The Hotchkiss girls' cross country team earned 16 points to claim the state 2A championship Saturday at Colorado Springs. It was the first cross country title for the school and for head coach Kelly Cowan.
Five Hotchkiss runners finished in the top 25, and four finished in the top 11.
And they did it without any seniors.
"It's not often that a school will win with no seniors," said Cowan. That makes next year look pretty promising.
"They ran like we expected them to," said Cowan. Natalie Anderson and Jennifer Celis, both juniors, placed fourth and fifth respectively, and freshmen Sophia Schelle and Mae Anderson were 10th and 11th respectively. Sophomore Tiffany Clock finished a respectable 25th out of a field of 77 runners.
"It's a good way to end the year," said Cowan.
This year's meets were held at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs. A distinct feature of the course is "Big Willis," a stretch that climbs almost 300 meters and tests even the toughest of runners. But Hotchkiss runners train on hills. It's what they're used to.
The girls' team was ranked first heading into the race, and Anderson was ranked third behind Amber Scott of the Crested Butte Community School and Telluride's Rachel Hampton. Hampton upset Scott for the win, and Lyons junior Miriam Roberts, who was ranked sixth, finished four seconds ahead of Anderson to place second. But before another Lyons runner could cross the finish line, Celis, Schelle and Mae Anderson were already there.
The boys team posted the best performance in school history, said Cowan, placing fourth with 53 points. Andrew Tiedemann, a first-year sophomore, placed 10th with a time of 17 minutes, 49.4 seconds, with Kurt Katzdorn and Tyrell Clock placing 21st and 30th. Senior Cody Bartlett entered the race ranked fourth, but was among several top runners to finish well behind their ability level. It's just one of those things that can't be explained, said Cowan. "It happens every year at state."
While Katzdorn and Bartlett will graduate, the other three state qualifiers are sophomores, and that's something that gives Cowan confidence that the boys will have a strong team next year. "You plan on having everyone come back," said Cowan, "and you also hope that a couple more come out."blog comments powered by Disqus