Multiple Pirates set personal records at Cortez meet

Photo courtesy Rachael Christiansen
Lady Pirates Nell Taylor, center, and Megan Greenly, right, run together at the Montezuma-Cortez XC Invitational Aug. 28. Greenly finished seventh and Taylor finished ninth.

By Randi Pierce
Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs High School Pirate cross-country teams finished second and third at the Montezuma-Cortez XC Invitational Aug. 28, with multiple Pirate runners setting personal records (PRs) during the race.

“I think that it was, overall, a good meet,” coach Rachael Christiansen said.

Three Lady Pirates placed in the top 10 at the event, helping the team to finish third out of seven full teams, behind Alamosa and Centauri.

Lady Pirate Michelle Sauceda led her team on the day, finishing first in her wave and fourth overall with a time of 22 minutes, 27 seconds.

“She was only 3 seconds off 3rd place and 12 seconds off of 2nd place! We are also looking forward to seeing her run against Alamosa’s top 3 girls next week!” Christiansen wrote in the team’s weekly newsletter.

Megan Greenly followed in seventh with a time of 22:44, and Nell Taylor finished ninth in 23:24.

“Megan Greenly ran a fantastic race finishing 7th overall and only 17 seconds behind Michelle. Nell Taylor finished 9th overall running a solid 23:24! Once again, our top 3 girls finished top 10!” Christiansen wrote in the newsletter.

In her first race of the season, Ivory Carpenter finished 17th with a time of 24:37.

“Last year, she had some huge growth,” Christiansen said of Carpenter, noting she’s already starting off better this year. “I think she’s going to do really well this season.”

RuthAnn Morehouse finished 23rd with a time of 26:12 — a personal record at 3 minutes, 17 seconds quicker than the previous week.

Christiansen noted the Lady Pirates weren’t too far behind Alamosa, a tough league team, especially since Pagosa and Alamosa were in different starting waves.

“I definitely think we’ll be able to improve on that,” she said.

The Lady Pirates will have another chance to race against Alamosa this weekend at Alamosa’s home race, and Christiansen indicated the meet will feature seeded waves, meaning the top runners will start and run together.

Without running in the same wave as the other top runners, she explained, it’s “a little bit harder to dig deeper and find those few more seconds” to shave off.

Photo courtesy Rachael Christiansen
Andrew Bowles and Clayton Cayard, right, race at the Montezuma-Cortez XC Invitational on Aug. 28. The team finished second at the meet.

The boys’ squad finished second out of three full teams in Cortez, behind Alamosa.

Gabe Heraty again led the Pirates, this time finishing first in his wave and second overall with a PR time of 17:21.

“He was 37 seconds off a first place and will hopefully have an opportunity to run with the 1st place guy, Josh Medina from Alamosa, next week!” the newsletter states.

Levi Hinger was the second Pirate across the line, finishing 15th with a time of 20:26, a PR.

Christiansen noted that Hinger was the second freshman to finish at the event.

David Morehouse followed 13 seconds later to finish 16th.

Andrew Bowles finished 20th with a time of 21:28, a PR.

“He has grown significantly from last year,” Christiansen said, adding, “He’s super determined to improve.”

Clayton Cayard finished 22nd out of the race’s 42 runners with a time of 22:04, helping the team finish second.

“Overall, it was a great showing and we are looking forward to seeing Alamosa again next week!” the newsletter states.

The Pirate teams will see Alamosa again Friday at the Alamosa Invite, which is slated to begin at 9 a.m.

“I’m looking for our top three runners on each team to close the gap even more,” Christiansen said, meaning having Greenly and Taylor finish closer to Sauceda, and seeing Morehouse and Hinger finish closer to Heraty.