Pirate cross country coach Scott Anderson rested a few of his runners last Saturday at the eight-team Cortez Invitational, but the Pirates who took to the course were able to continue to hone their skills in preparation for the upcoming Intermountain league championships.
The Pirate boys’ team took fourth place in the team standings.
Carlos Brinkman was fifth overall, with a time of 19 minutes, 17 seconds.
Evan Brookens placed 16th, at 20:52.
Moses Huck set a personal best record of 20:57, good for 17th place.
Jacob Anderson crossed the line in 22nd place, at 22:04.
Evan Greer was 25th, with a time of 22:57.
On the girls’ side, the Pirates placed fifth in the team standings.
Crystal Purcell was 14th in the individual ranks, with a time of 24:24.
Haleigh Zenz took 20th, with a time of 25:10.
Mele Lelievre was 23rd, at 25:30.
Tori Strohecker had a time of 26:35 and placed 28th in the field.
Danielle Pajak had a time of 27:36, good for 31st in the individual ranks.
“As far as our girls are concerned,” said Anderson, “Crystal Purcell ran a solid race and is starting to separate herself from the rest of the girls. Mele is starting to come on at the end of the year. If we can get all the girls to show up on the same day, they can pack well. We’re ready to go on a fast course, see what times we can post, and see where we stand.”
Anderson saw much the same scenario for the boys’ side.
“We were down a couple people, but Bayfield didn’t run a lot of their kids at this race either. I wanted Carlos to go out and find out what he could do, and he led the race for a while. Moses is running with Evan now, and they can push each other; I’m encouraged by that. We’re running on a fast course Saturday, and I am ready to see where all our conditioning gets us.”
That course is at Monte Vista, at Saturday’s Intermountain League Championship meet.
Monte Vista has runners out this year, but will probably not field a full team. Centauri has what Anderson calls a “decent” team. That leaves the Pirates and Bayfield to fight it out for the league title.
Other, nonleague teams participate at the meet. “Occasionally,” said Anderson, “Gunnison shows up at this meet. If they do, we’ll have a good indication of the caliber of competition at the regionals.”
The Monte Vista meet begins at 9 a.m.