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Demon runners score close to perfect in Farmington

Bayfield harriers race in Pagosa
Willow Lott, left, and Dewa Ilg compete for Durango High School in Utah on Sept. 17. The runners led Durango to a team title Friday at the Totah invite in Farmington, with Ilg taking first and Lott placing second. (Courtesy Mike Ellis)

The Durango High School cross-country teams nearly scored what head coach Ron Keller called a “quad-double” on Friday at the Totah XC Invite in Farmington.

Durango’s varsity teams won both team titles and both individual titles. Its junior varsity teams also won both team titles and one individual title, but missed the quad by one place with a second-place finish in the other junior varsity race.

“It was a good race for us against basically all of northwest New Mexico,” Keller said.

The Durango girls varsity team almost had a perfect score to win its team title as all six of its runners finished in the top seven. Dewa Ilg won the race in 20 minutes, 25 seconds. Willow Lott crossed second (20:56), followed by Sofia Voss (21:13), Mira Quayle (21:15), Nina Quayle (21:46) and Ayumi Lambert (21:55). Nicole Pierce of Piedra Vista finished fifth in 21:37 to keep DHS from a perfect score of 15.

“Dewa, Willow and Sofia were the top three runners for a while, then eventually Dewa was able to pull away from them, and she kept getting stronger,” Keller said.

DHS won the team race with 16 points, followed by Gallup (90), Navajo Prep (94), Kirtland Central (99), the hosting Piedra Vista Panthers (103), Farmington (106) and Bloomfield (182).

In the boys race, Luke Swenk crossed first in 17:05 to lead Durango to the team title.

“He ran a really strong race and basically left everyone,” Keller said. “He had a good race, but his time doesn’t reflect it.” The coach called the course “difficult” with two big climbs, including a long steep one at the end, that the athletes had to do two laps around.

“It’s a good training course,” Keller said. “It’s what we needed; they’re hills at state.”

Charlie Dillman finished second for DHS in 17:25 while Allan Hardee placed fifth (18:13), Miles Snow placed eighth (18:20), Anthony Bonanno placed 11th and Brodie Dorko finished 20th (19:37).

As a team, Durango won the varsity boys title with 27 points, followed by Navajo Prep (73), Kirtland Central (75), Gallup (80), Bloomfield (154), Farmington (159), Piedra Vista (174) and Aztec (179).

Aileen McManus won the girls JV race in 23:24 while Sixtine La Merle, Hannah Helms, Elena Forrest and Abby Bowman finished second through fifth to give DHS a perfect 15.

Micah Zastrocky finished second in the junior varsity boys race to help DHS edge Navajo Prep, 34-36, for the team title.

Durango will race twice this week, on Thursday over the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park in Cañon City and on Friday at Courser Invite in Colorado Springs.

BHS harriers take on McGinn Challenge

Among a relatively select few attempting to run Pagosa Springs’ forested Reservoir Hill course on Saturday, junior Tristan Sager turned in Bayfield’s top time at PSHS’ renamed McGinn Cross-Country Challenge.

“Andrea McGinn was the middle-school cross-country coach for over 15 years. She started as a volunteer coach to start a program … and helped it grow over the years,” said PSHS head coach Rachael Christianse. “She passed away this past winter from heart complications. I chose to rename the meet in her honor as a way to have her legacy live on through Pagosa and the running community.”

McGinn was also the recipient of Sportswomen of Colorado’s 2011 Perseverance Award.

Beating Alamosa junior Dylan Crowder across the finish line by nearly 16 seconds, Sager clocked 21 minutes, 26 seconds to place eighth in the high school boys’ feature. Hunter Carroll was the second Wolverine in 22nd (23:21) helping BHS total 85 points and finish fourth as a team.

Sawyer Flinders took 26th (24:04), with Will Kennedy-Jones (26:28) and Parker Perkerewicz (26:29) placing 31st and 32nd. Daemon Christner (27:48) came in 38th.

Andrew Bowles won the race for Pagosa in 19:48.

AHS won the meet with 39 points, with Centauri (43) and Pagosa Springs (59) following.

Tayte Hostetter of Centauri won the girls race in 24:17, helping the Falcons finish first with 24 points. Sienna Rose of Pagosa Springs finished second in 24:29 to help her team take second (32). Elia Lowe of Dolores crossed third in 25:08.

Kamala Smith was Bayfield’s sole representative and placed 19th in 34:04.

BHS will next travel to Mancos for the Blue Jays’ Chicken Creek Challenge at 9 a.m. on Saturday.