Last week's Class 3A Region 1 qualifying cross country races were held at Confluence Park in Delta.
The start of the 2A boys' race was near perfect with bright skies and a gentle breeze.
As the 2A boys' race concluded, the gentle breeze was escalating into a breeze with gusts which showed potential of influencing outcomes in the following races.
By the time the Class 2A races had been completed, the afore mentioned breeze had become winds with variations in gust speeds.
The strong winds had a big influence on the 3A girls race with many competitors having to expend more energy throughout the race. Delta's Aubree Andre finished 34th as the Panthers' first runner to complete the race.
Gunnison's Colton Stice was the top runner in the boys race with a time of 16:46.53. Only one other competitor had a sub-17 minute race, Moffat County's Carter Severson with his time of 16:55.40. John Wilkinson's time of 17:15.07 gave Gunnison a third place finish.
Delta's John Ames, as has been the entire season, was the Panthers top finisher with a 17:20.37 and a fourth-place time. Though Ames knew he had not come close to a personal best time in the race, he accepted the fact he was headed to state. "The wind was very brutal," noted Ames. "All times were slower. We hit the mile marker at about 5:30, and I figure Stice (Gunnison's Colton Stice) must have been at about 5:20. He (Stice) has been sick for a while but he ran a good race today. I stayed within myself and knew what I had to do to finish with a top qualifying time."
Ames' teammate Shad Lewis completed the race in a time of 17:39.09 to place 13th. The Delta sophomore was all smiles when he was interviewed. When asked how he felt, Lewis' simple answer was, "Great!" Lewis was asked about when he first knew he had a chance to move on to state competiton. "Right from the beginning. I had a plan to keep up with a few of the top runners and pass some at the end. It was tough on the back side of the lake with the wind blowing hard." Lewis was excited to be making his first trip to the state cross country meet.
Other qualifying times for team consideration for the Panthers included Thomas Neil (49th, 19:13.92), Issac Vader (54th, 19:37.40) and Doyle Young (77th, 20:37.10).
The top four teams from each region qualify for state participation and the top 15 runners in each region also qualify.
Delta was sixth in the 14-team field and scored 194 points.
Olathe's Pirates scored 169 points last Friday and qualified their boys' team for state competition. Members of the team include Alecxis Hernandez (15th, 17:42.33), Jonathan Munger (18th, 18:00.04), Layton McLaughlin (29th, 18:33.34), Jesus Yee (44th, 19:10.99) and Miguel Almanza (65th, 20:02.96).
Steamboat Springs literally ran away with last Friday's Class 3A Region 1 cross country meet in Delta. The Sailors' Maggi Congton was the individual winner with her time of 18:38.40 and teammates Winter Boese and Dasha Kuznetsova finished second and third, respectively. Sadie Cotton was 18th and Isabelle Boniface 20th to give the Sailors 44 points and the team title in an 11-team field. Moffat County was second in the team race with 74 points with Delta placing ninth with 241 points.
Andre's 34th-place time of 22:01.60 was Delta's top finish in the race and Beki Atchley was 54th in 23:23.70. Grace Hall was 55th with her time of 23:28.70 and Abby Williams was 59th (23:50.80). Delta's fifth scoring place was Emma Corbasson's 73rd-place finish (25.11.10).
Olathe had just four runners in the race and did not qualify for team-scoring points. Those four runners, and their places and times were Lupita Garcia (27th, 21:34.60), Angela Alcaraz (42nd, 22:35.20), Baily Harris (58th, 23:49) and Ashlyn Smith (85th, 26:32.40).
The 2017 state cross country meet will be held at the Penrose Center in Colorado Springs on Oct. 28.
State XC Start Times
This year's 2A girls state run is scheduled for a 10 a.m. start. The 2A boys run at 11:20 a.m.
The 3A boys race, at Penrose Center in Colorado Springs, is set for 12:40 p.m. and the girls hit the trail at 2 p.m.