Sometimes XC is on a mountain top. Sometimes XC is in a state park. Occasionally XC is in a riparian zone or a river valley. On Saturday, XC took place in suburban Denver. Paved trails, sidewalks, crossing five lanes of traffic, patches of grass, a splash of mud and lapping around the block were all obstacles for the MPHS XC squads as they face their league rivals.
The girls team faced another opponent: sickness. Four of the XC girls had been sick in the days leading up to the race leaving three of them sidelined. The one sick runner, Sierra Smith, did start the race, but fell in the opening 400m, twisted a knee, and did not return on course. Then there were two. Jesse Hoyhtya got off to a great start, making her way to a mid-pack finish, which was a season-best based on percentile finish. Alyssa Petersen found herself in a great fight for fifth place. Her and the top runner from Lake County and Pinnacle were with each other for the final mile of the race. She and the Lake County runner dropped the Pinnacle runner with under 500m to go, which led Alyssa to fifth place, which is 1st Team All-League honors.
The boys team was a favorite heading into the race. They ultimately finished second of nine, losing to only perennial champion Platte Canyon. The boys did place Ty Scholl as the league champion, as well as Mark Simmons as the bronze runner. They both qualify for 1st Team League honors. The MPHS pack runners fought hard, which led them to narrow victories over DSST by one point, and Clear Creek High School by seven. Corbin Frick made a daring last ditch effort to pass a Platte Canyon running, which preserved the second place team finish. Mark Knight and Henry Hoyhtya rounded out the boys scoring.
Congratulations to the boys for taking 2nd place in league, which is the highest finish for boys under Coach Hicks' tenure. A special congrats to Petersen, Simmons, and Scholl for their 1st Team Honors.
The XC teams will be in action in two weeks down in Pagosa Springs, CO for the 3A regional.