The Steamboat Springs High School girls cross-country team warms up Saturday during the Moffat County Invitational. Steamboat placed third out of four teams in the event

Photo by Andy Bockelman

The Steamboat Springs High School girls cross-country team warms up Saturday during the Moffat County Invitational. Steamboat placed third out of four teams in the event

Steamboat cross-country teams race to strong finishes

Boys, girls cross-country each take home 3rd place from Moffat County Invitational

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Members of the Steamboat Springs High School girls cross-country team take off from the start of Saturday's Moffat County Invitational. The girls team placed 3rd at the meet.

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Asher Rohde nears the finish line of the Moffat County Invitational on Saturday. Rohde finished the event in fifth place with a time of 17 minutes, 29 seconds.

Team standings

Boys

Team Points

  1. Moffat County 24

  2. Uintah 69

  3. Steamboat Springs 82

  4. Rifle 96

  5. Rangely 161

Girls

Team Points

  1. Moffat County 26

  2. Uintah 41

  3. Steamboat Springs 81

  4. Rifle 116

Top Steamboat finishers

Boys

Name Time Place

Jack Burger 17:11 3

Asher Rohde 17:29 5

Jeff Sperry 18:37 12

Girls

Name Time Place

Liza Stout 22:25 11

Cassidy Fox 22:30 12

Dominique Powers 22:52 15

— For Steamboat Springs High School runner Jack Burger, being on a flat course is advantageous. However, he said there’s another element that helps in a cross-country meet.

“Home-field advantage,” he said.

The SSHS senior finished first for his team Saturday, close behind two runners who were a little more familiar with the terrain of Craig’s Loudy-Simpson Park, Moffat County High School runners Chris Zirkle and Alfredo Lebron, who placed first and second in the boys race, respectively.

Burger was one of 17 Steamboat runners to participate in the Mof­­fat County In­­vita­­tional, which also saw attendance from Rifle, Rawlins, Rangely, Uintah, with nearly 100 total runners.

Senior Liza Stout said the turnout surprised her.

“We haven’t raced with some of these teams yet,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect.”

Although she was racing with competitors she was unfamiliar with, Stout had run the 5,000-meter Craig course before, which was plotted in a new route last year, losing a hilly area that Stout said had been troublesome before.

“It felt easier than previous years,” she said.

The Sailors agreed that the second mile of the course was the toughest, looping around a soccer field with thick grass that slowed their running.

But Burger and Stout still were able to lead their teams to the finish line with solid times.

Burger placed in third place with a time of 17 minutes and 11 seconds, and Stout finished 11th in 22 minutes, 25 seconds.

“My goal was just to place high,” Burger said.

Junior Asher Rohde was right on Burger’s heels in fifth place, with a time of 17 minutes, 29 seconds.

Rohde said the payoff for a “hard week” of practices was rewarding.

“I finished 16th at Liberty Bell (Invitational), so it was really nice to be in the top 10 this time,” Rohde said. “It’s a nice course to run on.”

Senior Cassidy Fox placed 12th, clocking in at 22 minutes, 30 seconds.

“Right from the get-go, we really worked as a team,” Fox said.

Fox said she and her teammates stayed in a pack for most of the race, switching leaders.

“We were drafting a lot, letting the person in front cut down the wind resistance,” she said. “We switched every few minutes.”

The boys and girls teams placed third overall in the meet.

Steamboat coach Andy Reust said he was “pleased with the results based on the volume of work” the team had put in.

“We had a tough week, and all these kids ran great,” he said. “We had four freshmen girls out there in their second meet, and they lowered times across the board. We’re right where we want to be as a team.”

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