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Durango runners take second at Southwest regional

Dillman wins medium school race
Charlie Dillman of Durango High School, pictured racing Mario Vallalba Alamosa at the Hillcrest Golf Club in October, led Durango with a first-place finish at the Southwest Regional Championships in Arizona on Saturday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Durango High School cross-country teams continued competing on Saturday at the Nike NXR Southwest Regional Championships in Mesa, Arizona.

Running in the medium school races No. 1, Durango’s boys and girls both finished second in their team races.

Charlie Dillman won the boys race and two of his teammates joined him in the top four while all five Durango girls finished in the top 20 in under 20 minutes.

“We had a good day down there,” said coach Ron Keller. “I was pretty happy with things.”

Dillman had been on teammate Luke Swenk’s heels recently, and on Saturday he finished ahead of Swenk, and everybody else, to win the race in 16 minutes and 2 seconds.

“I was kind of surprised but not,” said coach Ron Keller. “The last few races he started going with Luke.”

Swenk crossed second in 16:09 while Nathaniel Ellis placed fourth in 16:28, Brodie Dorko finished 37th in 17:09, and Anthony Bonanno finished 40th in 17:16 to round out Durango’s team score. Sladey Schweitz placed 64th in 17:38, and Hudson Curry finished 85th out 183 runners in 18:03.

In the team race, the Demon boys finished seven points behind Cheyenne Mountain as the runners-up with 81 points. Ogden (92) finished third, followed by Pine View (107) and Niwot (158) in fifth. Cheyenne Mountain and Niwot also had teams compete in the region’s championship race.

The DHS girls, meanwhile, finished second as a team, 12 points behind Niwot, with 53 points. Cheyenne Mountain finished third (82), followed by Park City (110) and Ogden (124) in fifth.

DHS senior Willow Lott, pictured running in the Class 4A state championships on Oct. 29, finished third at the Southwest Regional Championships to lead Durango to a second-place team finish. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald).

Willow Lott led Durango with a third-place finish in 18:40. Avalon Beltran of Niwot crossed first in 18:29, just over a second ahead of Lauren Raley of Cheyenne Mountain.

“ (Willow) was up in front with the two girls most of the race and then they pulled away from her at the end,” Keller said.

Sofia Voss was the next Demon to finish, crossing eighth in 18:16. Nina Quayle placed 13th in 19:35, and was followed by Brynn Aggeler in 14th (19:38) and Mira Quayle in 19th place (19:59).

Dewa Ilg also competed, but ran unattached in the medium school race No. 2 and placed seventh in 19:20.

“I thought everybody ran pretty well,” Keller said. “I thought we would get a lot of PRs because the its reputation is fast, but (the course) wasn’t as fast as some of the other courses there.”

Several Demons also will race in he Garmin RunningLane cross-country championships Dec. 3 in Huntsville, Alabama. Dillman, Swenk, Ellis, Curry, Lott and Aggeler all plan on competing.

“I’m just encouraged six kids are going to Alabama, and I’m optimistic they’ll do well down there,” Keller said. “That shows commitment, and that’s one of the key things I’m trying to get them to buy into.