Recap: Angels in a Trifecta of Meets Across Two States (and upcoming fun)

It was a busy and exhausting week for the Angels who competed in three meets in two states, and managed a lot of disruptions to normal routines.

On the course, the Angels first competed on Tuesday at the North Viking Invitational on the Case Willis Golf Course. The East coaches really like this course – a true cross country course that is 100% grass with challenging hills. They like it so much they have generally brought athletes to workout there even if the plan was not to race – which was the case for most of the athletes racing varsity. Senior Ben Hopper ran the strongest workout of the boys team, while ninth grader Abraham Morginsky was a highlight for the Angels with his 50th place finish in 21:06 – the 4th best finish of any freshman in the race. Junior Anna Rothman-Haji ran the best race of the East Girls with a 23:04 for 17th place. The Denver East Girls really flexed their depth in the JV Girls race, where they finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th and 20th, giving them an easy team win. Senior Eleanor Goldstein (24:46) led the way for the Angels, followed by ninth grader Daniela Maldonado-Ramos (25:08) and a trio of sophomores: Ella Terch (25:36), Grace Taub (26:10), and Yelena Konowal (27:30). The JV Boys were led by sophomore Donovan Aggeler (21:27), freshman Mason Harper (21:33), and sophomore Noah Shurz (21:39) with 8th, 9th and 10th place finishes, followed by juniors Carson Lerner (22:29) and Linus Cole (23:08) in 19th and 28th respectively. The team’s 67 points was good enough for 2nd place of 13 teams.

Over the weekend, the Angel Varsity and JV1 teams took the long drive across the eastern half of our fine state and nearly the entire length of Kansas to get to the Rim Rock Farm Invitational. University of Kansas’s Rim Rock Farm cross country course is one of the most iconic in the nation, and the Angels were thrilled to return for the first time since 2019. The meet attracts 300 schools from seven states, with the Angels competing in the prestigious Gold Division. JV raced Friday evening under nearly perfect overcast conditions. The course is a challenging one, with the worst of the hills–Cemetery Hill– coming 2.5 miles into the race. The East JV Girls were not the most aggressive team off the starting line, but by the time they had crested Cemetery Hill, they had buried their competition. Sophomore Lila Cypers led the charge kicking to a 3rd place finish in 21:30. Ninth grader Mary Clare Nussbaum covered the course in 21:44 for 5th place, followed closely by junior Avery Ash (21:46) and senior Helen Miller (21:28) in 6th and 7th. Senior Bri O’Meara closed out the scoring for Angels with her 10th place finish in 22:04. The Angels scored a mere 31 points for a dominating win.

Junior Kai Luna steadily moved his way up through the top-10 runners in the Boys JV race, competing for the win in the final straight away, eventually coming a mere 3 tenths of a second short of the win with his 2nd place 17:36.6 finish. Seniors Garrett Johnson (18:08) and Charlie Keglovitz (18:27) both cracked the top-25 with their 9th and 19th place finishes respectively. Sophomore Ben Brown crossed the finish in 18:46 for 27th, junior Finn Egan 37th in 19:05 and sophomore Finley Steed in 19:23 for 51st. The Angels totaled 85 points for 3rd place – the best finish for an East Boys JV team at this meet. 

The Angels returned to the Farm on Saturday for the Varsity races. The East Girls would once again be led by sophomore Rosie Mucharsky who stuck with the lead pack for an 8th place finish in 19:11. Junior Sophia Shiroff finished 32nd in 20:16, followed closely by ninth graders Scout Chomas (38th, 20:23) and the late charging Julieta Ochoa (52nd, 20:37). Junior Sasha Bull closed out the scoring with her 58th place finish in 20:49, followed by ninth grader Kairine Brown (93rd, 21:41) and Evelyn Higgins (95th, 21:45). The Angel Varsity Girls made the podium for the first time at this meet with a 3rd place finish of 22 of the best teams from the Heartland. 

Sophomore Jonas Scudamore led the Varsity Boys for the first time in his career, breaking into the top-25 of all finishers with his 23rd place finish in 16:29. Senior Quinn Higgins was just a handful of seconds back with his 30th place finish in 16:37. Freshman Henry Bennett moved up to 59th in 17:06, senior Ian Logan held on to 77th in 17:19, and junior Connor Beardsley rounded out the top-5 Angels with his 89th place finish in 17:26, followed closely by seniors Harry Hittle in 93rd and 17:28, and Ben Hopper in 95th and 17:31. The Boys varsity finished a solid, if somewhat humbling, 11th of 25 teams in the Gold Division. 

As things were finishing up in Kansas, the Angels remaining in Colorado were taking the course at the Northfield Nighthawk Invitational. In the Varsity Girls race, the athletes that had powered the JV teams at the North Viking Invite on Tuesday paced the varsity teams on Saturday. For the Girls, it was senior Eleanor Goldstein to be first across the line for the Angels with her 24:29, 51st place finish. Daniela Maldonado-Ramos was 56th in 24:47, Grace Taub 58th in 24:54, senior Siena Berry 62nd in 25:12, and sophomores Yelena Konowal 70th and Rae Tatel 91st in 25:56 and 27:54 respectively. Abraham Morginsky led the Varsity Boys in 20:02 for 41st, with Noah Shurz (20:24) 51st, Mason Harper (20:40) 55th, and sophomore Ben Parish (21:02) and Donovan Aggeler (21:08) 70th and 71st. The Angel Boys took 10th of 16 schools and the Girls 9th of 12 schools –  East’s JV2 teams holding their own in varsity competition. The remaining JV runners finished even better as teams in the Open Division, with the Boy taking 6th of 11 teams and the Girls 4th of 8 teams. Scoring for the Boys were Linus Cole (20th, 21:30), freshman Jonathan Martin (27th, 22:04), junior Isaac Ely (34th, 22:14), and freshmen Cash Griffin (41st, 22:31) and Ved Mohare (46th, 22:53). For the Girls it was junior Emma Pieracci (24th, 26:25), ninth grader Thea Shaff (38th, 27:57), senior Lillian McGlothlen (47th, 28:58), ninth grader Liza Cathey (51st, 29:22) and sophomore Lucia Artley (53rd, 29:38).

Since the Washington Park Invitational a month ago, the Angels have run a gauntlet of incredibly competitive meets against State and Nationally ranked teams weekly, while the JV has been asked to race at the varsity level at smaller meets three times in the last two weeks. The Invitational season concludes for the Angels on Saturday at the Pat Patten Invitational in Boulder (Viele Lake Park). The level of competition does not let up – of the 22 teams competing, the majority are ranked in the top-10 of their respective divisions in Colorado, including a couple nationally ranked teams. The Angels approach the season with the philosophy that tough competition forges tough competitors, and that this relentlessly challenging invitational schedule will prepare the team for the Championship season – a mere 2 weeks away!

Mark your calendars:

Thursday Sept 29- athlete potluck

Saturday Oct 1- Pat Patten Invite

Monday Oct 3- Chipotle Fundraiser. from 4-8, mention Angels XC and we get a portion of your purchase.

Weds Oct 12- DPS League Championship and party/fundraiser at Illegal Pete’s

Sunday Dec 4- end of season banquet from 1:00-4:00 at the Mercury Cafe