Five years ago, the Denver East Boys and Girls Cross Country teams both qualified for the Colorado State Championships at the regional championships hosted at NW Open Spaces Park in Northglenn. This marked the first time both teams had qualified in the same year. The Angels returned to the Northglenn course on Thursday, on an unusually warm day for late October, and repeated this accomplishment in definitive fashion; collectively, it was the best performance by Denver East at Regionals in program history.
In the Boys Championship race, the top-5 runners for East were a dominant presence in the lead pack from the first half mile to the end of the race, with just a single runner substantially ahead of this pack. Like the week prior, sophomore Jonas Scudamore and senior Quinn Higgins ran together for nearly the entire race. The pair was never outside the top half dozen runners, eventually moving up to 3rd and 4th place entering the final mile. In the final kick, Scudamore (16:17) would eventually run-down 2nd place right before the finish line, behind only Erie’s Evan Krauss, who currently owns the 6th fastest time in Colorado. Higgins finished 4th in 16:22. Freshman Henry Bennett was again the top freshman in his race, moving up to 11th place over the last mile. Senior Ian Logan stuck with his teammates in the lead pack, finishing 13th in 16:53. A single place behind, senior Corbin Hobert held on to 14th place in his first race back in more than a month – good enough to help the Angels secure first place in the meet and give him some momentum heading into State Meet. Senior Harry Hittle, who has held down the #5 or #6 position on the Angels’ varsity most of the year, was coming off a couple disappointing races; on Thursday, Hittle ran the first mile a smidge more conservatively than he had most of the season, leaving him ready to move up throughout the race, including passing a handful of runners in the final sprint to grab 24th place as East’s 6th runner in 17:34. Junior Connor Beardsley (17:45), who prior to this season had no varsity experience, but who has held a varsity spot for every meet he has raced in 2022, was East’s #7 runner on Thursday and 34th overall. Last week’s hero, senior Ben Hopper (18:22), moved up to 45th place overall, with junior Kai Luna (18:24) in 46th – had East needed either of these runners in the #5 spot, they would have provided enough for East to advance to State. Five of East’s boys finished inside the top-15 overall, which would have qualified each of them as individuals for State. Together, they totaled a meager 44 points to take the Regional Championship and easily qualify as a team. The Regional Championship is the first for the Angels in a really long time; the closest East has been in memory was 2012, when the first, second and third place teams had an identical number of points, but East was awarded 3rd based on the “6th runner rule.” On Thursday no such tie breaker was needed; the Angels were trailed by the other state-qualifying teams: Fairview with 57, Monarch with 83, and Erie with 84.
Up front in the Girls Championship race, sophomore Rosie Mucharsky (18:46) ran with the lead three runners most of the first mile, faded to 4th in the middle mile, and battled back with a great finishing kick to take 3rd place overall. Just a bit further back, junior Grace Todd (19:42) steadily moved her way into the coveted top-15, eventually out dueling a couple runners in the final stretch to take 13th overall. Junior Sophia Shiroff (20:35) fought off a nasty respiratory virus, the heat, and the competition, to hold on to 27th place for Angels as their 5th runner – a good 20 places better than the Angels had hoped their 5th runner would finish. That strong placing of the top-5 East runners was largely delivered by ninth graders Julieta Ochoa (who managed a PR despite the heat) and Scout Chomas, both of whom stormed through the field and passed Shiroff and many other runners to grab 20th and 23rd place in 20:25 and 20:30, far exceeding expectations in their debuts at the Regional Championships. Junior stalwart Sasha Bull ran to a 38th place finish in 21:13 as East’s 6th runner, while junior Avery Ash, making her first varsity appearance in a championship race, raced to 48th place in 21:46. Ninth grader Kairine Brown was 54th in 21:58 and sophomore Lila Cypers was 59th in 22:21. The East Girls finished with 86 points, 20 points better than projected, to take 3rd place, behind Boulder (61 points) and Fairview (70 points) and ahead of fourth place Broomfield (95 points). Having missed making the State meet by a single point last year, being 59 points ahead of 5th place of Monarch was particularly sweet.
The Denver East Angels Cross Country Teams will race at the Colorado State Meet at the Norris Penrose Event Center on Saturday, October 29. The Boys’ team looks poised to improve on their 11th place finish from one year ago while the Girls could threaten the 8th place finish from 2019, which was the best in school history for an East Girls’ team. The Boys race at 9:40am and the Girls at 11:00am.
DPS League Meet Afterward:
To put an exclamation point on how meaningful sweeping the team titles at the league meet has become, check out DPS results at Regional Championships around Colorado. Denver South Boys qualified for State out of 5A Region 2, and the Northfield and George Washington Boys and Girls Teams qualified for State out of 4A Region 3. Five boys from DPS finished in the top-4 at their respective regionals. DPS will be represented at State as well as any league in Colorado.
