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Pirate runners host annual invitational meet

The Pirate cross country team held its annual invitational meet Saturday, on a new course, on Reservoir Hill.

“It was a new course, a new venue,” said Pirate Coach Scott Anderson. “Everyone liked the course; it was challenging and scenic — a fun course on which to run. And, it was fun that the race was part of a larger event (the Mountain Chile Cha Cha at Town Park as well as the GECKO trail races).”

Conditions were ideal for the race and both the Pagosa girls’ and boys’ squads finished third in team standings.

The Pirate boys managed third-place on the basis of two runners finishing in the top ten: Carlos Brinkman (eighth place, with a time of 19 minutes, 38 seconds) and Ryan Hamilton (ninth, at 19:49).

Michael Gallegos was just behind, crossing the finish line in 11th, at 19:56. Evan Brookens was 34th, with a time of 21:53.

Shiprock, N.M., won the boys’ team event; Bayfield was second.

On the girls’ side, Katarina Medici placed 11th, finishing with a time of 24:51. Julia Adams returned to competition and took 14th, at 25:11.

Brook Hampton was the 16th runner, posting a time of 25:23. Danielle Pajak finished 21st, at 26:11.

Kirtland, N.M., captured first place in the girls’ team standings; Cortez placed second.

Many of the Pirates ran the race hampered by illness and its aftereffects. “We’ve been hit fairly hard by the bug,” said Anderson. “I held some runners out and others were just on the back side of this bug, so we weren’t expecting stellar results.”

The results did produce some positive notes, however.

“Our top three boys had solid races,” said the coach. “All three had not been feeling well the week before, but they ran good races and packed well. “

Of the girls, the coach said: “Julia ran her first race, and Tori Strohecker (31st place, at 27:00) had one of her better days.”

Hoping his team runs away from the virus soon, Anderson noted, “We continue to build from here.”

The building process resumes at Mancos Saturday — on a Chicken Creek course favored by many of the runners. “The kids enjoy running there,” said Anderson.

At least seven teams are expected at the Mancos Invitational, with varsity races expected to begin at 10 a.m.