Following the Bayfield Invitational on Sept. 15, Ignacio Girls' Cross-Country head coach Marissa Duffey again was ecstatic regarding the reborn program's progress.
"Each lady knocked off at least three minutes from their previous time," she'd said. "I am overjoyed with their success on and off the course and look forward to our upcoming meets."
That included the Pagosa Springs XC Challenge, where the boss's beaming was a new type of bright.
For just about two months ago, Ignacio Girls' Cross-County officially became a team in name. But Saturday morning, Sept. 22, the Bobcats girls at last became a "team" in a meet's final standings.
Duffey proudly stated that Tatum Bebo, a junior, had joined the fledgling crew prior to the event, and with her addition IHS competed with the minimum needed to place collectively at a score-5 competition.
Getting her first taste of a long-distance race, Bebo completed the course in 38 minutes, 58 seconds and stepped across the finish line 57th out of 60. Continuing her emergence as Ignacio's front-runner this fall, freshman Avaleena Nanaeto again paced the squad with her 20th-place 27:07. The 'Cat quintet accumulated 99 adjusted points and earned fifth place.
Junior Brianna Henderson placed 29th in 28:30, and sophomores Vanessa Gonzales (29:21) and Jayden Brunson (29:29) finished 37th and 38th, respectively.
"This weekend was a success for each," said Duffey. "The 'fierce five' went out again with the same mentality as the weeks before, but now with an additional goal in mind of setting a new PR."
Up next, IHS will attack Mancos' Chicken Creek Challenge on Saturday, Sept. 29, then begin the fast-moving season's final month traveling farther west on Friday, Oct. 5, to hit the Montezuma-Cortez Ancient Trails Invitational.