The Pagosa Springs High School girls’ cross country team continued to show its prowess last weekend, while the boys’ team continued to battle having a lean squad.
But despite having only five runners on the day (with two missing), the boys’ squad placed fourth in Mancos last Saturday, out of eight teams.
“We were running a pretty depleted squad,” coach Scott Anderson said, explaining that one harrier was out due to an illness in his family, while another was out of town.
Too, another Pirate runner, Michael Iverson, was rebounding from illness at the meet.
“We’re solid, we’re just waiting to get the whole team on the field at the same time,” Anderson said.
Nick Hutcherson finished first for the Pirates in Mancos, coming in fourth overall with a time of 18 minutes, 39 seconds.
“Nick ran well,” the coach noted.
Chris Archuleta followed in 18th in 20:20, with Iverson coming in 27th in 21:18.
Ben Miller was the final Pirate scorer at the meet (only four were scored at the meet instead of the normal five), finishing 34th in 21:50.
Coy Thomas rounded out the team, finishing 37th in 22:21.
“Overall, it was a solid day,” the coach said, adding, “I was happy with it. If nothing else, they just stay in hiding a bit longer.”
The girls, however, are likely no longer in hiding, but are on the radar of potential regional- and state-level opponents thanks to another first-place finish in Mancos, also among eight teams.
Each of the team’s top four, scoring runners placed in the top 10 at the event.
Olivia Reinhardt led the Lady Pirates on the day, finishing second overall in 22:16. Taylor Lee-Hammer followed in fourth in 22:39, while Delaney Khung followed 19 seconds behind to finish fifth. Kori Mogensen finished sixth in 23:02.
Maddie Greenly, who is rebounding from illness, finished 14th in 24:26, while Hannah Marnocha finished 15th in 24:41.
Molly Burkesmith rounded out the Lady Pirates’ varsity squad, finishing 21st in 25:27.
“The girls are coming together,” Anderson said. “Delaney and Kori had huge races. That was the closest they’ve been to our top two all year, which is awesome.
The squad, like the boys’, was not complete at the meet, however. Sage Mijares was out of town at another extracurricular competition, Anderson noted.
“As we’re heading into projecting where we’ll be in the meat of our season, things are looking good,” Anderson said, adding, “It was a great day for them. They did really well.”
This weekend, the teams head to Cortez, where they will be working on running as a team and bettering pack times among the team to increase scoring.
Besides working on having the team finish closer together, Anderson said it will give some of the runners a bit of a rest, with the teams’ leading runners holding back.