Top three weekend story lines
Steamboat Springs Marrs steps down: Cara Marrs presided as the Steamboat Springs Running Series enjoyed great expansion in the last four seasons. That was thanks, in part, to her tireless effort marketing the series. She helped get the race in front of Front Range eyes, and that helped swell the competitive fields. Just as important, however, was her urging of nearly anyone she met to give trail running a try. Many of those who took her advice took to and stuck with the sport. Saturday's was her final race as the series' overall director.
Soroco snaps the streak: The Rams improved to 4-0 for the second time since dropping down to 8-man football in 2008, but this time was different: Soroco beat Hayden, 26-6. The teams didn’t play each other from 2008 to 2011, but when they did play in the last decade, the Tigers won handily every time, by an average of 32 points. It all made Friday night all the sweeter for Soroco, but it remains to be seen what it will all mean going forward. There are no easy weeks from here on out for Soroco, starting with Saturday’s trip to Vail Christian.
Steamboat slips at home: The Sailors couldn’t make it three in a row, falling on Friday night at home against Glenwood Springs, 37-10. The Demons won the game with a strong running attack, something Steamboat will need to find a way to defend if it's to realize its goals this season.
Top three weekend performances
Heather Gollnick: Gollnick dominated the Steamboat Springs Running Series this season. That achievement came as no surprise considering her history as one of the nation’s top Ironman triathlon racers, but it was still fun to watch. She won four races this season including Saturday’s series finale on Emerald Mountain.
Harry Niedl: The men’s season-long running series champ, Niedl is the most consistent runner in the men’s field. He won the title for the third time. Oftentimes, someone can win the season points race simply by showing up every week. Niedl does that, and it gives him an edge, but he’s always among the fastest, too. He was again Saturday at the Emerald Mountain Trail Run, finishing second.
Soroco’s trench warriors: Ryan Jeep. Aaron Herzog. Jaxon Ovard. Cody Constine. Nate Ragan. Carl Rossi. Soroco more than doubled Hayden’s offensive output, and that was thanks almost entirely to the thankless job of the offensive and defensive linemen who set the tone for the game. As Rams coach David Bruner said, “They’re the reason we won the game.” Soroco will need them to continue to play that well if it is to make a postseason run.
Top three weekend stats
389 — The increase in the number of runners in seven core Steamboat Springs Running Series events from 2008, the year before Cara Marrs took over as director, and 2013, her last year as director. One race was on this year’s schedule that was on 2008‘s, plus other events, such as the Steamboat Marathon and the Steamboat Stinger, are also part of the series. More than 3,000 racers took part in the Running Series this summer.
18 — Offensive yards for the Hayden football team in the first half. No doubt, Hayden is better than this, and it showed as much as it moved the ball in the second half. Down 20-0 at half, however, there wasn't much that could be done. The Tigers have too much talent and speed to struggle like that on offense all season. More than anything, that number indicates how amped up and prepared for Friday night’s game Soroco’s defenders were. That first-half effort separated the two teams.
9 — The number of saves Steamboat Springs High School goalie Jake Andersen notched in Saturday’s game against Evergreen. The Cougars proved more than a match for the Sailors, but Steamboat still hung in the game, thanks in part to Andersen’s play in goal. The ball that finally got past him was, in Andersen’s words, “incredible.”
Weekend sports results
Emerald Mountain Trail Run results
Paonia volleyball 3, Soroco 0
West Grand volleyball, 3, Soroco 1
Vail Christian volleyball 3, Hayden 0
Hayden volleyball 3, Hotchkiss 0
Soroco football 26, Hayden 6
Glenwood Springs football 37, Steamboat 10
Steamboat soccer 2, Glenwood Springs 0
Evergreen soccer 1, Steamboat 0
Steamboat volleyball 3, Palisade 0
Delta volleyball 3, Steamboat 2
Steamboat tennis places third among top four at Littleton tournament.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9