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Dransfield and Hillman in top 10; Eagles 2nd at regional XC

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Photo by Eric Goold Paonia runners Brooke Hillman, left, and Nora Dransfield were the first Eagles to cross the finish line at last Friday’s 2A District 4 Regional cross country meet. Hillman was ninth in the race and Dransfield 10th, helping the Eagles place second.
Photo by Eric Goold Paonia runners Brooke Hillman, left, and Nora Dransfield were the first Eagles to cross the finish line at last Friday’s 2A District 4 Regional cross country meet. Hillman was ninth in the race and Dransfield 10th, helping the Eagles place second.
Photo by Eric Goold Hotchkiss sophomore Kaiya Firor was shoulder-to-shoulder with Telluride state champion Soleil Gaylord (right) at the 100 meter mark of the 2A District 4 qualifying cross country meet. Gaylord finished second and Firor fourth for her second state trip.
Photo by Eric Goold Delta’s top placers in the 3A regional were Anha Richards (379) and Beki Atchley (373). They are shown near the 100 meter mark of the qualifying race on Friday at Confluence Park. Richards (24th) was the top Delta runner with Atchley (28th) next.

The girls cross country team from Paonia High School is going to the state meet for the first time in three years.

Brooke Hillman and Nora Dransfield finished ninth and 10th, respectively, in the individual race to pace the Eagles to state.

"I'm very excited. Our girls earned it. They did exactly what they needed to do," Paonia coach Brandy Sparks said. "They ran with heart and they fought for it. I'm very, very proud of them."

Hillman ran the three mile course in 21 minutes, 2.71 seconds. Dransfield's 10th place time was 21:18.70.

Alexandra Eaton (17th at 22:24.94) and Katya Schwieterman (24th at 23:09.15) were the next two Eagles across the line.

Macy O'Rourke (23:40.22), Griffith Mariah (23.55.79), Courtney Van Vleet (27:11.25) and Sophia Cox (27:31.41) completed the Eagles team effort at the regional race.

"They worked their tails off this season," Sparks said. "And every week they just progressed and got better and better. I'm just so proud of them."

Telluride won the regional race with nine points. Paonia finished second with a team total 28 points.

Soroco's Chloe Veilleux finished first overall in the girls race with her time of 19:07.87.

Bulldogs Trio
Just Short

The girls cross country team from Hotchkiss High School was small in number but mighty on the course last Friday at the 2A Region 4 District race at Confluence Park.

Sophomore Kaiya Firor and Cedaredge siblings Hannah Hatheway and Grace Hatheway were the entirety of the Bulldogs team this year.

With those three runners, the Bulldogs just missed qualifying for the state meet after they finished fifth overall with 43 points, which was three points shy of fourth-place Crested Butte Community School.

Firor was the highest finishing Bulldog when she finished fourth overall in the race with her time of 19:47.48.

Firor will return to the state cross country meet for the second consecutive year.

After the race Firor said she felt good on the flat course around Confluence Lake, and she was happy to be going back to state. She had high praise for her two teammates.

"I'm really happy with the way we got better as the year went on," Firor said. "And I feel really good about our chances next year. We're set up to be pretty good."

Hannah Hatheway was 19th for Hotchkiss (22:27.94) and Grace Hatheway finished 31st overall with her time of (24:39.20) to complete the Bulldogs strong team effort.

Panthers 11th at Regional XC Meet

The Delta girls finished the cross country season with an 11th place finish at the 3A District 1 race last Friday afternoon on their home course at Confluence Park.

The highest finishing Panther was Anha Richards, who was 24th with her time of 21:32.75. Beki Atchley completed her outstanding season for Delta in 28th with her time of 21:48.49.

Hana Hollenbeck (23:17.22), Abby Williams (24:01.73), Amanda Fuller (26:41.59) and Samantha Cassel (27:36.87) were the next Panthers across the line.

Summer Hood (27:44.09) and Melanie Osteen (28:01.29) completed the Delta team effort at the regional race.

Steamboat Springs placed the Top 3 individual runners and won the 3A girls regional title with 34 points.

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Cross Country, DHS, HHS, PHS
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