PS: Don’t forget to get your banquet tickets soon. So much to celebrate this season!
Car Pool: If you can give a ride or if you need a ride to the Regional meet on Thursday, click HERE. Plan on arriving at NW Open Spaces Park in Northglenn close at 12:30pm.
Early Dismissal: All of the regional team and alternates will be dismissed after 4th period (11:45am) on Thursday. All other JV team members may also be dismissed after 4th period to cheer on their teammates, but in oder to get JV early dismissal, please sign up on this google sheet: Early dismissal for JV runners
Tent: We need someone to pick up the tent after regionals and to bring it to State. Click here if you can help: Tent Sign Up
Uniform Return: Thanks to all who returned their uniform today! If you didn’t turn it in today, please bring it after school on Monday, Oct 24 to turn it in to the uniform volunteers.
If you have a regionals team jacket or 1/4 zip and are not part of the regionals team this year, please bring it to Kohuth’s office on Wednesday (10/19). We won’t have enough for the regionals team unless we get last year’s jackets back. Thank you!!
The 5A Region 3 Championships will be held on Thursday, Oct 20th at NW Open Spaces Park in Northglenn.
IMPORTANT PARKING INFORMATION- All parking should be in the North parking lot off of 112th Ave. The South parking lot will be closed since the course runs through the lot. The limited parking on the SE corner of the parking lot will be reserved for Timers, Officials and Volunteers. There are a small number of spots in the NE corner of the parking lot that will be available for the early arrivers. The traffic circle on the south side of the parking North parking lot is not for parking or driving through as runners will be passing through that area!
Schedule for races is as follows:
5A Boys 2:00pm
5A Girls 2:45pm
3A Boys 3:30pm
3A Girls 4:15pm
The top 4 teams and top 15 individuals in this race will qualify for the State Championship on October 29.
* Transportation and release times will be available later this week. *
Topline team goal, every year, is sweeping the team titles at “City.” “We Run this City” is not just a motto; it is a mission. A mission for which the entire team is a part. Mission Accomplished!
JV Boys got to hit the course at Central Park first on a breezy, but otherwise pleasant day for racing and spectating. As would be the case with the JV Girls who followed five minute later, the runners from Northfield High School got off the line aggressively with the East Angels in pursuit. By midway through the race, it was clear the Angels were moving up nicely, and by 2.5 miles, it was clear the Angels had run the better race and would bring home the team title. Sophomore Ben Brown and freshman Toby Penner would work together most of the race, eventually claiming 2nd and 3rd respectively in 18:40 and 18:45. Co-captain Charlie Keglovitz ran strong to secure 5th in 19:05, followed by junior Finn Egan who charged into the finish in 6th in 19:08. Abraham Morginsky, consistently one of the top freshmen in every race he has run, claimed 8th in 19:37. The East JV Boys scored a mere 24 points. For context, when a team scores 27 or fewer points, they have “beat the field,” meaning the combined score of all the other teams would not have been enough to defeat the Angels. Sophomore Finley Steed (11th, 19:47) and freshman Kyle Kojima (14th, 20:07) rounded out the first seven for the Angels. Northfield ended up second with 31 points and Denver South was 3rd with 95 points of the 8 scoring teams.
In the JV Girls race, ninth grader Kairine Brown took the lead early and never looked back. While she would be accompanied early on by a single runner from Northfield, Brown steadily pulled away for a 20 second win in 21:35. Behind her, the East Angel JV Girls were steadily making their way up through a pack of Northfield girls, the pre-race favorites, who had initially made up most of the top-10 runners in the race over the first mile. Unfortunately for Northfield, cross country is scored at the conclusion of five kilometers, not after one mile. Juniors Avery Ash and Ann Rothman-Haji moved up smartly throughout to secure 3rd and 5th place in 22:00 and 22:13. Ninth grader Quinn Dunkin, whose early season racing was limited due to injury, ran to a 9th place finish in 23:02, followed by Co-Captains Helen Miller (10th, 23:06) and Bri O’Meara (12th, 23:19). Ninth grader Meara McBride was 22nd in 23:58, sophomore Ella Terch was 24th 24:12, and Co-Captains Eleanor Goldstein and Siena Berry were 24th and 27th in 24:38 and 24:45. The East Angel JV Girls comfortably outpaced 2nd place Northfield High School 28 to 40, with Denver South High School 3rd with 77 points.
