The Denver East Angels ran their best race of the season at the 5A Region 1 Championships over the Thornton Recreation Center course on Friday. The East Girls ran to a 5th place finish – equal to their best finishes (2010 and 2011) in the last 10 years. The Girls finished just 10 points short of Chatfield High School, 107 to 117, for the fourth and final team qualifying spot for the State Championship meet. However, the Angels will send two individuals to the State Championship! Juniors Nell Salzman and Samantha Skeen, with their 11th and 15th place finishes, are moving on to the State Meet. They follow in the recent tradition of Isa Marshall, Class of 2016 and now running varsity for the University of California at Santa Barbara, in grabbing one of these coveted top 15 finishes to go on to the State Meet. Additional highlights in the Girls race included Junior Laurel Kruger, who worked her way up to 28th place and a personal best 21:08 under warm and windy conditions. Lilly Cory, 31st, and Lindsey Weyant, 32nd, rounded out the scorers for East. Congratulation also to Emily Turner, Masie Moskowitz, Serene Mather, and Sara Merman for their strong performances at Regionals. The Angels return all 9 runners and their top 3 alternates next year, so the future looks bright for East.
Conditions improved substantially for the Boys Race, allowing fully six of East’s nine runners to race to personal bests! Junior Harrison Scudamore will be joining Nell and Samantha in Colorado Springs at State. Coming from 18 seconds behind at 3000m, he stormed back to take the Regional Championship title and guarantee a spot in his third consecutive State Meet. Freshman Asher Hoyt ran a personal best 16:49 for 18th place; two years ago, on this same course, that time would have been good enough to qualify for State Meet! Senior Rafael Daher-Marmalejo ran a career best 17:06 in his last cross country race as an Angel, taking 24th place. The freshman trio of Elijah Bruggeman (18:22, 57th), Kristian Laird (18:48, 62nd) and Zacharias Abdulkadir (18:56, 63rd) followed, each with their own personal best times over 5000m. Jackson Adams, Jack Rocchio, and Liam Peck made up the rest of the team, each at or near a personal best time. The Boys finished a surprisingly strong 7th place, just 2 points from 6th place. This team features 5 freshmen. By way of comparison, the other 10 boys’ teams at Regionals had a combined total of just 7 freshmen! Like the Girls, we have reason to expect big things from this team in the years ahead.
Nell, Samantha, and Harrison run at the State Championship at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs this Saturday, October 29. The 5A Girls race goes off at 12:00pm and the Boys at 1:20pm.
We hope to have a large group of supporters cheering them on and visualizing what it will be like next year when we take two full teams of Girls and Boys to State! Please reach out to your teammates and coaches to make plans to get down there; it is always an exciting meet to attend.