The penultimate week of the invitational part of the season was one of the busiest yet with three meets from Denver, to Boulder, to Lawrence Kansas.
North Viking Invitational
On Tuesday the Angels took to the Case Willis Golf Course for the North Viking Invitational – the best meet of the DPS season until the City Championship. Considering the competition, many East runners had great races on Tuesday afternoon on a deceptively warm day at the challenging Willis Case course in NW Denver. Girls and boys both finished 11 out of 22 and 25 teams in their respective fields. With JV, JV2 & 3 racing against largely varsity and full JV squads (our varsity and top JV runners were preparing for the Kansas Rim Rock trip), the Angels placed in the top third to top half in all four races! The JV boys and girls both placed 7th in their races.
A lot of guts were displayed by our athletes tackling “Mt Willis Case” at mile 1 and again at mile 2.5 on a windy, dry, cloudless and surprisingly warm day; Angels displayed effort, purpose and focus, passing competitors with determination on the hill. Many athletes were walking this hill, but none of ours did and they used the hill to pass competitors.
Breakout runs were made by Maya Nussbeumer, Maya Winfield and Julia Schor. Nussbeumer and Schor worked nicely together in the varsity race while Winfield raced alone as East’s top finisher in the girls JV race. Top finishes in the varsity race were put in by sophomore Maisie Moskowitz and freshman Xander Pacini. Senior Gunner Ranum finished as the top JV runner in what was one of his most inspired races as an East High XC runner.
Rim Rock Classic Invitational in Lawrence, Kansas
Kansas has hills! That is what the 20 East Angels who were fortunate enough to make the trip found out on Friday when previewing the historic Rim Rock Farm cross country course, eleven miles north of the University of Kansas. The all grass and dirt course, which also includes a couple of covered bridges, was different than anything East runners had seen in Colorado, and the Angels were excited for the challenge.
On Saturday, more than 130 teams from at least eight states converged on Rim Rock for what was described by the meet organizers as the warmest day in memory for the meet – so hot and humid (near 90, in both cases), that the final four race of the day had to be cancelled. Fortunately, East was competing in the most competitive division and three of the first four races of the day, before conditions transitioned from challenging to unsafe.
Girls JV were the first to race on Saturday, and despite their youth, East ran with intelligence and poise. Ninth graders Lilia Scudamore (21:32), Christina Doolan (21:54) and Grace Burnett (22:05) ran from deep within the pack of 200 runner to move up to 2nd, 10th, and 19th place finishes respectively. Sophomore Lindsay Weyant and freshman Grace O’Meara finished in identical times of 22:38 for 43rd and 44th to round out the scoring for East, whose 118 points was good enough for 5th place out of 28 teams.
The Girls Varsity would be the next East team to take to the course. East’s scoring five all finished between 52nd and 88th place for a total of 376 points for 13th place out of 36 teams. Ninth grader AlanaMarie Barros led the Angels with a time of 20:33, followed by senior (and recently crowned Homecoming Queen) Nell Salzman in 73rd (20:51) and senior Laurel Kruger in 77th (20:56). Scoring was completed when sophomore Anna Lucy Buddenhagen came across in 21:06 for 87th and Abigael Howard in 21:08 for 88th. Elena Thoman completed the course in 21:36 for 125th and Emily Turner in 22:22 for 171st.
The Boys Varsity, seeded 33rd of the 44 teams, exceeded expectations with a 28th place finish in the most competitive division of the day. Harrison Scudamore led the Angels, running a strategic race. Starting from the back of the lead pack in the first half-mile, he moved his way up to 4th place midway through race, and closed fast on the eventual winner (the #1 ranked runner in Missouri, #23 nationally), narrowing a 12 second gap with half a mile to run to just 4 seconds at the finish, placing second overall in 15:32 and ahead of the #1 ranked runners from Nebraska and Kansas. Sophomore Asher Hoyt came across the line in 17:06 for 65th place, again one of the top underclassmen in the race. Despite fighting a respiratory illness all weekend, sophomore Will Daley finished strong in 17:55 for 167th place followed by Jackson Adams (18:39, 231st), sophomores Elijah Bruggeman (18:48, 242nd) and Riley Nickols (18:57, 261st), and senior Patrick Cox (19:03, 262nd).
Pat Patten Invitational
On a cool and cloudy Saturday in Boulder, a small, but strong crew of athletes turned in great performances against the state’s best teams. Given the opportunity to run some of their first varsity races, both the boys and girls teams yielded great results, with all 9 boys running varsity coming in under 22 minutes. Henry Kaufman, Gus Trautwein, and Jack Beardshear joined the sub-20 club. The girls’ performances were equally admirable, with all 7 girls running varsity going under 24 minutes, with senior Audrey McGlothlen joining the sub-23 club. The JV races were equally impressive. Jack H Thompson was the first boy across the line for East in just over 21 minutes, and Jane Port came in first among the girls in under 25 minutes. While it isn’t apparent in the results, given the competition, this was some of the best racing of the year, with over half of the runners turning in season or career bests, some by as much as two and three minutes. Coaches Miller, Fehrman, and Spano, were all definitely impressed by the effort!
In the last week of invitational competition, the East Angels head to the inaugural Cowboy Invitational at Denver West High School on Wednesday and the always fast Thornton Invitational on Friday. Many will race twice this week. Look for entries to be posted soon.
And of course, you can support our team by helping to transport the tent at this link.
See you at Chipotle on Tuesday evening!