Finding themselves running against many more Four Corners-region familiars than at some of the larger meets in 2017, the Bayfield cross-country runners hit the Montezuma County Fairgrounds course last Friday evening for the Montezuma-Cortez Ancient Trails 5K.
Sophomore Elco Garcia, Jr., and senior Sloan Mazur led the way for the Wolverine boys and placed fifth and 11th, respectively, in times of 18:59 and 20:06 while pursuing 2A Mancos' senior trio of Simon Kearns (18:01), Jake McKie (18:34) and Caleb Yoder (18:35). They were the meet's 1-2-3 finishers at the eight-team gathering.
Raw point totals show the Blue Jays amassing a winning meet-low 35 points, with the hosting Panthers coming in second with 75 for their top five. 4A Fort Wingate, N.M. took third with 89, and BHS was fourth with 103. The 4A Durango JV finished a close fifth with 105, followed by 2A Dolores (146) and 1A Red Valley-Cove, Arizona (186).
If the teams' top four, rather than five runners were considered for team scoring purposes, MHS would still have won with a meet-low 19 points. M-CHS would have followed with 35, but Bayfield and Wingate would have tied with 67. The Bears' #5 runner, sophomore Shawne King (22nd place, 21:33), would then have been the tiebreaker over Wolverine freshman Xander Hovenstine (36th place, 23:11).
Rounding out the standings would have been: Durango (79); Dolores (97); 1A Montezuma Creek, Utah, Whitehorse (132); Red Valley-Cove (140).
Bridging the gap in the pack from Mazur to Hovenstine were Rylan Ross (20th, 21:14) and Ethan Cook (31st, 22:24).
In the girls' race, Bayfield's Olivia Keitz came in 18th, clocking 25 minutes, 10 seconds. Sarah Ruybal was the squad's only other entrant, and finished 37th in 28:18. Wingate junior Latisha Lopez was the winner in 21:42, while the Durango JV-led by sophomore runner-up Saylor Stottlemeyer (22:25)-dominated with seven runners among the top ten.