The 3A Region 1 Cross Country meet is over. The Pagosa Pirates ran fast, ran faster, and ran fast enough to send 13 runners to the state meet this weekend in Colorado Springs.
As a team, the boys placed second overall, losing to Bayfield by only two points.
The girls’ team finished fourth.
What was the best part of the regional meet, held in Delta, for the Pirates, though, was the number of personal best times ran by both boys and girls.
On the boys’ team, junior Mason Chronowski led the tight-knit pack of Pirates and placed sixth with a personal best of 17 minutes and seven seconds, just missing his goal of running under 17 minutes.
“A lot of people had overlooked us this season,” coach Scott Anderson said. What they weren’t expecting, Anderson continued, was that all the hard work that the Pirate boys put in this season began to come to fruition at the regional meet — the team started to gel in a way that gave Bayfield a run for their money.
Senior Daniel Sloan was only four seconds behind Chronowski and finished seventh with a time of 17.11.
“Daniel and Mason are our team’s one-two combo,” Anderson said.
Freshman Nick Hutcherson was the next Pirate to finish, placing 14th with a time of 17.36. Without looking at the times and numbers, Anderson said that Hutcherson is one of the fastest freshman boys in the region.
The next finisher was junior Tyler Greenly, placing 16th with a 17.54. “He had a good solid race,” Anderson said.
Concerning the girls’ team, Anderson said that the all the runners had an outstanding race.
Junior Emily Bryant was the first Pirate finisher, placing fourth with a time of 18.59.
“We weren’t racing for second; we were racing for first,” Anderson said. Anderson broke down what happened: Bryant started off fast and she overreached, tired out a bit early.
“But finishing right under 19 minutes,” Anderson said, “It’s hard to call that a bad day.”
Freshman Olivia Reinhardt was the next Pirate to cross the finish line, in 10th place with a time of 20.46. This was a personal best for Reinhardt. “She’s been getting better and better every week,” Anderson said.
Fellow freshman Taylor Lee-Hammer finished 25th with a time of 21.38, also a personal best. “She’s continuing to progress and ran a solid race,” Anderson said.
Junior Dana Danielson was close behind Lee-Hammer for a 32nd place at a time of 21.57.
Sophomore Devon Jurcak ran a personal best at 23.04.
The Pirates will compete at the 3A state championship cross country meet this Saturday in Colorado Springs. Anderson said the team members are excited to be going.
“They worked hard and they’re ready,” Anderson said.