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Pagosa cross country teams take first at home meet

Welcoming their foes to the Pagosa Springs Cross Country Classic Saturday, both Pirate teams finished first place, with three varsity Pirate runners setting personal records under crystal clear blue skies.

“Overall, it was a really good day for us,” said Coach Scott Anderson. “Both sides were happy with how the team ran.”

Anderson noted that both teams continue to run closely together, ensuring that if one runner has a bad day, another is capable of filling the void — something Anderson, as a coach, is happy to deal with.

“The team part is working really well,” Anderson said.

The boys race began the high school action on the day on one of the season’s toughest courses.

Carlos Brinkman again led the Pirates on the boys’ side, finishing the course that began at the athletic field at Town Park and wound up and down Reservoir Hill, in 18:39, third place overall.

Moses Huck finished second for the Pirates and 10th overall with a time of 20:23 — a performance Anderson highlighted — while Evan Brookens finished 14th with a time of 20:44.

Rounding out the top 20 was Zach Graveson with a time of 21:06, and Mason Chronowski, finishing 22nd in 21:15.

Rounding out the varsity finishers were two runners who set personal records — Zach Ellis finished 23rd in 21:16 and Tyler Greenly finished 25th with a time of 21:35.

Overall, the boys tallied 47 points, placing them first over rival Bayfield, which scored 48 points.

“I guess you could say the guys doubled their margin of victory over Bayfield,” Anderson said with a chuckle, referencing the team’s prior tie with Bayfield that forced a tiebreaker for the Pirates to take the lead.

Del Norte placed third as a team, with Farmington and Kirtland placing fourth and fifth.

Following the boys’ race, the girls ran to a solid first-place finish, 22 points ahead of second-place finisher Bayfield.

Emily Bryant crossed as the top finisher for the Pirates, landing third place overall with her time of 22:38 before catching the team bus to the night’s away volleyball game at Centauri.

Brooke Hampton finished fifth overall with a time of 23:45; Dana Danielson recorded a personal record as she finished eighth with a time of 24:15.

Haleigh Zenz crossed the finish line in 24:38, placing 11th overall, with Crystal Purcell finishing 12 seconds later, in 13th place.

Mele LeLievre recorded a 16th-place finish in 25:11, while Danielle Pajak rounded out the varsity squad in 21st place with a time of 25:34.

Sargent, Kirtland and Mancos finished third through fifth, respectively.

“Brook and Dana had really good races, which helped fill out our team’s solid performance,” Anderson said. “As far as a team perspective, it was a great day.”

Next, the teams head to the Chicken Creek Classic Saturday in Mancos, which Anderson noted was typically a Pagosa favorite among courses, describing it is as less hill than Pagosa’s course, but with the athletes still running through wooded areas.

The meet is scheduled for a 9 a.m. start.

randi@pagosasun.com