For the first time in four years, Denver East sent a boys team to the Colorado State Meet. For the first time in more than 20 years, the Angels were represented by a girls team at the State Meet. So in 2017, for the first time ever, East had both a boys and girls team competing at the Colorado State Championship Meet.
When the boys took to the course, the temperature had just about reached 40 degrees. Despite these favorable running conditions, the pack of nearly 160 of Colorado’s best prep runners took out the pace fairly slowly despite what is a net downhill first mile. East senior Harrison Scudamore was in 8th place at the mile in a relatively leisurely 5:17. The second mile brings most of the hills on the challenging Norris Penrose course, and the effort picked up precipitously over the hills with the lead pack running that mile in 5:16. Over the final 1.12 miles, including the notorious uphill finish out of the creek crossing, Harrison would average a 4:46 pace, but nonetheless was beat to the finish by four other runners, finishing 5th overall for the second straight year. Meanwhile, sophomore Will Daley moved up from 99th at the mile to 93rd at 2 miles and then 76th at the finish. Fellow sophomore Asher Hoyt finished 106th while senior Jackson Adams ran to a massive personal best, despite the difficult course, of 17:45 for 135th place. Sophomore Riley Nickols finished off the scoring in 146th place. Freshmen Ian Trautwein and Xander Pacini finished 153rd and 159th. When it was all over, the Angel boys had exceeded expectations with a 16th place overall team finish.
Unlike the boys race, the 5A girls race went out blazing fast. The East girls, always closely packed, put themselves in good position over the first mile and did their best to hold on and move up over the next 2 miles. Leading the way through the finish line for the Angels for the first time all season was sophomore Anna Lucy Buddenhagen with an 85th place finish and an impressive time of 20:11. The rest of the East scoring pack would come through within 25 seconds, with senior Nell Salzman finishing 92nd, freshman AlanaMarie Barros in 97th, junior Lilly Cory in 109th, and senior Laurel Kruger in 114th. Freshman Abby Howard was 123rd and sophomore Lindsey Weyant in 151st. When the points had been totaled, the Angels had finished 16th – quite possibly the best ever finish by an East girls team. Only ten other teams finished with both boys and girls teams in the top 16 in the State.
The Future Looks Bright
The boys and girls teams will each graduate two seniors this spring. A well balanced and deep girls team looks to be well positioned next year to improve on this year’s finish at State. A rapidly improving boys team that will likely feature exclusively sophomores and juniors, looks well positioned to make another run at qualifying for State if they put the work in over the summer. We encourage all of our cross country athletes to run track in the winter and spring.
We look forward to celebrating this season with everyone at the banquet next month. You can purchase tickets online: https://east-xc-banquet-tickets-2017.cheddarup.com
You can also sign up for the Running Club’s Snow Shoe Trip online as well. This is not an official activity of the cross country team, but is a great opportunity to play, train, and connect. https://snow-shoe-trip-jan-20-21-2018.cheddarup.com