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FLC men’s cross-country finishes 11th at regional

Bartlett places 28th to lead team in 10K
Caden Resendez of Fort Lewis College, pictured competing in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championships earlier this season, was the second Skyhawk to finish Saturday at the NCAA DII South Central Regional in Denver. Resendez placed 36th. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Fort Lewis College men’s cross-country team closed out a successful season with an 11th-place finish in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional on Saturday at a snowy course in Denver’s Washington Park.

“Overall, it was a good day. We didn't quite put it all together the way we hoped, but when you consider where we came from I'm really proud of this team,” said head coach Josh Coon. “We were picked 11th in the conference and improved to finish 11th in the region.”

Ethan Bartlett led FLC and narrowly missed all-region honors with a 28th-place finish. The top 25 finishers earned recognition. Bartlett ran a 32:10.1 time in the 10k race, improving his 84th-place spot from last season. “Ethan had a great day, and he will be in the mix for a nationals spot with his performance today,” Coon said.

Individual spots for the national tournament go to any individual from a non-qualifying team that finishes in the top five at a regional. At-large selections were also made on Monday, but Bartlett wasn’t one of the two runners from the South Central Regional selected.

The second Skyhawk to cross the line was Caden Resendez, turning in a 36th-place race with a time of 32:21.7. Conner Dossman (33:48) and Brady Burrough (34:08.69) were Fort Lewis’ third and fourth runners, placing 76th and 87th. Rounding out the team’s top-five was Ricardo Trejo, who closed out his FLC career with a time of 34:22.69 (93rd place).

“Ten weeks ago, I wasn't sure that these guys were really committed to improving the culture and becoming the best versions of themselves, I'm proud of the way that they have proved themselves,” said Coon. “This is the toughest region in the country, and we know what we need to do to reach the next level next year. I'm excited about the future.”

Colorado School of Mines earned the team title with 25 points, followed by Colorado Christian University (59), Western Colorado University (103), UCCS (126), West Texas A&M (170), CSU-Pueblo (199), Adams State (213), Colorado Mesa (255), New Mexico Highlands (261), Dallas Baptist (292), Fort Lewis (320) and Black Hills State (322) in 12th out of the 24 teams.

UCCS and West Texas A&M both received at-large bids. Adams, who had been ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation, didn’t qualify for nationals.

Colorado Mines, meanwhile, won the team title with the first, fourth, fifth, seventh, and eighth-place finishers. Dillon Powell (29:43.1) won the 10K while Paul Knight of Durango finished seventh in 30:56.30 for the Orediggers.