It was a perfect day to run cross country in the open spaces around Lyons High School on Tuesday morning as teams from around Colorado gathered for Regional Championships. Although the East Angels did not achieve all the goals they had been working for, three Angels are moving on to the State Meet and the teams performed outstandingly against the competition.
The Boys Team ran in the first race of the day. The top four teams from each Region would qualify for the State Meet as well as the top-15 individuals in each race. The three boys teams from Boulder County–Boulder High School. Monarch High School, and Fairview High School–were heavily favored to qualify. Of the other nine schools competing, it would come down to the Angels, Ralston Valley High School, and Legacy High School for the final qualifying spot. Soon after the gun went off juniors Will Daley and Asher Hoyt would find their way into the lead pack while most of the rest of the team stayed back behind most of their competition. At the one-mile mark, Denver East was in 8th place as a team. Soon after the mile mark, Daley moved his way up to share the lead and soon after surged to the lead on his own. Daley would extend his lead to as much as eight seconds by 2.5 miles into the race. By the 2-mile mark, the Angels had moved up nicely to 5th place as a team, 25 points back of 4th place Ralston Valley. Over the final half mile of the race the top runner from Fairview High School closed most of the gap between himself and Daley, but Daley held on for the victory by 2 seconds. Hoyt finished strong and placed 6th place overall. The pack of junior Riley Nickols, and sophomores Ian Trautwein, and Xander Pacini closed well in the final mile finishing 40th, 42nd, and 44th, but it was not quite enough as the Angels finished 18 points behind 4th place. Senior Eden Scott finished 46th, ninth grader Eamon Nussbaum 52nd, and juniors Elijah Bruggeman and Jack Beardshear 62nd and 80th. Daley and Hoyt will represent East at the State Meet, and with eight of nine runners returning next year, there are high expectations for qualifying the entire team in 2019.
As the Girls Team toed the line, they knew the task in front of them was formidable. Four of the twelve teams in their race were ranked in the top-9 in Colorado. In fact, all four of those teams–Boulder, Monarch, Fairview, and Broomfield–had finished no worse than 11th in the State Meet in the last two seasons. Nonetheless, the Angels put themselves in a position to succeed from the first mile. Sophomore Abby Howard was in the top-15 throughout the race and would go on to finish 11th, with a strong finishing kick punching her ticket to the State Meet. The rest of East’s scoring pack had aimed for finishes in the top 20 to 25, and nearly got there, with senior Lilly Cory, juniors Anna Buddenhagen and Lindsey Weyant, and sophomore Maya Winfield finishing 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th. With a score of 113 points, the Angels finished in 5th place, 30 points behind 4th place Boulder, as all four of the top teams demonstrated why they had been ranked in the top-10 all season. Junior Elena Thoman finished 33rd, and sophomores AlanaMarie Barros, Julia Schor and Lilia Scudamore finished 36th, 39th, and 55th. While a 5th place team finish was disappointing, the Angels had put out a great effort; the Angels top 5 runners averaged 42 seconds faster over the 5K than their top 5 had over the same course near 6 weeks earlier. Like the Boys Team, eight of nine Angel competitors return in 2019, so hopes run high for qualifying the team next season.
Daley, Hoyt and Howard race at the State Meet at the Norris-Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs on Saturday, October 27. 5A Girls race at 9:40 and 5A Boys race at 11:00. We hope to have a large contingent of supporters at the meet to support our three Angels.