Six varsity and three middle school teams braved the adobe hills of Devil's Thumb for last Friday's Devil's Thumb Hill Climb. The meticulous course is a serious test for the most avid runner. Gunnison sophomore Ivy Pelletier won the girls division and the Cowboy's Colton Stice was an easy winner in the boys race. Pelletier ran the course in 31:02.71 while Stice smoked the trails with a time of 23:02.38.
Delta's top girl finisher was sophomore Grace Hall in a time of 35:13.49 in ninth place. The remaining Panther runners completing the race included senior Abby Williams (12th, 38:48.75), freshman Maria Lamas (16th, 42:46.84), sophomore Zoe Williams (20th, 45:24.26) and freshman Sophia McCrackin (21st, 45:36.56).
Sophomore Doyle Young finished 20th for the Panthers with a time of 32:12.95. Delta's two other finishers were senior Andrew Toole (21st, 32:12.95) and freshman Austin Hurd who was 36th in a time of 33:04.66.
Hall was asked her thoughts on what was the most difficult part of the race. Her answer was, "The hill going to the top was the worst. But it was almost impossible to keep your feet when you started down the other side."
Doyle had the same question and said, "I thought the worst part was after getting down the (big) hill you had to finish the lower portion with up and down hills that put a lot of pressure on your legs."
Delta coach JB Lopez had a smile on his face when he added his thoughts on the course. "The whole course is a challenge in all parts of the race."
Several athletes bypassed the Devil's Thumb rigors to run in Battle Mountain's Husky Invitational in Avon on Saturday morning.
In Avon the winning boys' time was 17:21. Delta's John Ames finished 10th with a time of 18:46 with teammate Shad Lewis finishing 42nd (20:09), Young, with a double-dip run on the weekend, 130th (24:44), Toole, another double-dipper, 142nd (25:54) and Jack Jones, 144th (26:25).
Steamboat Springs' Maggi Congdon won the girls race in 20:42. Delta's top runners were Beki Atchley (88th, 26:23), Aubree Andre (102nd, 27:36), Remi Baldwin (106th, 27:53), Hana Hollenbeck 119th, Emma Corbassan 121st and Shoshanna Vigil 128th.