Mud can’t slow San Juan cross country runners in Mancos

Cool temperatures and a muddy course greeted the San Juan cross country teams as they traveled to compete in Mancos, CO at the Chicken Creek Challenge this past Saturday, October 9.

Normally a little mud on the course would barely be noticeable and might even be enjoyable, but heavy rains the night before left large puddles and deep sucking mud in sections of an already difficult course.

At least one runner lost a shoe and almost every runner had some sort of mud decorating their legs and uniforms.

Running on the challenging 5K course with a beautiful view, the Broncos did not disappoint with their performances. The boys team, trailing the Pagosa Springs Pirates by a mere four points, took home a second-place team finish, while the girls team took home fourth.

At the head of the girls team was Ella Lyman in 11th place. She was followed by two teammates who came in less than ten seconds apart. Saylor Perkins was first to cross the finish line as she finished in 28th.

Perkins was followed by Caroline Crippen who finished in 29th. Crippen was the sole Bronco, male or female, to run a personal best time on this grueling course, and she did so by besting her previous personal record by over a minute.

Next to cross the line for the Lady Broncos was Sofie Hook, who came home in 32nd. Close behind Hook was Nadia Armajo in 41st place. Armajo’s excellent performance missed her personal best by a scant two seconds.

It was a fight to the finish for the final two runners on the varsity team. Narrowly out-sprinting her teammate, Megan Black crossed the line with a 43rd-place finish. Taryn Nielson, only one second behind and with a substantial effort, finished 44th.

Leading the boys team to their second-place finish was the Broncos’ ever-consistent top runner, Edward Lyman. Lyman, with an impressive kick on the last half mile, placed fourth.

Joining his teammate in the top ten with an amazing run was Spencer Jensen, who crossed the finish line in tenth place.

Only two seconds behind Jensen with a spectacular performance was Logan Keith, who finished in 11th place and two places higher on the team than he has ever finished.

Keith was joined in the top 20 by three additional teammates: Abe Lyman (14th), Toby Ward (16th), and Ryan McCullough (18th). All three runners put up admirable performances, as did their teammate, Dakota Long, who rounded out the varsity runners and placed 26th.

Along with amazing individual performances, the boys team also showcased one of their most impressive team qualities: versatility. With few exceptions, each runner on the boys varsity team has finished in a different order in almost every race.

You never know which Bronco runner you will see crossing the finish line next, which not only makes for exciting races but will also be a huge asset to the team in the coming weeks at region and state meets.

This week, the Broncos traveled to Monticello for the Hideout Grass Challenge on Monday, October 11. It was the team’s final race before their region and state meets. Results will appear in the October 20 Record.

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