In one of the largest fields that the area schools will race this season, Mancos, Dolores and Montezuma-Cortez cross-country teams took to the flat 5K course around Cattails Golf Course in Alamosa Saturday for the Joe Vigil Invitational.
With nearly 200 competitors lining up for each of the boys and girls varsity races, the Bluejays, Bears and Panthers accounted well for themselves, piling up plenty of season-best times.
As she has done all season, Mancos sophomore Teagan Archer topped the Montezuma County finishers in the girls’ race, taking 25th overall in a time of 21:46.
Dolores’ Elia Lowe crossed the finish line next for the local competitors, pacing the Bears while capturing 40th in 22:45. Classmates Maya Lowe (23:55) and Keira LaRose (24:13) finished in quick succession in 70th and 77th, narrowly edging Mancos’ second and third runners Adaline Kearns (24:23, 81st) and Madilynn Ritter (24:37, 85th).
Siena Parr (25:07, 96th) of Dolores finished two places in front of Mancos’ fourth runner, Chloe Endres (25:25, 98th), which sets up for a fun stretch of competition for the two local 2A schools that will be in direct competition for state qualification at the regional meet in mid-October.
Montezuma-Cortez raced in its first meet this fall, and junior Savannah Hasselroth paced the way for the Panthers, claiming 118th place in a time of 26:14. Luna Moore (29:49, 156th) and Heather Martinez (30:57, 164th) also made their debuts for the Panthers.
On the boys side, M-CHS sophomore Ben Hoffman landed the top county honor, posting a time of 20:17 to take 84th in the boys field.
Hoffman's effort topped Mancos junior Braxton Dennison, who also finished in the top half of the field with a 94th place finish (20:45).
Dolores freshman Bridger Beyhan once again led the Bears, taking 117th place in a season-best time of 22:04.
Host school Alamosa provided the individual champion on the boys side, as senior Isaac Higareda ran to a time of 16:35. Los Alamos (NM) placed five runners in the top 20 to run away with the team title.
For the girls, Salida’s Quinn Smith posted a time of 18:58 for the top honor, while Alamosa's girls showed their depth with five runners finishing in the top 11 places to win the team crown.
Bayfield will host their annual home meet on Saturday, Sept. 17, which will serve as the next outing for the area schools.