Steamboat runners take fifth in cross-county meet


— The Sailors cross-country teams ran into Bulldog country and came home with a pair of fifth-place finishes.
Steamboat head coach John Smith was pleased with his runners' showings at the Moffat County Invitational cross-country meet over the weekend.
"I'm fairly happy with our performance today, Smith said. "Our girls team was really impressive in the first race."
Two freshmen, Tara Wernig and Laura Phillip led the way for the Sailors.
"They ran great races, and it's good to see some of the younger girls step it up," Smith said. Wernig finished 14th with a time of 22:58, and Philip took 30th in 24:17.
Smith was even happier with the way his boys ran.
"Cody Firestone ran an awesome race," Smith said. "Each week Cody has gotten stronger and stronger."
"I was just amazed with the whole team today," Smith said. "It was a good way to build towards regionals. Still, we're just trying to keep up with Moffat. The girls' team is amazing. The only word I can come up with for them is 'impressive.'"
Impressive, indeed.
The Bulldogs' girls defended their home turf tenaciously, and the boys performed better than expected with a third place finish.
"It's not really our goal to win today," said Bulldogs' head coach Mike Gleason.
"Our only goal is to win the last two weeks of the season," the coach added, referring to regionals and state.
Though it may not have been a goal, Gleason was happy with the strong performance posted by his runners at Loudy Simpson Park in Craig.
"I was surprised with the boys getting third, to tell the truth," Gleason said. "The real surprise was Bryce Elgen in fifth he really ran well for us."
Gleason came in with a great deal of confidence in the experienced girls' team, and they only bolstered that confidence with five runners finishing in the top ten.
"I don't think anyone's going to touch the girls at regionals," Gleason said. "I'd still like to see a couple of more teams, though just to know exactly where we stand."
The regional meet is in Delta on Oct. 21.


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