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Durango girls beat tough competition to win Joe Vigil

Boys place fifth of of 20 teams
Durango runner Willow Lott, No. 224, leads the Demons to a team title Saturday at Alamosa Joe Vigil Invitational. Lott placed third in the race. (Courtesy Michael Ellis)

The Durango High School girls cross-country team knocked off a pair of defending state champions en route to winning the Joe Vigil Invitational in Alamosa on Saturday.

The Demons had four runners finish in the top 12 out of the 158 competitors to run away with the crown.

Durango won the girls’ title with 55 points, followed by Alamosa (72), defending 4A New Mexico champion Los Alamos (81) and defending 3A Colorado champion The Classical Academy (81) and Rio Rancho (149) in fifth. Ignacio (495) finished 18th as a team, Dolores placed 17th (471) and Mancos placed 15th (395).

Willow Lott led Durango with a third-place finish in 19 minutes, 10 seconds, crossing less than 10 seconds behind the winner, Los Alamos’ Delaney Ulrich.

Abby Fehr finished eighth in 19:40, Angela McManus crossed 10th in 19:45, Tea Forrest placed 12th in 19:49, and Brynn Aggeler finished 22nd in 20:29 to round out Durango’s score. Sophie Raggsdale finished 24th in 20:34, Angelina Kondrat finished 28th in 20:47, and Mia Whistler placed 30th in 20:49.

Sofia Voss, meanwhile, ran her first-ever 5K and won the junior varsity race in 21:02.

Durango's Damian Frausto, left, and Land Lambert, third from left, run in a pack with the top four finishers on Saturday. Lambert placed second, and Frausto crossed third. The Classical Academy's Matthew Edwards, No. 774, won the race while Los Alamos' Keith Bridge, right, finished fourth. (Courtesy Michael Ellis)
Durango boys place fifth

The Durango boys, meanwhile, chased the team’s leaders and ended up placing fifth out of the 20 teams and 161 runners competing.

Land Lambert and Damian Frausto both finished near the top to lead the Durango boys. Lambert finished second in 15:59, and Frausto crossed third in 16:00.

The Classical Academy’s Matthew Edwards won the race in 15:28.

Nathan Ellis was the next Demon to finish, placing 37th in 17:52. Charlie Dillman finished 43rd in 18:06, and Will McFarlane scored Durango’s final points in 57th place in 18:32.

Also competing for DHS were Nove Tocco (83rd, 19:35) and Thomas Pope (90th, 19:52).

“Both teams stepped it up a notch this weekend,” said DHS head coach Ken Flint. “The girls showed Battle Mountain wasn’t a fluke, and the boys keep surprising me with their jumps in performance. Having Land (Lambert) and Damian (Frausto) running strong up front each week helps motivate the rest of the crew to put in the work and give a full effort.”

How other schools performed

Ignacio’s boys finished 18th in the team race, and Bayfield placed 20th.

The Ignacio boys’ contingent included Eppie Quintana (72nd, 19:04), Phillip Quintana (100th, 20:03), Camron Cooper (116th, 20:40), Dylan McCaw (136th, 22:30) and Corey Gomez (141st, 23:03).

Avaleena Nanaeto (95th, 24:33) led Ignacio’s girls while Lauren DeKay (103rd, 25:14), Moriah Ashley (119th, 26:34), Alannah Gomez (131st, 27:38), Zoey Ashley (133rd, 27:54) and Audrianna Diaz (146th, 30:49) also ran for the Bobcats.

Tristan Sager (135th, 22:24) led Bayfield while Laim Smith (142nd, 23:17), Sawyer Flinders (153rd, 24:16), Wil Kennedy-Jones (159th, 28:24) and Hunter Carroll (160th, 28:34) also competed for the Wolverine boys. Abby Tate (155th, 33:26) represented the BHS girls.

Los Alamos’ Delaney Ulrich won the girls’ race in 18:59.

Fort Lewis originally was scheduled to race in the university division at the race but did not compete.

Durango will have a week off to prepare for the Desert Twilight in Queen Creek, Arizona, on Sept. 24.

Bayfield will host its home meet at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Ignacio will run in Ridgeway on Friday.