The sickness that had hampered the Pagosa Springs cross country team has lifted. Last Friday, at the Eric Wolff Invitational in Monte Vista, the Pirates were back together, running as a full team, up to par, and it could be seen. Both the boys and the girls placed second at the meet, behind Alamosa, a team that coach Scott Anderson said “kicked their butts” at the beginning of the season.
“All the kids did a really good job,” Anderson said about the meet.
When the Pirates left Pagosa, they left dark clouds and rain behind. By the time the 10 competitors arrived in Monte Vista, Anderson said it was balmy and cloudy, and by the time the varsity ran, it was what Anderson called perfect cross country weather – cool, wet, muddy, but no downpours.
For the girls, junior Emily Bryant ran to the lead within the first 150 meters of the race.
“She found her rhythm really early,” Anderson said, adding, “After she found it, she started running away from the rest of the girls.”
Bryant kept the lead throughout the race to finish in first place with a time of 20 minutes and 20 seconds, a minute and a half faster than the second-place finisher.
Freshman Olivia Reinhardt, Anderson said, had an awesome race, and finished fifth with a time of 22.39.
“She did exactly what she was supposed to do. She ran and, as the race went on, she either kept her pace or picked it up,” Anderson said. Though still far behind Bryant, this is the closest time comparison the two have had all year.
Devon Jurcak finished in 10th place with a 23.20, which Anderson said was a great finish for the sophomore. Anderson attributed this mostly to a boost in her self-confidence. Anderson had seen her run in practice at this pace, but last Friday was the first time she realized the potential at a meet.
Senior Dana Danielson also had a good day, finishing in 12th place, seven seconds behind Jurcak.
For the boys, senior Daniel Sloan was the first Pirate to cross the finish line, earning sixth place with a time of 18.29.
“The pack was fairly good. It still needs to get a little tighter,” Anderson said.
Close behind Sloan was junior Mason Chronowski with a time of 18.48, which earned him ninth place. “He had a solid race,” Anderson said.
Freshman Nick Hutcherson barely edged out junior Tyler Greenly for 11th place, pushing Greenly to the 12th-place spot. Both boys had a time of 19.02.
“Nick had an outstanding race. Tyler had a great race,” Anderson said.
Junior Zack Ellis was back in the mix last Friday. “He’s been off for two weeks, and he ran well. It’s good to get him back,” Anderson said.
Yesterday, the Pirates headed to Delta for the regional track meet. As of press time, the times and scores of the team were not known. Those results will be published next week.