Hard work is paying off for Shad Lewis. The Delta junior ran the best cross country race of his career Saturday, on one of the toughest courses on the Western Slope, placing third at the Hotchkiss Invitational.
His time of 19 minutes, 17.35 seconds bested last year's eighth-place time by a full 27 seconds.
"I'm excited about that," said Lewis. He credits the improvement on putting more miles behind him in this year, and to a change in practices. "We started working on hills a little more," he said. In tackling the Hotchkiss course's "really steep hills... I think that helped me a lot."
Lewis and Paonia senior Ethan Bartlett led the pack for about a mile. "Everything felt really good and smooth," said Lewis. At that point, he said, Montrose lead runner Sean Graff caught up with them. Bartlett kept pace with Graff for about a mile, before Graff broke away to win the race. Lewis said he got close to Bartlett around mile two, with both runners finishing the race at their own pace.
Lewis said he was happy with third place and his course-best time of 19:44. Delta scored 48 points to place fourth overall. Panther Garrison Paniagua finished in the top 30 with a time of 22:17.25, and Doyle Young finished 32nd in 22:57.94.
Panthers lead runner John Ames missed the race to attend a family event, said coach JB Lopez. Ames placed second at Hotchkiss last season and likely would have been a top-two finisher.
Lewis said Ames' absence was noticed. "It's really different without him here," said Lewis, who paces himself off of Ames in practices and races. "Usually I like to stay with him the first mile-ish and then we just kind of split up."
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.