylor Bertsch crossed the line in 28th place (25:26.01) while freshman Ocean Dodds was third for the Moose as she finished in 32nd place (25:43.56). Junior Madison Myers finished 33rd (24:44.19) and senior Heidi Kritner finished in 68th (31:22.47).

In the large school open race, 476 runners competed and Alamosa junior Roman Romo celebrated his birthday by finishing the race in 20:15.81 to take 236th place. Sophomore Brendan Parsons finished in 432nd place with a time of 24:06.12.

The girls’ championship race had Alamosa finishing in eighth place, out of 21 teams with 211 points. They were one point behind Peak to Peak, a school they are tied with in the CoMileSplit Rankings, both teams are tied with 22 votes and ninth place rankings. Peak to Peak scored 210 points while the overall winner was West Torrance (Calif.) with 64 points.

Senior Karlee Smith crossed the finish line first for Alamosa as she finished in 22nd place (20:07.39), just two places ahead of junior Brianna Apodaca who finished in 24th place (20:15.27). Junior Nicole Broyles finished in 34th place (20:47.55) while freshman Emily Sowards finished 49th (21:06.97) and freshman Paige DeGolyer rounded out scorers with her 80th place finish (22:0029). Junior Renee Myers (98.th place, 22:29.12) and junior Jordan Hicks (125th place, 23:30.03) were the displacers. There were 146 runners in this race.

The Class 3A No. 4 ranked Mean Moose boys finished in 15th place as a team with a total of 359 points. Senior Nick Molina led the Moose pack by crossing the finish line in 29th place (16:59.09), senior Ty Koenig took 48th place (17:22.34) and senior Gavin Palmer finished 67th (17:45.55). Freshman Chance Canty finished 87th (18:09.41) while freshman Austin Chavez was the final scorer with his 128th place finish (19:30.94). Sophomore Tanner Martin finished 129th (18:44.06) and junior Matt Salazar finished in 134th place (20:13.13). There were 140 runners in this race.

Custer County Cross Country Invitational

WESTCLIFFE— The Antonito Trojans made a trip up to St. Andrews Golf Course in Westcliffe on Saturday.

Sophomore Jericho Ulibarri finished in second place in the field of 34 runners as he clocked a time of 18:20. Junior Gabe Romero finished 12th (19:59), sophomore Francisco Chavez finished 18th (20:40), senior Matthew Samora finished 23rd (21:13) and junior Chris Romero finished 25th (21:35).

As a team the Trojans finished in fifth place with 32 points. Rye won the team title with 17 team points.

2012 Columbine Dave Sanders Invitational

LAKEWOOD—The Del Norte Tigers participated in the 2012 Columbine Dave Sanders Invitational on Friday afternoon in Lakewood. The Tiger boys, who competed in Division 2 of the event finished 16th place out of 23 teams when they score 290 points.

Sumner Erhard was the first runner through as he finished 29th out of 202 runners. He finished the 5k run in 18:06. John Haefeli finished in 89th place (19:45), Jesus Juarez finished 95th (19:55), Ryan Jensen took 106th place (20:06), Zach Friedrich was next in 129th place (20:56) while Luke Bright finished in 153rd (22:04) and Jake Jolly rounded out the Tigers in 175th place (23:50).

The Lady Tigers only had two runners in the girls’ race as Jordyn Neely took 72nd place as she finished in 23:15 while Kylie Wilkinson finished in 117th place with a time of 25:04.

Fountain Valley Cross Country Invitational

COLORADO SPRINGS—Centauri, Center and Sargent had their meet on Friday as they traveled to Colorado Springs and participated in the Fountain Valley Cross Country Invitational.

132 runners were in the boys’ race and the Falcons led the Valley teams in the meet as they took fifth place with 91 points. The Farmers took eighth place with 152 points

The top racer for the Valley was Dylan Sowards of Centauri, who finished in fifth place with a time of 19:33. Center’s top runner was next as Andres Alegria finished in 21st place with a time of 20:42. Sargent’s first runner was two seconds behind in 22nd place as Logan Sessums finished in 20:44.

Centauri’s next runners were Juanito Romero in 27th (20:57), Ethan Coombs in 34th (21:22), Jake Sorensen in 36th (21:34), Jeremy Cornum in 50th (22:10), Ben Sowards in 63rd (22:53) and Daniel Wright in 114th (25:55).

Sargent’s next runners were Chris Garcia in 32nd place (21:15) and Taylor Walker in 85th place (24:10).

Center’s other runners were Carlos Valencia in 45th place (21:57) and Marko Ledezma in 103rd place (25:03).

On the girls’ side, 74 runners finished the race and once again Centauri led the Valley, this time the Falcons captured the team crown as they scored 28 points. The Lad Farmers finished in sixth place with 105 points.

The Lady Falcons got a huge boost to win the team title from freshman Caitlin Babcock, who won her first high school race by finishing the 5K race in 22:35. Valentina Valdez took sixth place (23:56) while Indica Mestas (24:21) and Julie Sisneros (24:22) took 10th and 11th places, respectively. Cheyenne Crowther, who finished in 15th place (24:49) was the final scorer. Jarvies, who finished in 21st place (25:46) and Morgan Huffaker, who finished in 35th place (26:57) were the team’s displacers.

Adrianna Cordova (49th place, 29:07) and Alyssa Howsmon (52nd place, 29:26) did not factor into the team scoring.

Sargent was led by Makayla Garcia, who finished ninth (24:15), while Sarah Storey finished in 16th place (24:54), Caleigh Cowan finished 44th (28:39) and Marissa Storey finished 46th (29:03).

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