Even amidst 38 teams and hundreds of runners per race, the Pirate cross country team made their presence known last week in Colorado Springs.
The team took part in their largest meet of the season at Doherty in Colorado Springs, facing off against some of the largest schools in the state in order to be better prepared for upcoming region and state action.
“Overall, the kids did really well,” coach Scott Anderson said. Anderson said that, of the 38 teams at the meet, only four were 3A or smaller (the Pirates are 3A), with the state’s top 4A schools well represented.
On the girls’ side, Emily Bryant finished fourth, leading the Lady Pirates to a 15th-place finish.
Bryant ran the course in 19:40.
“Emily ran a strong race. She ran a smart race,” Anderson said, highlighting Bryant’s patience in running the course’s hill.
The next finish for the Pirates was Olivia Reinhardt, who finished 38th in 21:19 in her first large meet experience.
“Olivia didn’t back down from the challenge,” Anderson said.
Rounding out the five scoring runnings for the Pirates were Tayler Hammer-Lee in 82nd with a time of 22:44, Dana Danielson finished 101st with a time of 23:22, and Delany Khung finished 168th with a time of 25:17.
Andie Miller also ran varsity at the meet, finishing 204th with a time of 29:04.
Missing from the girls’ team at the meet were Maddie Greenly and Megan Ellis, with Greenly battling sickness and Ellis at another school obligation.
“Overall, I didn’t feel too bad with that,” Anderson said, adding that Alamosa was the top-finishing small school at the meet, but that he felt a full Pirate squad could overtake the Mean Moose.
The boys, too, were without Nick Hutcherson, whom Anderson noted was also out due to sickness.
But, even short one man, the Pirates finished in 21st place, led by Tyler Greenly, who finished 90th with a time of 18:41.
“Tyler gave it his all,” Anderson said, noting that Greenly crawled across the finish line after nearly passing out. “His time and place don’t necessarily represent his true output … he left it all out there.”
Mason Chronowski was the next Pirate across the line, finishing 127th with a time of 19:13.
“Mason’s coming along,” Anderson said. “Every day he’s feeling a little less pain.”
One second later, Chris Archuleta crossed to take 129th place — a “solid” performance in Anderson’s eyes.
A short time later, with a time of 19:45, Ethan Brown crossed the line in 153rd.
Rounding out the scoring members of the team was Liam O’Brien with a time of 20:00 to take 168th.
Three other Pirates ran in the varsity race — Zakk Brown finished 197th in 20:35, Michael Iverson finished 201st in 20:38, and Coy Thomas finished 225th with a time of 21:19.
Fresh off the meet meant to prepare them for state competition, the Pirates will take part in their last regular season tomorrow (Friday) at Sargent in Monte Vista (the Eric Wolff Invitational).
At the meet, both sides of the Pirate team will be looking to close gaps and tighten up their grouping before the regional meet in Delta on Oct. 18.
Six Pirate runners from each side of the team are expected to represent Pagosa Springs in Delta, which Anderson noted is a low altitude, flat, fast course.