Paonia High School senior Ethan Bartlett, who was ranked fourth heading into the race, capped a stellar season with a fourth-place time of 17 minutes, 1.1 seconds at the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships.
The boys team scored 109 points to place ninth out of 19 teams. Senior Harley Ewert finished 35th with a time of 18:59.8, and freshman Alejandro Garcia placed 70th in 20:16.0. Freshman Alyster Birk placed 77th in 20:48.8, junior Elijah Evans placed 95th and Calvin Reese finished in 102nd place out of 125 runners.
A fourth-year runner for Paonia, Bartlett is now the highest placing Paonia runner in the team's seven-year history. His fastest time of the season of 16 minutes, 14.94 seconds is a new school record.
At state Bartlett finished 57 seconds ahead of his 2017 state time and now holds the 17th-fastest time out of all Class 2A runners for the Norris-Penrose course, where the state championships have been held since 2015.
Out of 20 teams, the Paonia girls placed fifth overall with 72 points based on the top three placers.
Sophomore Tawny Roberts finished 14th overall with a time of 21 minutes, 30.3 seconds. The next Paonia runner was junior Katya Schwieterman who placed 25th with a time of 22:30.2; and senior Alex Eaton finished 33rd in 22:44.0. Freshman Sofia Gonzalez placed 40th overall with a time of 23:04.7 and sophomores Cristina Rankin and Abby Reedy finished 60th and 85th, respectively.
Hotchkiss freshman Karlie Egging finished 45th with a time of 23:08.5.
The next three years could prove interesting for Egging and Paonia freshman Sofia Gonzalez. Out of 114 qualifying runners, they finished four seconds apart.