Glenwood harriers toe the line Thursday for shot at 4A state XC qualifying
Glenwood Springs High School takes its top cross country runners to the Class 4A Region 1 cross country meet at Gypsum Creek Golf Course Thursday, with a chance to send runners to the state championships Oct. 17 in Colorado Springs.
On the team front, the Demons boys and girls will have their work cut out for them to qualify among some of the top 4A teams in the state.
Individually, a few Glenwood runners should be in the mix, for sure.
For the girls, junior Ella Johnson and sophomore Sophia Connerton-Nevin took last weekend off to gear up for the big race. They enter as the No. 2 and No. 3 runners in the field, with season-best 5K times of 17:48.20 and 18:03, respectively.
Eagle Valley’s Samantha Blair comes in as the top runner at 17:20.90 for her season best.
“It’ll be a tight race to get out, since they are only taking the top three teams (to state),” Glenwood head coach Justin Baum said.
The Demons will need to have strong performances from their Nos. 3-6 runners to be in the mix for that final spot, Baum said.
Only the top two individual runners not on a qualifying team make it to state under the COVID-altered format this season, so top-five finishes for Johnson and Connerton-Nevin will be crucial to ensure a return trip to state.
“The boys race will be tough,” Baum said. “There are some stellar individuals and teams in our region, which is one of the toughest in the state.”
Entering as the top runner for the Demons is junior Reid Swanson, coming in with a season-best time of 17:04.50. More than 20 runners in the boys’ field have cracked the 17-minute barrier this season.
Glenwood junior Quinn MacPherson is also in the sub-18 class, with a season best of 17:35.60.
2A, 3A regionals Friday
Meanwhile, Rifle, Coal Ridge and Basalt are slated to compete in the 3A Region 1 cross country meet at Durango on Friday, while Grand Valley and Colorado Rocky Mountain School of Carbondale take part in the 2A Region 4 meet that same day in Delta.
Longhorns senior Noah Allen enters with one of the top times in the boys’ field at 17:26.30, followed by a pair of Roaring Fork High School students who run for Basalt; junior Ross Barlow (18:07) and senior Talon Carballiera (18:08).
For the girls, Basalt sophomore Katelyn Maley (17:21.03) and senior Sierra Bower (17:54.55) are the favorites, as Bower looks to move on and defend her 3A state title.
Leading contenders for Rifle to qualify for the Oct. 17 3A state meet include senior Jonny Hernandez, who enters with a season-best 18:46.90. Close on his heels has been junior Jace Coller (18:48).
For the Rifle girls, senior Karisa Coombs is the top runner for the Bears with a season-best time of 21:40.40.
Top runners for Coal Ridge boys are sophomore Tyler Parker (18:07.40) for the boys and sophomore Mikayla Cheney (18:58.84) for the girls.
In the 2A regionals, Grand Valley’s prospects ride on senior Keaton Jansen, who enters with the 10th fastest time at 18:35.94 and, for the girls, senior Alex Mendoza (21:19.34).
CRMS has a couple of prospects in senior Bryn Peterson (17:57.84) for the boys and junior Zea Anderson (21:58.98) for the girls.
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The Glenwood Springs Demons boys swim team won 11 of 12 events and swept the top-3 positions in four of the events to score a dominating team win at the Southwest Conference Championships on Friday.