East Cross Country Is Back on the Course
Nine days following an intrasquad time trial that had more than a handful of noteworthy performances, East Cross Country hit the course at the Washington Park Invitation against a mix of about eighteen teams that compete at the 2A to 5A level. The Angels exceeded even the high expectations set the week prior.
Girls Varsity were the first to race over what old timers would describe as a European style 5k course on 100% thick grass loops on the large meadow in the middle of the park, around which the usual volleyball and spikeball games were scattered. Ninth grader Rosie Mucharsky was immediately at the front of the pack. Rosie smartly sat a few meters behind the lead runner until about 1200m to go, then launching a strong surge to the lead that would culminate with a 24 second victory in her debut. Her 18:36 is a Denver East girls’ record and currently sits as the 6th fastest time in the State. Sophomore Grace Todd, running her first varsity race, finished 11th in 20:12, while fellow sophomore Sophia Shiroff was 14th in 20:45. In this “rebuilding year,” every runner who followed for East was running their first varsity race and each ran a personal best (some by minutes!): Junior Bri O’Meara 25th, 21:34; sophomore Sasha Bull 27th, 21:44; junior Helen Miller 28th, 21:50, ninth-grader Lila Cypers 29th 22:10, and junior Ellie Goldstein 57th in 23:14. Quick rebuilders that they are, and despite missing several seniors taking the ACT, East came away with the team title with 66 points, followed by fellow 5A power Grandview with 80 points and league rivals Denver South with 81 points and Northfield with 92 points.
Boys Varsity followed the Girls on the course with a mix of veterans and newcomers to the varsity level. Senior Eamon Nussbaum, who led the Angels for all of the 2020 campaign, again led the team with a smartly run 5K during which he moved up from about 12th at the mile mark to 4th overall in 16:53 – joining the small list of East runners to have broken 17 minutes for the first time. Junior Quinn Higgins, new to varsity, threatened the 17 minute barrier with a 17:06 run – personal best by a full 3 minutes – for 8th place. Freshman Jonas Scudamore ran 17:51 (the 10th fastest time by a frosh in Colorado thus far) for 23rdplace, followed closely by junior Ian Logan (24th, 17:55) and senior Owen Congdon (31st, 18:05) who also finished with substantial personal bests. Varsity stalwarts junior Ben Hopper and sophomore Kai Luna finished together in 38th and 39th in 18:34, followed by varsity newcomers senior Josh Bruggeman (41st 18:35) and junior Charlie Keglovitz (52nd, 19:00) – both pr’s. Together, the Angels totaled 79 points, good enough for 2nd behind only Grandview High School and well ahead of 3rdplace Mesa Ridge High School with 116 points and 4th place Denver South with 119.
The Open/JV races that followed ran around the same fields but for a 3000m distance rather than the 5000m distance. The Angels were led in the JV Girls race by a pair ninth-graders: Ella Terch moving up nicely in the latter part of the race for a 2nd place finish in 12:53 and Franny Hebbard who also rallied late to finish 7th in 13:17. Junior Evelyn Higgins finished 8th in 13:17, sophomore Anna Rothman-Haji 10th in 13:19, junior Clara Artley 13th in 13:23, sophomore Avery Ash 14th in 13:24, and junior Siena Berry 17th in 13:37, made up the rest of East’s top-7 runners in the race. The scoring five runners totaled a mere 40 points, 7 points back of the winning Grandview team and 30 points ahead of 3rd place Northfield.
The JV Boys were the last to take the course. Similar to the JV Girls, the JV Boys were led by a couple rookies to the team: junior Julio Dominguez-Perez finishing 3rd in 10:40 and freshman Finley Steed finishing 5th in 10:51. This pair was followed by a strong pack that included junior Corbin Hobert (9th, 11:03), sophomores Garrett Johnson (12th 11:06) and Connor Beardsley(13th, 11:13), a trio of freshmen Oliver Gustavson (20th 11:34), Matias Sifuentes (21st, 11:39), and Emmit Barros (22nd, 11:41) and sophomore Carson Lerner (24th, 11:43). The Boys’ scoring five totaled 38 points, well ahead of Grandview’s 57 and South’s 66, securing the Angels a 2nd team championship for the day.
Full results for all meets are always available at the Colorado MileSplit website: https://co.milesplit.com/meets/437670-washington-park-invitational-2021/results#.YS5mFIhKiUk
Coming off this promising opener, the Angels travel to Broomfield Commons Park on Friday for the Legacy Lightening Invitational. Thirty-eight teams are scheduled to compete at this meet including several 5A Region 3 teams the Angels will face on the same course at the Regional Championship in October for a chance to qualify for the State Meet. Boys Varsity will kick things off at 3:30pm, followed by Girls Varsity at 4:00pm, Boys JV at 4:30 and Girls JV at 4:45pm.