Sugar Beet staff reporter
The rock chalk hills and one thousand foot Royal Gorge bridge didn’t come close to phasing the buffaloes cross country team as they are running into the higher level, cutthroat stage of their season. With just over three weeks to go until the state competition, every race is crucial to see where they could land.
To start off, the buffs traveled to Lawrence, Kans. On Saturday, Sept. 22 to compete in the Rim Rock Farm High School XC Classic consisting of 165 teams.
“The atmosphere was great, there was a lot of people cheering us on and it had lots of steep hills and trails that were really pretty” Destiny Avila, varsity junior said.
With there being so many teams from surrounding states participating, the meet was sectioned into three divisions- gold, crimson, and red. The buffs running in crimson being the middle division.
“Running in crimson was the perfect race for our team because we got to compete against amazing runners, but didn’t get too overpowered,” Kaety Kohlhorst, varsity junior said. Kaety set a personal record by twenty-two seconds on the course along with several others. The highest placing buffaloes in the ranking was senior Angel Ayala coming in 25th, with Mario Bustillos right behind in 26th, which was a big accomplishment for the team in the midst of hundreds of runners. While most of the team individuals finished in the 100 to 150 range.
“The Rim Rock meet went really well, I didn’t P.R., but I placed 98th out of about three hundred and fifty runners.” Javyn Contreras, varsity senior said.
The following Thursday, Sept. 27, the cross country team traveled to Canyon City, Colorado for some different scenery and higher elevation. A much smaller meet, only consisting of 19 teams, although still very high competition. The highest boys finisher were Mario Bustillos coming in eighth with a time of eighteen minutes and seven seconds with Angel Ayala right behind in ninth with eighteen minutes and 15 seconds. The highest finishers on the girls side was Maria Balderas finishing in fifteenth with a time of twenty-three minutes and twenty seconds, along with Taylor Savolt not far behind in eighteenth, clocking in at twenty-three minutes and fourty-seven seconds.
Unlike most finish lines, the home stretch of the course rounded out in a trip across the Royal Gorge bridge, spanning twelve hundred feet across and one thousand feet high, definitely one of the more scenic races of the season, yet there are more finish lines to cross in the upcoming weeks of the season.
Julie Calzonetti is a public service sophomore, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org