Cross-country team excels at home

On Saturday, the Mancos boys cross country team ran to their best finish at their home meet in over a decade as Mancos High School hosted the 15th annual Chicken Creek Challenge in the San Juan National Forest north of Mancos. Ten teams from Utah, New Mexico and Colorado attended the meet with almost 300 runners competing across the six divisions.

The boys were led by a second place finishfrom Justin Burton, behind individual champion Collin Hatch from Monticello in 18:40, and a third place finish from Brandon McKie in times of 19:09 and 19:14 respectively. The team score was rounded out by freshmen Ro Paschal and Asa Kearns who finished in 13th and 15th and times of 19:46 and 20:10, respectively. The boys finished in second place behind team champions Monticello.

Behind the Bluejays were Durango JV, Farmington, Kirtland-Central, Montezuma Cortez, Bloomfield and Pagosa Springs with Dolores and Aztec not having team scores. For the JV boys, Nic Archuleta led the way with an 11th place finish in 21:51. He was followed by Vincent Grego in 17th and a time of 23:34 and Zane Goodell in 23rd and a time of 24:26.

On the girls side, Kristin Adams was the lone varsity girls runner for Mancos. She finished in 13th place in a time of 24:15. The individual winner was Emily Bryant from Pagosa Springs in a time of 21:05. The JV girls were led by individual champion Kia Baikie in a time of 24:45. She was followed by Maya Bonde in 15th place and a time of 29:36 and Andie Paschal in 16th and a time of 29:56.

A number of good races were turned in today by our runners, said coach Brady Archer.I cannot say enough about how good they looked today in front of the home crowd. It is usually our one chance to show the community how we look as a team. Every one of the runners went out and competed very hard today. The varsity boys as a team did an outstanding job of sticking together and pushing each other. To have the individual finishes we had against some very good teams will hopefully spark these guys to keep improving. Brandon McKie really showed today that he is healthy and ready to help this group. Our girls are starting to come together also. Kia will now run varsity for the rest of the season and Andie was running in her first race and did a nice job after working through some injury all season. Maya and Kristin also continue to improve with each passing week. The girls are getting healthy and I know they will be ready when the regional meet rolls around in a few weeks.

Next week, the Bluejays will travel to the John Thornton Invitational in Blanding, Utah on Wednesday and then head to the Ancient Trails 5k hosted by Montezuma-Cortez at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds on Saturday.