Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs High School cross-country team had a pair of runners finish in the top 15 Saturday at the regional meet in Montezuma-Cortez.
Jack Burger finished fifth in a time of 18 minutes, 2 seconds, and Asher Rohde finished 13th in 18:31 on a muddy, hilly course.
The top 15 boys and girls from Saturday’s meet qualified for the Oct. 30 state meet at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Denver. The top four teams also qualified.
The Steamboat boys finished seventh out of 11 teams, and the girls finished ninth out of 11 teams.
“At regionals, you run for places, not times,” Burger said. “I really went for it on the third mile. I actually really ran well.”
Also competing for the Steamboat boys team were Jeff Sperry, Colton Lewer and Zach Sperry. Jeff Sperry tied for 37th with Lewer, both finishing in 20:20. Zach Sperry finished 70th in 22:11.
Cassidy Fox paced the girls team, finishing 35th in 24:03. Liza Stout was 48th in 24:46, Emma Wilson and Skylar Weir tied for 50th in 25:13, Kelly Borgerding was 57th in 25:51, Lena Barker was 58th in 25:53 and Dominique Powers was 60th in 26:11.
Times were slower than they had been all year, mainly because of the course terrain.
Coming into Saturday, none of Steamboat’s runners had run the course, and rain overnight Friday made it muddy in spots. The team was able to walk the course Friday, however.
“It definitely changed some stuff,” Jeff Sperry said. “The footing was harder going up hills. But we do that in practice, so it was all right for us.”
Now, the attention for Burger and Rohde turns to the state meet in Denver.
Steamboat competed at the pre-state meet at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in early September. There, with more than 300 runners dotting the boys and girls field, Burger finished 15th and Rohde was 38th.
The state meet won’t be as large, and weather certainly is going to be different than it was in early September, when high-80s temperatures baked the field.
The course features three loops with 100-foot elevation gains and losses with each loop.
“That course will also be hilly,” Burger said. “I’m not going for a good time, I’m going for a good place. My goal is to get into the top 10. It’s going to be difficult, but I can do it.”