Photo by Wayne Crick This year’s state cross country qualifiers for Delta High School had solid performances at the recently held meet in Colorado Springs. Beginning on the left is senior Jonathen Kinderknecht (61st), Cleo Whiting (10th), coach JB Lopez, Clarissa Whiting (11th), and junior Dustin Ownbey (55th).Cleo and Clarissa Whiting completed their high school cross country careers with top 15 finishes in last week's 4A Cross Country Championships at the Norris-Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.
Clarissa was ninth a year ago and Cleo 38th as the Lady Panthers finished the team race in 17th place.
This year was a turnaround for the twins as Cleo garnered the higher place with a time of 19:48 to finish tenth. Clarissa clocked a time of 19:56.7 for an eleventh place finish.
There was no team score this year as there were only two runners for the Lady Panthers.
The two talented runners will most likely be candidates for college track programs in the future, though their main focus will be on the best education available to them.
In all, 221 runners competed in this year's cross country championships in the girls' division. Niwot's Elise Cranny won the individual title in a time of 18:41.3. Durango's Shannon Maloney placed third and Valerie Constein of Battle Mounain was fifth.
For the boys, Dustin Ownbey, who finished 103rd in 2010, wanted to have a better finish in this year's state meet. His sights were set on being in the top 50 in 2012 and he wasn't too far off. Ownbey completed the 5k race in 18:07.9 to place 55th in a field of 224 competitors. Ownbey, a junior, will have a shot at moving up the finish ladder in 2013 when he returns.
Senior Jonathen Kinderknecht missed last year's state meet and was wanting to stay as close to his teammate (Ownbey) as he possibly could. Kinderknecht had a good run at the state meet and placed 61st.