Two-and-a-half miles north of Mancos and nearly three miles east off State Highway 184 via Montezuma County Road 40, roughly 50 runners were turned loose Saturday morning, Sept. 29, near a San Juan National Forest entrance as part of the high-school girls' race at the MHS-hosted 2018 Chicken Creek Challenge.
Ignacio freshman Avaleena Nanaeto finished a team-best 19th for the Bobcat girls, crossing the finish line in 26 minutes, 11 seconds.
Junior Brianna Henderson was 29th in 27:42, with sophomore Vanessa Gonzales (29:36) finishing 38th and sophomore Jayden Brunson (30:05) close behind in 41st.
With non-scoring entrants at the Challenge factored out, Nanaeto's 19th-place result earned IHS just 13 points. Henderson received 20 for her 29th, Gonzales 22 for her 38th, and Brunson 24 for her 41st-giving the 'Cats a total of 79 and sixth-place status.
Featuring unlimited entries and a favorable score-4 format, the Mancos-hosted event saw 3A Pagosa Springs freshman Sierra Liverett emerge as the individual winner in 22 minutes, 25 seconds.
3A Blanding, Utah, San Juan junior Rachel Barton (22:45) followed, and 1A Monticello, Utah, freshman Lily Long (22:58) placed third.
With runners also earning fourth, fifth and sixth places, PSHS easily won the team title with an adjusted low score of 13. SJHS followed in the standings with 28, and 1A Montezuma Creek (UT) Whitehorse finished third with 52. 3A Montezuma-Cortez totaled 62, and the local 2A Lady Jays rounded out the top-five with 66.
Up next for Ignacio will be Montezuma-Cortez's Ancient Trails Invitational on Friday, Oct. 5.