The Varsity Boys toed the line as slight underdogs to Denver South. The first mile of the race went out as anticipated with a trio of runners, two from South and one from George Washington, taking the early lead. East’s usual lead group of Co-Captains Quinn Higgins and Ian Logan, sophomore Jonas Scudamore, and freshman Henry Bennett followed, along with a pair of runners from Northfield. Another 10-15 runners back, senior Harry Hittle and juniors Kai Luna and Connor Beardsley battled for position, while Co-Captain Ben Hopper trailed by another few places. By two miles Higgins and Scudamore had separated themselves from the rest of the first chase pack and were securely in 4th and 5th, while Logan and Bennett held 8th and 9th, with a widening gap back to 10th place. At this point, Beardsley looked to be the 5th Angel scorer, but things were looking more favorable for South, as he, Hopper, Hittle and Luna were well behind the 5th runner for South. With 400m to go, East was at least a point back of South, as South’s 3rd, 4th and 5th runners headed toward the finish in 13th, 14th, and 15th place. While East had an advantage of five points when scoring the first four runners of each team, the Angels’ 5th runner would need to finish no worse than four places back of South’s 5th runner to steal the victory, and at that point Beardsley and Hopper were running 21st and 22nd. In a finish that will become part of Angels lore for years to come, Hopper unleashed a finishing kick that propelled him past Beardsley and two Northfield runners to secure 19th place and East another team championship, 45-46 over the Ravens. The Northfield Nighthawks were just a few additional points back for 3rd with 52 points. Beardsley held on to 22nd place, three places ahead of the 6th South runner, which could have proven critical had the score been tied after the first five runners. Luna placed 27th and Hittle 28th of 81 runners in the race.
The Girls Varsity took care of business a little less dramatically. Sophomore Rosie Mucharsky took an early and definitive lead in the first 200m, eventually stretching out her advantage to 27 seconds on her way to her second individual league championship in 18:31. A pair of Northfield girls trailed Mucharsky, who were themselves trailed early on by a pack of runners which included juniors Grace Todd and Sophia Shiroff and ninth grader Scout Chomas. Todd would eventually be in a sprint for places 5th-7th, for which she claimed 6th in 20:18. Chomas claimed 8th in 20:25 and Shiroff 11th in 20:35. Ninth grader Julieta Ochoa again made her way up through the pack to race to a 12th place finish in 20:43. With five runners in the top twelve and no other team with more than three, there was little doubt that the Angels had successfully defended their title for another year. Junior Sasha Bull finished 18th in 21:33, sophomore Lila Cypers 24th in 21:48, ninth grader Mary Clare Nussbaum 28th in 22:18, and Co-Captain Evelyn Higgins 29th in 22:27; East’s 6th – 9th runners were ahead of their counterparts on every other team. The final score had Denver East at 38 points, Northfield 51, George Washington 58, and South 69.
It was certainly fun to celebrate a fifth consecutive year of sweeping all divisions of the League Championship. The task becomes more meaningful every year as the challenge to defeat the likes of Northfield and Denver South High Schools keeps getting harder. For the JV teams, the meet was a great finale for the season. For the Varsity teams, the Championship season continues next week at the Colorado 5A Region 3 Championships on Thursday at Northglenn’s Open Spaces Park. It has been five years since Denver East sent both its Boys and Girls team to the Colorado State Meet. It will not be an easy task, but both teams look well positioned for top-4 finishes at the regional meet which would send them to State Meet.
Practices at East at 9am on Friday and 3:45pm on Monday for everyone who can make it. Friday: 10-15 minute warm-up; 3 sets of alternating 40-second fast sprints and 80 seconds at maintenance 3 times (3 40-second sprints per set), 3 minutes of maintenance running between each set. For a total of 9 40 second sprints. 10-15 minute cool down.
Saturday: 50 – 60 minutes at maintenance + strides.
The schedule posted yesterday was off by a few minutes. This is the REAL final schedule:
Schedule: (updated as of 5:00pm 10/11/22)
2:50 pm Coaches Meeting at the Start Line
3:20 pm Boys Open Unlimited entries
3:25 pm Girls Open Unlimited entries
4:05 pm pm Boys Varsity 5k
4:35 pm Girls Varsity 5k
A reminder that there will be some water at the meet, but please also bring a water bottle or two.
There will be a food truck that accepts cash, Apple pay and other cards.
The best location for team camps is the grassy area close to the parking lot off of MLK Jr. Blvd and Beeler St.
Car Pool: If you need a ride or if you can give a ride, click here: Car Pool
This will be the last race for most of our runners. You have worked hard all season and today is your day to race and celebrate all of your great work.
Continue the celebration:
ILLEGAL PETE’S AFTER THE MEET
Please head over to Illegal Pete’s after the meet. From 4-8 pm, the Illegal Pete’s at 2001 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206, will donate half of all the IN-PERSON (not online) orders we bring in. Come, eat, drink, stay, visit, and celebrate a great season.