Glenwood High girls cross country team takes third at regionals, heads to state
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Glenwood Springs High School’s top girls cross country runners will have some friendly company at the Class 4A state championship on Oct. 17 in Colorado Springs.
In addition to junior Ella Johnson and sophomore Sophia Connerton-Nevin’s respective third- and seventh-place individual performances in the 4A regionals at Gypsum Creek Golf Course Thursday, it was all about team after that.
The Demons snuck into the third and final qualifying spot with some solid running behind the lead pack to punch a team ticket to state.
Battle Mountain ran away with the regional title, notching five of the top-10 places for 34 points to runner-up Green Mountain’s 115 points. Glenwood, with runners in 33rd, 35th and 44th places, came in third at 122 points, ahead of Golden with 127.
“Usually, what I’ve talked to the girls about is that under 100 points gets you out, and if you’re over that it’s a no go,” Glenwood head coach Justin Baum said. “The girls raced hard, but when we looked at that 122 we thought there’s no way.”
As it turned out, some of the other top teams struggled on the tough, rolling grass course, which played out well for Glenwood, and especially Connerton-Nevin.
Johnson was third overall, completing the 5K race in 18 minutes, 50.30 seconds. As expected, Eagle Valley junior Samantha Blair won the individual title with a time of 18:02, followed by Battle Mountain senior Elliott Pribramsky in 18:23.
Connerton-Nevin crossed in 19:32.80 to take seventh, which would have left her just outside the cut for a return trip to state were it not for her Demon teammates.
Under the Covid-altered rules, only the top two individuals not on a qualifying team get to go to state. But Glenwood’s third through sixth runners placed high enough to secure the team entry.
Junior Alexa Helms took 33rd with a time of 21:38.60, followed by sophomore Ruby Patch close on her heels in 35th at 21:41. Senior Maya Elias was 44th, crossing in 22:01.40, and freshman Taia Nykerk filled the displacer role for the team, taking 55th with a time of 22:58.80.
None of Glenwood’s boys were able to qualify among some of the top 4A runners in the state. Green Mountain’s Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos set a blistering pace, winning in 15:59.20. Six more runners finished behind him in under 17 minutes.
Junior Quinn MacPherson was the Demons’ top runner in 38th place, finishing in 18:06.50. Senior Dalton Deter was 54th in 18:52.10, and junior Reid Swanson was 61st in 19:17.20.
The fight was there until the bitter end for the Longhorns, but the hole that was dug was too deep to climb out of.