Finishing the season at the Class 3A state championship in Fort Collins on Saturday, the Pagosa Pirate cross country team bade farewell to several standout runners and got a glimpse of what next year’s team could promise.
After a career of accolades that include being named three-time league Runner of the Year, four-time all-conference, regional champion, and two-time all state, Pirate girl’s team captain Jacie Harms finished her final race for Pagosa Springs High School with a personal best time of 19 minutes, 58 seconds, taking 19th-place overall at the state meet.
“I have been extremely blessed to have her as a member of this team,” said Coach Scott Anderson, She has always made us better. She ran at state all four years and finished fourth twice, fifth, and second.”
Finishing behind Harms at 26th-place overall was Julia Adams, with a time of 20:31. Rachel Jensen followed with a 21:15 time, good for 39th place and Katarina Medici captured 44th place with a time of 21:23 time. Just six points out of third-place overall, the girl’s team finished in fifth place as a team.
Although illness hurt both squads, the boys’ team seemed to have taken the brunt of the effects. Despite running with a crippling cold, Pirate boys standout Jackson Walsh finished his third all-state appearance with a time of 16 minutes, 43 seconds, for eighth place in the individual standings. the finish earned Walsh his final all-state accolade. It was a noble effort for the exiting senior who brought three all-conference awards and two league Runner of the Year awards to the race.
Showing promise for future Pirate cross country teams, freshman Carlos Brinkman ran a personal best time of 17:46, placing 43rd overall, followed by Cole Mastin in 49th place with a 17:55 time, and Ryan Hamilton with an 18:06 time, in 56th place.
“I could not be more proud of them,” said Anderson, referring to the boys’ seventh-place team finish under less-than-perfect circumstances.
“Overall, they provided us with an extremely rewarding and fun season,” said coach Anderson.
With so many graduating seniors leaving the squad, next year should be “a building year,” said Anderson. However, the depth shown in this year’s team could prove enough to produce a classic dark horse performance by next year’s Pirate cross country team.