Sailors cross country struggles at state



Steamboat Springs junior Charlie Stoddard takes a glance at another racer during Saturday's Class 4A State Cross Country Meet in Colorado Springs.

— The pack mentality, running races together as a team, is something that is preached consistently in cross country. This year, the Steamboat Springs boys team used that approach for success and a state qualification.

At the state meet Saturday, the Sailor boys packed it up, but the results weren't what they had hoped for. The team finished 24th, which was last place of all full teams.

"We were way too far back as a team," coach Matt Reinhold said. "We had a good spread with our guys, but we could have been about a minute further up."

Junior Charlie Stoddard was pleased with the way his team packed it up.

"We came in with the hope to be the second-best team from the region," Stoddard said. "I think we packed it up well, and I thought we had a decent race."

That was before Stoddard and his team knew the results.

When they were huddled around the final results to see that only Stoddard had broken into the top 100, that pack mentality lost some of its magic.

"I have to give (the team) credit because they had the guts to go out hard and together, which sometimes works," Reinhold said. "But it was like we were playing with fire and got burned."

The overcast, calm weather made for ideal running conditions and a great day for fast starts. At least that was the case for the Sailors as they charged to the front in the first mile.

The rest of the 3.1 mile race the Sailor pack slipped farther and farther back.

Reinhold said part of the issue was a lack of experience in big meets. The state meet had 188 competitors.

"We have to schedule some big meets like this next year because our guys were a little too excited to see what they saw today," he said. "We went out with everything we had too early."

Reinhold said he hoped his young team would learn and be ready for a better performance next year.

"Now we know what it takes," he said.

The rest of the Sailor runners were: Sam Chovan, 119; Jackson Wren, 125; John Cutter, 130; Jack Burger, 161; Garret Ehrick, 175 and Cam Niswander, 177.

Battle Mountain, the Western Slope regional champion, dominated the state meet, winning with 55 points.

- To reach David Pressgrove, call 629-9600

or e-mail


blahblah 9 years, 6 months ago

Pilot chokes with headline! What kind of headline is that? I'm sure these athlethes gave their best. Apparently they felt that way as they were runing, according to Stoddard's comments. They had disappointing results. I don't believe that calling that a "choke" is warranted.


Brent Boyer 9 years, 6 months ago

blahblah: You're absolutely correct. The headline was insensitive and inappropriate. It has been corrected in the online version.

Brent Boyer, editor Steamboat Pilot & Today (970) 871-4221


Reinhizzy 9 years, 6 months ago

The pack mentality in cross country is preached and is what leads to any great success in this sport. Cross Country is a team sport and requires each teammate to have deep trust in each one of the teams' members. The members have to believe that each member is giving everything they have to keep the pack alive. This year the Steamboat Cross Country team has demonstrated that throughout their season at meets and at their practices they were working hard together. I am obviously disappointed by this article by David Pressgrove, Craig Daily News, it does not really articulate the situation the Sailors were in at the end of the race and what they felt. Yesterday was one of my proudest moments as a coach. Before the race we had a goal setting session and each member of the team set out their goals. That goal was to place in the top 10 at states, to do this we knew we had to run 5 guys under 18 minute pace. To do this 5 of the 7 guys had to run the fastest they have ever run in their lives. When they the team lined up they believed in themselves and their teammates to take a chance. They took a chance to run, outside of their comfort zone for 3. 1 miles they were prepared for the pain. After the first mile we had 5 of our guys run under 5.30 for the mile. For two of the guys this was their personal best for the mile. It takes a lot of guts to run a personal best and then to still keep looking up and to run 2.1 miles. I give a lot of credit to that type of commitment and courage. I am proud of my team they worked hard this year and I believe they learned a lot of lessons on team work and sportsmanship. The group of seniors I had on my team were great role models for the underclassmen to look up at. To finally sum up the efforts at states 2 of the 3 returners this year got their personal best on the state course by over a minute; four of the other members never have been to states. To sum up the season, I am proud to coach at Steamboat Springs, every kid on the team had a personal best time, they worked hard together and made sacrifices together. I will always encourage to set goals high and I believe with hard work those goals can be met. I am looking forward to next year and we are going to use this seasons experiences to fuel the fire for next year.


skiday11 9 years, 6 months ago

That headline is absolutely unacceptable. How could someone write such a negative headline for a highschool sport? That is the last thing any young athlete wants to read in the paper about themselves after a tough race where they gave their full effort.


dimwitiguess 9 years, 6 months ago

Hey, boys and girls, this is your daily AND ONLY paper. Boyer can say he's sorry on a blog that only a few read, but can he say it in the daily AND ONLY paper? I doubt it, but I might change my opinion, if only slightly, if the PILOT and its EDITOR who should have noted the insensitivity and inappropriateness before the paper was "put to bed" answers this criticsm in the daily AND ONLY PAPER tomorrow or the next day.

It's just that the Pilot and its staff are so used to running people down (yes, that was a pun) that they can't proof anything objectively anymore - trash talking just rolls easily from their mouths.

Uh huh, I'm the dimwitiguess.


stbtmtnlife 9 years, 6 months ago

all i can say is i am shocked that "choke" was actually used in the headline. i had only read the article on line and could not believe when i found out later this afternoon how the actual paper had been printed first. how dare you use such words about young athletes that practice and compete in one of the toughest sports there is. these kids work so hard and this is what you say about them? disgraceful. they had a tough race. it happens. now what are you going to do to make up for it? very very very few of the readers go on line and will see your "fixed" version of this story. ALL will see your printed headline instead. horrible. once again you have all disgusted me with your insensitivity. you should be ashamed of yourselves. you owe those boys a front page apology. and you know it.


dimwitiguess 9 years, 6 months ago

THe Pilot and the managerial staff NEVER apologize for another on the front page of the paper. Even retractions our found in some remote space where few see them. Boyer is living up to his predecessor's legacy. dimwitiguess


dogd 9 years, 6 months ago

Consider the source. The writer is the Craig guy. He wrote the headline with glee. SS hands Craig it's (you know what) in nearly every sport these days... this is the revenge of the guy who keeps writing stories about "moral victories". Must get to the fool after awhile. Don't fire him. His salary is probably punishment enough.


ddupree44 9 years, 6 months ago

I was blown away to read the headline in yesterday's newspaper, "Sailors Choke at State", in regard to the boys' cross country efforts at the state meet in Colorado Springs. I was appalled as a reader, teacher, and coach to see that the newspaper felt it was ok to treat high achieving 'high school' athletes the same way we treat high-paid professional athletes. I felt it was a blatant disrespect to these kids, their families, and the school they compete for. I will not be in a hurry to get to the newspaper stand on a Sunday to buy your paper for $1 in the future. I'll stick to the free daily edition, that's apparently all the money you guys are worth. Good job Sailors Cross Country team!


Brent Boyer 9 years, 6 months ago

All: I appreciate your candid (and valid) criticisms of the newspaper for the headline we ran in Sunday's paper. My column on page 2 of today's paper attempts to address the issue. You can read it here:

dimwitiguess: The Pilot & Today prints every one of its corrections on the front page of the newspaper, a policy we instituted in January of this year. If you have suggestions for how we might better publicize our mistakes, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Brent Boyer Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today (970) 871-4221


Brent Boyer 9 years, 6 months ago

dogd: David Pressgrove wrote an accurate, appropriate story about the cross-country team's performance at the state meet in Colorado Springs. He had nothing to do with the headline that appeared in Sunday's paper. That headline was authored by Steamboat Pilot & Today staff.

Brent Boyer Editor, Steamboat Pilot & Today


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