Eagle boys, Jaguar girls dominate XC Invite

Eagle boys, Jaguar girls dominate XC Invite
Posted on 09/26/2018
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By Alissa Noe

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 at 1:24 pm


LITTLETON — The Dakota Ridge boys could not be stopped on Friday. At the Dave Sanders Invitational at Clement Park, the Eagles showed their strength immediately. First, junior Connor Ohlson crossed the finish line in 15 minutes, 47 seconds to win the Division-I boys competition outright. He barely beat out his own teammate, senior Austin Vancil, by one second. The final three in the top five runners that were needed to score all came in with the top 12 competitors. Riley Abrashoff (16:23) and Benjamin Piegat (16:25) both crossed the line at ninth and 10th, respectively. Jacob White finished seven seconds later at 12th place.


With Dakota’s Ridge’s team score of 34, the second-place Mountain Vista team didn’t even stand a chance. It finished with 75 points. “It feels pretty great,” Ohlson said. “So far it’s our best race of the season, and it’s a little redemption from earlier seasons. I just feel like I haven’t pushed myself so far in races, and this week, we had a really great week at training. It just really all pulled together and is the first intonation of the rest of the season, I guess.”


The girls, however, did not fare nearly as well as their male counterparts, as they finished 12th in a pool of 22 teams. They were led by senior Lucy Pidek, who finished 54th at 20:46. Behind her were Zoe Plechaty (58th, 20:57), Lauren Dynda (74th, 21:20), Chloe Meehan (91st, 21:55) and Abby Vagher (94th, 22:00).




Even though they were down one of their best runners, the Jaguar girls put on a show for everyone watching the Division-II race. Generally, when the D’Evelyn girls line up to race, spectators see a mirror image of both Katy and Taylor Haerbig. But, as Katy was injured with leg ailments, only Taylor took to the course on Friday, where she finished fifth at 19:44.

Their teammate, Eliana Thompson, crossed the finish line 20 seconds later for second place.


“I was really happy,” Taylor said. “I just saw Kasey (Klocek of Green Mountain), and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s right there.’ I tried to push it in, but it’s hot, and I’m happy with how I raced. My teammate Eliana crushed it. She pushed me super hard, and a girl from Elizabeth named Ashten (Loeks) pushed me really hard, and she was really encouraging.” Every placer from D’Evelyn finished in the top 25: Sonja Morin at 15th (21:06), Kati Livingood at 16th (21:07) and Corin Zapico at 25th (21:28). With 66 points, the Jags beat out Green Mountain by 12 points.


The boys, however, were middle of the pack. At 15th with 455 points, they fell in line behind frontrunner Caleb Feagans, who took 46th at 18:41. Behind him came Isaac Lopez at 66th (19:07), Abe Saks at 75th (19:18), Logan Schottland at 155th (21:28) and Zach Swadburg at 164th (21:58). They were, however, running without their top athlete in Andrew Jossi.

“This year is kind of a rebuilding year for us,” Swadburg said. “We lost a lot of our good runners, so we might do good in regionals, but I don’t know about anything past that.”



In a very competitive 5A race, the Columbine girls showed their strength with an eighth-place team finish with 266 points. Freshman Josie Williams led the charge with a 35th-place finish (20:19), followed by Nicole Killeen (57th, 20:52), Riley Besse (66th, 21:12), Mackenzie Mesec (69th, 21:15) and Tatiana Hamilton (75th, 21:21). “Our girls varsity is killing it. We got third at Rock Canyon, so we’re placing really well. We’ve got some talented young girls,” Hamilton said. “I loved it. It was really fast, it was a good course and my girls pushed me. Got a PR, too, so it was a good day.”


The boys, however, finished last with a 634. First to cross the finish line was Travis Stauffenberg at 109th (18:35), with Jack Ryckman (142nd, 19:24), Ben Fiore (167th, 19:59), Jared Amsberry (168th, 20:01) and Spencer Mancuso (171st, 20:10) falling in line behind him. “I am so happy,” Stauffenberg said. “Everybody’s been working hard all season, and it’s really great to see everybody’s work pay off.”




For the Chargers, the girls far out-performed the boys. The ladies placed 10th with 295 points as the boys took 15th with 397. Junior Cole Nash, however, highlighted the best of Chatfield’s overall performance as he came in fourth with a 16:11 time. Although he’s gotten first on that specific race course twice this season, Nash said he also finished fourth at last year’s Dave Sanders race.


“I felt pretty good,” he said. “I started out pretty conservative and then just tried to slowly move up after the first mile and a half-ish. I am pretty happy. I was seeded like low 20s, so I was pretty happy with my kick in my finish.” His big placement was bolstered by Kaelen Moore (92nd, 18:15), Spencer Lipsteuer (95th, 18:19), Mason Bassette (125th, 19:02) and Aidan Porier (135th, 19:12). On the girls’ side, senior Sydney Williams led the battle at 29th with 20:05. Elizabeth Cothran (41st, 20:27), Payton Lott (65th, 21:11), Katherine Hanson (80th, 21:35) and Nicole Bergman (120th, 22:50) followed.


“(It was) pretty good. I kind of wished I had a little bit faster time, but I feel like I pushed as hard as I could,” Williams said. “I know the time isn’t really something to compare (with last year), but I think I was stronger overall.”

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