There aren't all that many "score three" races in high school cross-country.
But the 2017 Lake County High Altitude Invitational was one, and Bayfield's top trio performed well enough to earn the Wolverines top-ten team status at the Colorado Mountain College-centered route in Leadville.
Sent out from the CMC soccer field, sophomore Elco Garcia, Jr., was BHS' best individually as he placed 16th in 19 minutes, 33.2 seconds - after holding off 3A Denver North's Connor Ellertson (19:33.9) at the finish line. Senior Sloan Mazur also cracked the top-25 with his 25th-place 20:10.5, and Jonas Nanaeto took 48th in 20:54.5.
After nonscoring runners were factored out, Bayfield ended up with 87 points and ninth place overall.
To the surprise of few observers last Saturday, 3A Intermountain League power Alamosa scored a winning low of 17. 5A Colorado Springs Coronado, however, was right behind with 19 as Cougar junior Ben Swanson edged Mean Moose junior Elijah De La Cerda at the line by half a second (18:25.0 to 18:25.5).
Making for a near-photo finish, senior Lucas Jordan of Denver-based 3A D'Evelyn was only another half a tick behind (18:26.0) and settled for third. The gap back to fourth place was much greater, as Coronado senior Conor Strizich recorded an 18:36.2 to nip 4A Colorado Springs Mesa Ridge junior Matt Roberds' 18:36.5.
MRHS (29 points), D'Evelyn (31) and 4A Mead (35) rounded out the team standings' top five.
Preceding and following 3A Pagosa Springs' Jack Foster across the finish, BHS' Rylan Ross took 88th in 23:38.9 and Ethan Cook 90th in 23:46.7. Nathan Carlson took 94th (23:51.4) as 112 runners completed the course.
No girls represented Bayfield in the girls' varsity race - won individually by 4A Lakewood Green Mountain's Kasey Klocek (21:17.0), and as a team by D'Evelyn (nine points).
Bayfield's Olivia Keitz clocked a 29:28.4 to pace the squad in the JV race. She placed 40th, with Sarah Ruybal 57th (30:53.0) and Mylee Sanders 91st (34:56.0) out of 104 finishers.
With an adjusted 125 team points, the Wolverine girls finished tenth in the junior-varsity standings.
Next on the harriers' schedule will be Saturday's Joe I. Vigil Open at Cattails Golf Course in Alamosa. The high-school boys' race is set to start at 9:20 a.m., with the girls heading out at 10:25. Depending on the number of entries in each, JV races may be added to the day's itinerary, with boys starting at 11:05 and girls at 11:40.
LCI BOYS' VARSITY TEAM STANDINGS (top 10 of 17 scoring): 1. Alamosa, 17; 2. Colorado Springs Coronado, 19; 3. Colorado Springs Mesa Ridge, 29; 4.Denver D'Evelyn, 31; 5. Mead, 35; 6. Lakewood Green Mountain, 62; 7, Woodland Park, 72; 8. Denver North, 83; 9. BAYFIELD, 87; 10. Frisco Summit, 115.
LCI GIRLS' JV TEAM STANDINGS (top 10 of 10 scoring): 1. Lakewood Green Mountain, 11; 2. D'Evelyn, 17; 3. Mead, 55; 4. Greeley West, 56; 5. Denver North, 63; 6. Frisco Summit, 80; 7.Woodland Park, 88; 8. Evergreen Clear Creek, 106; 9. Pagosa Springs, 119; 10. BAYFIELD, 125.