Last weekend the team traveled to the Front Range to compete in the prestigious St Vrain Invitational held in Lyons, north of Boulder. The meet featured many of the top teams in the state, including over 50 schools and 1,200 individuals. The runners competed on a challenging 5K course that included two major hills, creek crossings, and rough terrain.
Ty Williams took 1st overall with an outstanding time of 16:04 over the grueling 5K course. His time set a new course record, and led his nearest competitor by over 11 seconds. Williams made a strong move at the 800 meter mark to open up a gap on his nearest competitors, Evan Fortney from Faith Christian and Anthony Rios from Brush. From that point on, he was never challenged as he continued to build his lead. Williams was followed by junior Nathan Loomis who took 9th place, Dylan Newell in 14th, Brooks Rogers in 22nd, and Cameron Bowman in 28th. By putting 5 runners in the top 30, the Telluride team destroyed the strong 2A/3A field with a winning score of 47 points (the next closest team was the University Bulldogs, with 74). Coach Hampton was pleased, but not surprised by his team’s impressive finish. “I knew coming into the season that we would have a very strong team this year. We travelled to Denver to search out the best competition we could find…I wanted the kids to go out and have a solid race which is what they did. However, we still have a lot of improvement to make over the season. We are a young team and we are just starting to learn what we can do”.
In addition to the strong boys team, the Telluride High School girls are also making their mark on the statewide cross country scene. In this week’s poll, the girls are ranked 2nd, led by returning junior Rachel Hampton. Hampton finished 2nd in the St Vrain Varsity Girls race to returning state champion, Kelly Robinson of Nederland. Hampton and Robinson broke away from the pack just before the mile mark, coming through at 6:04. The two were side-by-side and pressing the pace over the next mile which was recorded at 6:01. However, at the two-mile mark, Robinson started to open up some daylight on Hampton. By the finish, Robinson had set a new course record with a time of 18:43. Hampton was close behind with 19:07, a time that was also under the old course record. Following Hampton, Senior Josephine Bush finished 9th, Katherine Bush was 18th, Shelby Brier was 25th, and Jessie Hild was 38th. By packing so many runners in the front, the Telluride Girls team finished a close 2nd for the meet with 52 points, just 2 points behind eventual champion Brush. “Our girls team surprised a lot of people this weekend,” noted Coach Hampton. “I look forward to the seeing them continue to develop as the season progresses.”
The team travels to Durango this Friday for the Ron Keller Invitational. The meet will feature both high school and middle school races. The young Miners program has their biggest team ever, with 28 middle school and high school athletes competing.