5A Region 3 Championships – October 8, 2020
After some races there is a feeling of exaltation. After other races there is a feeling of disappointment. Following the 5A Region 3 Championships at Monarch High School on a warm smoky day, what most of the Angel harriers seemed to be feeling was relief. The East Girls, as expected, qualified for the Colorado State Championship Meet with their 3rdplace finish, and the East Boys, competing with only single runner with previous Regionals experience and not a single senior, demonstrated the tenacity that will make them a threat in the Region in the years to come.
The Girls got to race first in Louisville, over a deceptively rough course described by Coach Kohuth as “a grinder.” Pomona High School super-soph Emma Stutzman took off from the start and never looked back on her way to an easy and highly anticipated individual win. The lead chase pack consisted of East senior Laura Romero, a couple runners from Broomfield High School, and a runner each from Legacy High School and Fairview High School, with East senior Julia Schor trailing not far behind. This pack would not breakup significantly until the final 1000m of the race with Romero taking 3rdplace in 19:20 and Schor 6thin 19:35. Senior Maya Winfield, who along with senior Abby Howard, had also started in the first wave, came through with a strong 15thplace finish overall in 20:55 with an evenly paced effort. With 3 runners finishing in the top-15, East looked to be in good shape. However, as has been the case with trying to watch these wave start races this year, what was transpiring farther back in the race was hard to decipher. The 2ndwave, which included East junior Annabel Filippini and senior Maya Nussbaumer, had taken off at a scorching pace and the lead runners were clearly making up ground on much of the back half of the 1stwave. East’s runners seemed to have held their competitors close, but two teams (Broomfield and Fairview) had clearly placed more runners in the top-20 and it appeared there were at least 3 teams in the hunt for the final state qualifying spot. To add to the confusion, the initial results shared by the timing company failed to correct for the wave starts. Coaches Fehrman and Scudamore huddled over their phones and manually added up the scores themselves with anxious athletes asking “did we qualify?” The math looked favorable for the Angels, and there was great relief when delayed official results showed that Howard’s 32ndplace (21:48), Filippini’s 35th(22:01) and Nussbaumer’s 37th(22:14) were good enough for a 91-point total and the 3rdand final qualifying spot – 12 points ahead of 4thplace Boulder and 13 points ahead of 5thplace Ralston Valley.
For the Boys Team, only junior Eamon Nussbaum would race from the first wave, while the rest of the team started with the second wave. Nussbaum, nursing an injury for the last 2 weeks, ran near the back of his wave and moved up nicely to secure a 16thplace finish in 17:35. Back in the 2ndwave, sophomore Ben Hopper demonstrated poise as he moved steadily up into the middle of the pack to take 31stin 18:24. Led by junior Charlie Kruger, the rest of the East Angels would move up from the very back of the 2ndwave, picking off runners who could not stay with the aggressive pace up front. Similar to the week prior, junior Jack Kreikels would out sprint Kruger in the final stretch, this time taking 36thin 18:58 to Kruger’s 37thin 19:00. Ninth grader Grant Elliott, also nursing an injury in the week leading up to the race, finished 44thin 19:34, while fellow 9thgrader Kai Luna finished 49thin 19:54. The Angel’s 7thplace finish would officially bring this strange season to an end for the Boys. While the Regional finish was a bit humbling, the team exceeded pre-season expectations. The entire team returns in 2021, and the East Boys look likely to defend their DPS League title for a 4thconsecutive year and well positioned to threaten for a State qualifying spot.
On Saturday, October 17, the Girls will look to repeat their top-10 Colorado 5A finish from a year ago. The Colorado State Meet returns to the Norris-Penrose Event Center where the Girls will race at 4:45pm in a meet limited to 4 waves of 25 athletes. Among other changes to this year’s meet, spectators and all but 2 coaches will be limited to the Bear Creek side of the course. Follow the website for more details on the race and spectating options as we learn more.
Click here for complete results: 5A Region 3 Championships – Results