Sailors cross-country eyes regional championships | SteamboatToday.com
Ben Ingersoll

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Sailors cross-country eyes regional championships

— Thursday afternoon, the full Steamboat Springs High School cross-country varsity team competed in its final tune-up before its most important meet of the season: regionals.

The Sailors spent Thursday at the Rifle Invitational competing against mostly runners from outside their league.

Competing without his top boys runner, Zach Sperry, Sailors coach Greg Long was pleased with how his varsity athletes took on a very slow course.

"It went really well. I was real happy with the girls side," Long said. "The truth is, across the board the kids ran faster Thursday than they did the week before (on Steamboat's all-weather track)."

Meg O'Connell led all Sailors with a fifth-place finish, crossing in 21:19.88. Two paces behind her was Alex Tumminello, who finished at 21:31.09.

On the boys side, without Sperry, Charlie Tisch finished 28th at 20:02, Ben Lingle at 31st in 20:05 and Sam Scully was 46th at 20:41.

During next week's regional championships at Delta – a fast course, Long said – top-15 finishers advance to the state championships on Oct. 26. On paper, Long said a few of his girls runners have a legitimate shot at qualifying.

As far as preparation goes, the Sailors are essentially done with their rigorous training regimen, and instead will focus on the biggest task of the season in a week.

"Pretty much the fitness is over now, it's all about sharpening the mind and efficiency," Long said. "We're done with our hard workouts."

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll