Hotchkiss senior cross country runner Sam Rodriguez had his best finish of his career Friday after placing second at the Ouray-Ridgway Ramble at the Reservoir. Rodriguez's 20 minutes, 54 seconds time was just over four seconds off the winning time of 19:56.11, run by Ouray junior Cooper Rondinelli.
Tevin Keller and Kenny Drbohlav came in an impressive 15th and 16th place, and first-year senior Will Ela ran a solid race to place 26th in 24:35.24.
This was a new course for even the senior Bulldog runners, since Hotchkiss hasn't competed at the Ramble in some 10 years, according to coach Kelly Cowan. Until this year the Ramble has been run the day before the Hotchkiss meet. With an elevation around 7,000 feet, the Ramble is among the more challenging courses on the Western Slope.
Of the eight competing schools, two had the five runners needed to score. Olathe won the meet with 25 points, and Aspen, with four runners in the top 20, placed second with 30 points
On the girls' team, senior Hannah Hatheway, a Cedaredge senior running for Hotchkiss, finished a solid 13th with a time of 26:44.43. Isabella Spano placed 19th in 29:46.62, and Grace Hatheway, a junior at Cedaredge, finished 20th in 30:21.39.
Of the two schools running full teams, Aspen scored 17 points to win and Caprock Academy in Grand Junction placed second with 41 points.
Hotchkiss runs this Friday at the Delta Sweitzer Lake Cross Country Meet. Varsity races begin at 10 a.m., and middle school races start at 11:30 a.m. Please note that vehicles without a state parks pass will be charged $7 to enter Sweitzer Lake State Park.
Delta's and Paonia's cross country teams will also compete this Friday at Sweitzer Lake.