At the mile mark of the 5k race, Telluride found itself one point down with sophomore Ty Williams leading and senior Colten Rogers in fourth place. With the other Telluride harriers in eighth, ninth, and tenth – Rogers was counting spots and knew he would need to move up. Over the next mile he caught the Hotchkiss and Delta runners to take over second place behind Williams. As the runners came to the final 200 meters, a one-two finish for Telluride was certain. Following Williams and Rogers, sophomore Nathan Loomis took eighth place followed closely by Cameron Bowman in ninth to complete the scoring for Telluride. Senior Gabe Torres finished as fifth man for the THS harriers in tenth place. Taking five out of the top 10 spots was the best finish of the year for the Telluride squad and seemed to solidify its spot atop the 2A state rankings.
The girls team was led by Rachel Hampton with a strong third place finish. This was her second consecutive top-three finish in a major invitational. Her time of 21:49 was a full minute ahead of her time on the same course last year. Jessie Hild continued to impress with a tenth place finish. It was her first top-ten finish of the season and seems to indicate that Telluride could move up from its current third place 2A state ranking. Hild’s time was nearly 3:00 ahead of her time from 2009. Junior Josephine Bush rested this weekend to recover from a sore knee.
Coach Keith Hampton noted that the spread between his top runners for both the boys and girls teams is starting to get tighter. “In order to be successful at the state meet, the best teams will have less than a minute between their top three runners," he said. "Our current spread is about 1:25 at this time, down from over 2:00 at the start of the season.”
The Telluride Middle School and JV Cross Country teams on Friday traveled to Ridgway for a meet that featured huge hills and great competition from throughout the Western Slope. Every Telluride runner brought home hardware, showing just how bright the future is for Telluride Cross Country. In the MS girls race Katherine Bush finished fourth with a strong sprint and Anna Fake took home sixth place in the 45-person race. On the boys side, Zack Nunn took sixth, Jack Plantz finished eighth, and Luke Marshall finished tenth.
“Putting all three runners in the top ten was an outstanding finish,” noted Hampton.
Freshman Alfred Stauder rounded out the group, competing in the high school JV race. He finished seventh in what was only his second race of the season.
The team will travel to Fruita on Saturday for the Anna Banana Invitational. The meet will be held at Connected Lakes State Park, which will be flat and fast. Coach Hampton hopes to come home with his fastest times of the season.