Coal Ridge runner Mikayla Cheney qualifies from regionals for 3A state meet |

Coal Ridge runner Mikayla Cheney qualifies from regionals for 3A state meet

CRMS girls, Grand Valley boys qualify from 2A meet

Coal Ridge sophomore Mikayla Cheney, right, runs alongside eventual 3A regional champion Katelyn Maley from Basalt during Friday's meet at Durango's Hillcrest Golf Course.
Joel Priest/Durango Herald

Coal Ridge High School sophomore Mikayla Cheney notched a trip to the 3A state cross country meet later this month, by virtue of a fourth-place finish at Friday’s Colorado 3A Region 1 meet in Durango.

Also Friday, competing in the 2A Region 4 qualifier at Delta, the Colorado Rocky Mountain School girls from Carbondale and the Grand Valley High School boys are headed to state, after taking second and fourth places in their respective team competitions.

Grand Valley senior Alex Mendoza earned an individual qualifying spot among the girls, as did CRMS senior Bryn Peterson for the boys.

Cheney was the only Garfield County state qualifier at the 3A meet to advance from a girls’ field dominated by Aspen and Basalt runners

Basalt swept the top three spots, with sophomore Katelyn Maley earning top honors with a 5K (3.1 miles) time of 18:58 at the Hillcrest Golf Course in Durango.

Defending 3A state champion and Basalt senior Sierra Bower was second in 19:12, and Longhorns sophomore Ava Lane was third in 19:13, pacing Basalt to second in the team competition.

Aspen, led by senior Kylie Kenney in fifth (19:17), took the team title with 51 points to Basalt’s 59. Moffat County was third with 99 points.

Right there in the mix was Cheney, who claimed one of just two individual state qualifying spots by taking fourth in 19:16. The other spot went to Alamosa freshman Sarah DeLaCerda (sixth, 19:20).

Just off the state-qualifying pace was Coal Ridge junior Aracelli Ayala in eighth, at 20:20.

Coal Ridge runner Araceli Ayala was eighth overall at Friday’s 3A Region 1 meet in Durango.
Joel Priest/Durango Herald

Cheney was gracious about the opportunity to compete at the state meet, slated for Oct 17 in Colorado Springs.

“I’m thankful for all the support I get from family, friends and coaches,” she said in a text message on the bus ride home Friday afternoon. “I’m also grateful for the amazing girls I get to run against.”

The next two Garfield County finishers at regionals in the girls race were Coal Ridge sophomore Gwynn Apostolik (38th, 22:53), and Rifle senior Karisa Coombs (39th, 22:59).

In the boys race, it was Alamosa taking the team title with 47 points, to Gunnison’s 61 and Moffat County’s 116.

Coal Ridge sophomore Tyler Parker led Garfield County runners, placing 16th in 18:04. Roaring Fork junior Ross Barlow, running for Basalt, was seventh in 17:18; Basalt senior Noah Allen was 17th in 18:06; and Roaring Fork senior Talon Carballiera (also running for Basalt) was 20th in 18:16.

Rifle had a pair of top-25 finishers in junior Jace Coller (23rd, 18:26) and senior Jonny Hernandez (24th, 18:26).

CRMS girls, Grand Valley boys state bound

Led by junior Morgan Karow in second place overall with a time of 20:39.09 over the 5K course at Delta’s Confluence Park, CRMS managed second as a team with 69 points.

Regional champion Ignacio had 51 points, West Grand was third with 71 and Hotchkiss claimed the final team qualifying spot with 87 points.

Other top finishers for CRMS were senior Wren Kelly in 17th (22:49.54), junior Mandy Lei in 23rd (23:07.93), and junior Zea Anderson (34th, 23:57.07).

Grand Valley’s Mendoza claimed one of the five individual qualifying spots, placing fifth overall with a time of 21:03.78.

The Grand Valley boys claimed the fourth and final team qualifying spot (2A qualifying standards are different from the upper classifications), with 98 points, finishing behind regional champion Ouray with 57, Rangely with 92 and Caprock Academy with 94.

CRMS’ Peterson was sixth overall in 18:07.15 to claim an individual spot in the all-classification Colorado Cross Country Championships Oct. 17 in Colorado Springs.

Other Grand Valley finishers at regionals included, for the boys, senior Keaton Jansen (11th, 18:34.04), senior Keenan Strauss (19th, 19:08.76), and senior Nikolai Stammer (29th, 19:40.98); and, for the girls, freshman Kaylae Medina (36th, 24:10.21), and senior Bailey Hoyt (47th, 25:16.22).

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