Girls finish 6th, boys 14th at state cross-country

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Taylor Lee-Hammer is all focus at last weekend’s state cross-country meet in Colorado Springs. Lee-Hammer was the top Pirate finisher on the day, finishing 16th in 22:08.
Taylor Lee-Hammer is all focus at last weekend’s state cross-country meet in Colorado Springs. Lee-Hammer was the top Pirate finisher on the day, finishing 16th in 22:08.

Despite contending with injury and illness, the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates’ cross-country team claimed the No. 6 spot in the state for 3A at last weekend’s state meet in Colorado Springs, out of 19 teams.

The boys’ team finished 14th out of 20 teams on the day.

“With what we had on that day, we were happy,” coach Scott Anderson said of the result, explaining that the team knew going in to the meet that Olivia Reinhardt — the team’s lead runner for most of the season — was nursing an injury, and another solid runner on the team, Maddie Greenly, was battling a cold.

Taylor Lee-Hammer led the Lady Pirates on the day, finishing 16th out of 144 runners in a time of 22 minutes, 8 seconds.

“Taylor ran an awesome race,” Anderson said, noting that she met the goal of finishing in the top 20.

Kori Mogensen finished 31st in 22:57, while Delaney Khung finished four seconds later to take the 32nd spot.

“Delany and Kori came up big,” the coach said, highlighting that participating in the large meet didn’t affect the young runners (it was Khung’s second year on the team and Mogensen’s first).

Sage Mijares was the next finisher for the Lady Pirates, crossing the line 75th in 24:12, followed by Reinhardt in 75th in 24:35.

“She toughed it out to help her team,” Anderson said of Reinhardt. “Her effort enabled them to finish sixth.”

Greenly finished 106th in 26:02, and Molly Burkesmith finished 112th in 26:21.

“We were good with that,” Anderson said of the team’s results.

The boys finished 14th on the day, despite being boxed in at the start.

Nick Hutcherson was the Pirates’ lead runner on the boys’ side, finishing 31st out of 150 runners in 18:35.

Jacob Hughes followed in 77th in 19:23, and Ethan Brown finished 84th in 19:32.

Chris Archuleta finished 114th in 20:44 and was followed by Michael Iverson in 128th in 21:27.

Ben Miller placed 131st in 21:37, with Coy Thomas rounding out the Pirates in 133rd in 21:45.

“They got boxed in pretty early,” the coach stated, adding, “they ran the race well, particularly the second half of it. They just got pushed too far back to have the results we were hoping for.”

However, Anderson pointed out that no team that finished behind the Pirates at regionals finished ahead of them at state.

“Given how the race unfolded, they did admirably,” he said.

And while the 2014 season is over for the Pirate harriers, if this year was any indication, the future looks promising.

The girls will lose only one runner to graduation, Mijares, while the boys will lose two, Archuleta and Miller.

Those that are left, Anderson indicated, will only get better, with young runners waiting in the wings on the boys’ side and several young, promising runners set to return and make a splash on the girls’ side.

“The future is bright,” Anderson said.