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Harriers end regular season, run at regional meet Wednesday

The Pagosa Springs Pirate cross country team spent time last week preparing for regional competition.

Part of that preparation: Last week’s Monte Vista meet.

The girls’ squad placed third, and the Pirate boys placed fourth at last Saturday’s meet. However, the majority of the regular varsity team was not racing in the meet; instead, other athletes on the team, including junior varsity runners, were given a chance to run against the best.

Coach Scott Anderson explained that, for the regional track meet, teams are allowed to have eight runners compete for both the boys’ and the girls’ teams, two more than normal. The Monte Vista meet was used to find out who the additional two runners would be.

One of the best ways to select the additional two runners, Anderson said, is to run a race. It is also good experience for the JV runners who may be varsity runners next year.

On the girls’ side, senior Tori Strohecker took ninth place overall with a time of 24 minutes and 19 seconds. Devon Jurcak was running at her heels and finished in 10th place with a personal best of 24:41. Mesa Lynch took 13th with a time of 25:07. All three then competed at the regional meet in Delta on Wednesday. As of press time, the results of that meet were not known.

On the boys’ side. Matt Baker and Chase Purcell earned themselves a place on the regional team. Baker placed 21st at the Monte Vista meet with a time of 20:07, and Purcell took 22nd with a time of 20:21.

“Overall preparation for regionals is going well,” Anderson said. “Everyone is excited. The kids who haven’t raced are getting anxious.”

At Wednesday’s regionals, both the boys and girls teams competed against nine complete teams. The toughest competition that Anderson expected at regionals was to come from Hotchkiss and Bayfield. Only the top four teams at regionals will compete at state on Oct. 29 in Aurora.

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