While the season may have ended a week earlier than they would have liked the Bluejays and Panthers cross-country teams battled valiantly in their regionals to cap the 2023 season.
Mancos’ girls team earned ninth as a team in the 2A Region 4 meet in Dolores, while the M-CHS boys team finished 11th in the 3A Region 2 race at Monument Valley Park in Colorado Springs.
Bluejays junior Teagan Archer, as she has for all of her high school career, led the Mancos girls squad on the trail system at Boggy Draw. Archer narrowly missed out on an individual state qualifying spot by two places, taking 17th in a time of 23 minutes, 50 seconds.
Senior Chloe Endres capped off a strong high school cross country career with a 32nd-place run, crossing the line in 25:30. Sophomore Maddie Swortwood-Green followed next for the Jays, taking 57th (27:38), while classmate Tyla Henry was 71st (29:17). Senior Mandi Peacock finished her final high school cross-country race in 82nd place (34:55).
Mancos senior Braxton Dennison capped his high school cross-country career with a 36th-place effort in the 2A Region 4 boys race. Dennison crossed the finish line in 21:35 as the lone male Bluejay.
Lake County won the girls race in the 2A region, while Crested Butte took home top honor in the boys race.
Across the state, Montezuma-Cortez looks to build on their finish to the 2023 campaign, with plenty of youths leading the Panthers this fall.
Junior Corbin Myers earned the top billing for the Panthers with a top 40 finish. She took 39th in the meet in a time of 19:06. Classmate Ben Hoffman followed suit with a 52nd place run of 20:11, with freshman William Blair crossing 11 seconds later in 58th place.
Freshman Cruz Plewe landed in 75th place in 21:38, while sophomore Roberto Sauzameda capped the Panthers scoring with a 78th-place run of 22:09.
For a Panthers crew that does not graduate a single runner, sophomore Kenai Cotonuts claimed 97th (25:54), while freshman Orion Martineau (101st, 28:25) and sophomore John Haselroth (104th, 32:38) all gained valuable big meet experience. The Panthers finished with 276 points in 11th place, just 21 points off a top 8 finish.
The Panther girls team, however, did see a pair of runners rounding out their high school cross-country careers, as top runner Savannah Haselroth earned 39th in the regional field with a time of 24:32. Classmate Heather Martinez took 57th place in 28:29 in her final high school 5K, while junior Luna Moore (64th, 30:29) and sophomore Esperanza Vargas (66th, 32:39) closed out their 2023 seasons.
M-CHS did not field a complete team in the girls race, in which Alamosa and Salida secured the top two spots. The boys race went to Salida, while Manitou Springs claimed the runner-up spot.