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Photo by Wayne Crick The Paonia girls’ cross country team relaxes prior to a recent race. All runners in the Paonia program have shown improvement throughout the season.
Photo by Wayne Crick Paonia standout runner Caden Meilner (278) leads the pack on the first start of this year’s Sweitzer Lake Invitational. A fall occurred just to the left of where this photo was taken necessitating a restart of the race.

Paonia set to qualify XC teams for state

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The Paonia cross country teams ended the regular season at the Montrose Relays.

Paonia appears poised to qualify a boys' team for the first time since 2013. The Class 2A Region 4 races are scheduled to start at noon Friday at Confluence Park in Delta.

The top 15 individual finishers and top four teams automatically qualify for state competition on Oct. 28 at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.

In Mile Split regional rankings the Paonia boys have six top-20 ranked runners.

Caden Meilner, the sole state boys qualifier in 2015 and 2016, is ranked sixth. Harley Ewert is ranked 12th, Ethan Bartlett 13th, Logan Green 15th, Ben O'Rourke 18th, and Elijah Evans 20th.

Heading into this Friday's regional competition, the Paonia girls have six top-20 ranked runners, including Katya Schwieterman, a 2016 qualifier, who is ranked fifth; two-time qualifier Brooke Hillman, ranked sixth; 2016 qualifier Alex Eaton (9th), first-year senior Jordan Evans (16th), 2016 qualifier Nora Dransfield (19th), and Jade Ellenberger, a first-year junior who is ranked 20th in the region. Freshman Abby Reedy is ranked 26th.

The Class 2A Region 4 races begin at noon Friday at Confluence Park in Delta.

The top 15 finishers and top four teams qualify for state competition on Oct. 28 at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.

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