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Harriers to race at IML meet Saturday

Faced with this weekend’s IML League Meet, the Pagosa Springs High School varsity cross country runners took a break last weekend in Cortez.

Instead of running the varsity in the meet, Coach Scott Anderson chose to give the varsity squads a rest period before IML action in Monte Vista, and to afford the JV runners more experience.

At the Cortez meet, Pirate Dylan Koch finished with a time of 20:10, leading the Pirates.

Zakk Brown finished the course in 21:34; Evan Greer in 21:47; while Danny Shahan crossed the line in 21:58.

Austin Miller ended with a time of 22:55; Seth Hanson finished in 25:37; Chase Purcell in 26:48; and Luke Hansen set a personal record, finishing in 27:17.

On the girls’ side, Tayler Strohecker finished in 24:53, a personal record and Tori Strohecker finished in 25:42.

Rylee Houston also set a personal record with a finishing time of 32:40 for the girls.

The normal varsity runners used the day to scope out and run Cortez’s new race route as a group, which will also be the site of the Oct. 23 regional meet.

Before regional competition, however, the Pirates will face more local foes at Saturday’s IML League Meet in Monte Vista, where the teams look to continue their winning ways.

“Things are lining up well, as long as we don’t have a second go-round of sickness,” Anderson said. “The kids seem to be rested and excited to see how fast they can run ... a fast course.”

Monte Vista’s course is flatter than the other courses run this season, allowing the Pirates to more accurately clock their speed and compare themselves to teams from the Front Range they could face in future competition.

“Monte Vista is fast and flat and both sides will be tested more,” Anderson said.

On the girls’ side, the Lady Pirates will face off against, among others, Gunnison, a “solid” team that should give the Pirates a better measure of their standing, Anderson said.

For the boys, Gunnison poses a challenge as well, though not as much as Alamosa — currently 3A’s number one team in Colorado.

And, of course, Pagosa will keep an eye out for rival Bayfield, Anderson said.

The races start at 9 a.m. Saturday in Monte Vista.