HHS runners compete

By Wayne Crick

Hotchkiss High School's cross country team consisted of eight runners (five boys and three girls) this past weekend at the Delta Cross Country Pantherfest Invitational. Confluence Park, the site for the coming regional qualifying meet set for next week, hosted 75 boys and 69 girls.

Delta won the boys' division with 44 points followed by Olathe (47), Paonia (77), Hotchkiss (111), Steamboat Springs (130), Center High School (138) and Basalt High School (158).

Steamboat Springs was the girls' team winner with 28 points followed by Paonia (55), Basalt (83), Olathe (84), Delta (107) and Center (138).

Hotchkiss had just three runners and did not meet criteria to qualify as a team in the event.

The Bulldogs' Sam Rodriguez had the fastest time for Hotchkiss with a 17:22.40 and placed fifth. Gabe Rodriguez was 13th with his time of 18:01.70 and Zack Allen took 18:27.54 to cover the 5,000 meters to place 22nd at Confluence Park.

The final two Bulldogs' runners, with scoring times, were Nick Jung, 48th place (20:12.76) and J. D. Miller, 57th place (21:44.04).

Gabe Rodriguez did not run at the Sweitzer Lake Invitational a week ago, but the remaining four Bulldogs' runners all improved their times at Confluence Park.

For the girls, Kaiya Firor was more than a minute faster at Confluence Park than at Sweitzer with a time of 20:21.92 and placed sixth in the race on Saturday. Hannah Hatheway was Hotchkiss' second runner to cross the finish line to place 24th in a time of 22:42.21. Grace Hatheway was 43rd with a time of 24:50.32.