Maybe it was the cool temperatures, maybe it was the flat course, maybe it was the lack of dirt and grass, but the inaugural Denver West Cowboy Classic, which had runners making loops around Sunken Gardens Park, the host school, and finally the track, delivered some unexpectedly fast times on Wednesday. With most of the varsity runners sitting out, the Angels showed great depth on the boys and girls teams.
The Open Boys led things off with a 3rd place finish out of 12 teams. The Angels were led by the sophomore trio of Teddy Hickenlooper, Nikola Hannon and Taylor Lucas in 20th, 25th, and 27th respectively. Freshman Cyrus Jenkins-Nieto followed closely in 28th and sophomore Stephen Evans finished out the scoring in 32nd.
The East Angels in the Open Girls race also ran to a 3rd place finish. Ninth grader Isabella Garcia finished in 6th place for East, followed by the senior tandem of Maria Crippen and Mackenzie Whitehead-Bust in 9th and 10th. Two more ninth graders, Clara Lorenzo and Jane Port would cross the line together for 18th and 19th place.
Continuing the theme of freshmen leadership, three nine graders would cross the line first for the Angels in the Boys Varsity race. Ian Trautwein ran to a 34th place finish, while Xander Pacini was 42nd and Gus Trautwein was 44th in his best race yet for the season. Senior Jack Thompson and sophomore Jack Beardshear finished 50th and 51st for the balance of East’s scoring, and the Angels took 8th of 15 teams.
Finally the Varsity Girls got their chance on the fast course. In an early indication of the form they would show a couple days later, freshman Maya Winfield led East with a 34th place finish, followed closely by senior Audrey McGlothlen in 35th. Yet another trio of freshmen would complete the scoring for the Angels, with Julia Schor running to 38th, Maya Nussbaumer to 47th and Claire Ely to 50th.
Girls Run to Historically Fast Times and Place at Thornton
On Friday, the East Angels travelled to the Thornton Invitational, a meet that brought together more than 30 teams to compete over a course with which the Varsity has become familiar recently, since it has been home to our regional championship two of the last three years. Facing a slightly tougher course and slightly warmer temperatures, East coaches did not anticipate fast times rivaling those that had been run two days earlier. They were wrong.
Sophomore Kristian Laird would be the first to prove seasonal and personal best times were in order as he ran 19:08 for an 11th place finish in the JV race. Freshmen Ben Hill and Jenkins-Nieto placed 16th and 34th respectively, the latter in a seasonal best time of 19:49. Hickenlooper and senior Gunnar Ranum, with a PR of 20:26, finished out the scoring for East in 69th and 70th, as the Angels placed 8th of 26 teams in the division.
The East Angel JV Girls absolutely obliterated their competition, winning the 19-team race with just 35 points – a full 71 points fewer than their closest competition. The team was led by fast-improving Maya Winfield who finished 3rd in 21:32, followed closely by sophomore teammate Lindsey Weyant in 4th in 21:36, and fellow freshman Grace O’Meara in 5th, also in 21:36 – a personal best for her. Audrey McGlothlen ran to a 10th place finish and sophomore Maisie Moskowitz to 13th for the remainder of the 35 point total.
Sophomore Asther Hoyt ran to a new personal best of 16:36 for 16th place in the Boys Varsity race, leading the boys to a 12th place finish of 34 teams. Fellow sophomore Will Daley also ran to a new personal best of 17:28 for 49th place. Senior Jackson Adams ran nearly a minute faster than he did last year at Thornton with his 18:04 for 84th place. Riley Nickols (122nd, 18:32), Elijah Bruggeman (124th, 18:34), Jack Thompson (141st, 18:45), Patrick Cox (143rd, 18:47), and Xander Pacini (148th, 18:49) all ran seasonal best times.
Like the JV Girls earlier in the day, the Varsity Girls ran a sensational race. For the first time in recent memory at a meet of this level, the girls achieved a podium finish, taking 3rd place out of 30 teams. Senior Laurel Kruger ran a 19:23, the fastest time by any East girl in the last 10 years. In fact, the next eight Angel girls across the line are now all among the fastest 25 girls at 5K for East in the last decade. Keeping the East score low, freshman AlanaMarie Barros (19:48) finished in 20th place, senior Nell Salzman (20:06) in 25th, sophomore Anna Lucy Buddenhagen (20:09) in 26th, and junior Lilly Cory (20:13) in 31st – each in a seasonal best time. Each of the next five girls who raced across the line also achieved personal bests including Abby Howard (46th, 20:29), Christina Doolan (70th, 20:56), Elena Thoman (76th, 20:59), Lilia Scudamore (84th, 21:08) and Grace Burnett (95th, 21:28).
Championship season is now upon us. First up is the DPS League Championship hosted by East at City Park on Tuesday, October 10. (As the host, we will count on our parents and fans to help make the meet a success, so be sure to sign up.) This will be the last meet of the season for the majority of the team, so definitely one at which we take aim. It is always our goal to sweep the four team titles. We know the competition has gotten better each of the last three years with South on the boys’ side and North on the girls’ side certainly ready to put up stiff competition.
For the varsity teams, state meet qualifying takes place at the 5A Region 1 Championship on October 19, at the Northglenn Open Spaces Park. For those teams and individuals who qualify, the Colorado State Meet is on October 28, at the Norris-Penrose Center in Colorado Springs.