Still soaking in a state berth
Even a day later, Brenden Wagler could hardly find the words to describe how happy he was.
“Honestly, it’s hard to put it into words,” the Rifle High School senior said by phone on Saturday. “I guess one way to say it is that it’s a feeling like no other.”
Wagler was still beaming after his 12th-place finish at the Class 4A Region 6 cross country meet in Delta this past Friday earned him his first trip to the Class 4A State Championships, which is scheduled for Saturday in Colorado Springs. What’s more, his time of 16 minutes, 51.30 seconds was a personal record on a cross country course by more than half a minute.
“My old PR was 17:29, so this is huge,” said Wagler, who said he wasn’t initially on pace reach the state meet as he headed into the home stretch of the 5-kilometer race. The top 15 boys and girls individual finishers from each region automatically qualify for the state meet.
“I think I was in 20th, and I ended up passing some people,” he said. “I really didn’t think [at the beginning of the season] I’d be good enough to do this. I was the team’s third runner last year, so I not only surprised myself, but I think I surprised a lot of people.”
Winning the 4A boys regional title was Summit’s Liam Meirow, who blew the field away in 15:29.80. Winning the 4A girls title was Greta Van Calcar of Palisade in 17:43.90.
Wagler is the only Rifle runner who will be going to the state meet, but not the only runner from Garfield County.
Qualifying for the Class 3A state meet was a pair of Coal Ridge runners: Noah Crisler and Sam Jorgensen. Crisler finished 10th in the 3A regional in Delta, crossing the finish line in 17:22.60. Slipping into the final state spot was Jorgensen, who finished 15th in 17:46.6.
And also making it to state was Grand Valley’s Joel Carrasco, who finished 11th in 17:30.50.
Trevor Gabbard of Bayfield won the boys 3A title in 16:12.10, and his classmate, Eva-Lou Edwards, won the girls regional in 17:56.70.
The 3A State Championships will also be on Saturday in Colorado Springs.
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