Monticello girls sweep top three places in Mancos

by Haley Burton
Contributing Writer
On Wednesday, September 27 teams from 2A Region 15 and 1A regions 19 and 22 competed in the the Red Rock Invitational, hosted by the Grand County Red Devils.
The Moab Golf Course was the setting for this annual foot race. The comfort of a relatively flat course run on soft grass was a contrast to the cloudless sky and the blazing heat of the Moab sun.
Kaden Pehrson was the first Buckaroo to cross the finish line, in 18th place overall. Kooper Nielson placed 23rd, Curtis Bunker got 26th, and Jesse Pettit was 30th.
Those four runners finished within one minute of each other. Soren Welch ran a 20:24, finishing in 42nd place. As a team the Monticello boys took fifth place behind the four 2A teams in attendance.
The Lady Buckaroos took fourth at the invitational with Marah Long once again pacing the team in fifth place overall. It was a new personal record for Long with a time of 20:14.
Ayla Carling placed 12th with Lilli Burton close behind in 13th place. Alexis Bailey and Kahryme Alvarado finished in 30th and 61st respectively.
Saturday, September 29 the Buckaroos left San Juan County and headed to the San Juan National Forest to compete in the annual Chicken Creek Challenge hosted by the Bluejays of Mancos, CO.
Once again the Monticello teams found themselves running on a rocky dirt trail with the ponderosa pines waving in the wind above their heads.
The Lady Buckaroos put on an impressive show, finishing one, two, three. All four of the girls on the team finished in the top 20 helping to secure their first team win of the season.
Marah Long won the race with a time of 22:49. Lilli Burton crossed the finish line 14 seconds later and Ayla Carling was 24 seconds behind Burton. Alexis Bailey rounded out the win with a 16th-place performance.
The MHS boys team snagged second place with Jesse Pettit in fifth (19:30), Kooper Nielson 11th (19:57), and Kaden Pehrson 15th (20:09). Soren Welch placed 22nd (20:50),  Aaron Gillette 27th (21:06), and  Aaron Petersen 46th (23:05).
The Buckaroo teams will conclude their regular season this week ahead of region and state cross country races. They head to Blanding on Wednesday, October 4 for the annual John Thornton Invitational hosted by the San Juan Broncos.

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