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Like many this time of year, the Pagosa Springs High School cross country team is on the hunt.
But not that kind of hunt.
They’re hunting down the competition and seeking to bring them closer into view.
“Everybody that we care about we can see in front of us,” coach Scott Anderson said. “For the rest of the season, we’ll be the hunter and work on tracking them down.”
And the teams started doing just that at last Saturday’s meet at the Cattails Golf Course in Alamosa, from which seven Pagosa runners took home personal records.
“Overall, as a team, they actually did fairly well,” Anderson said.
The girls, in particular, not only finished in seventh place, but also ahead of host Alamosa — a strong achievement for the Pirates.
Eighteen teams took part in the event on the girls’ side, including five 4A teams (the Pirates are 3A).
Leading the way for the girls was Emily Bryant, who finished sixth in 19:49.
Olivia Reinhardt followed with a 35th-place finish and a time of 21:18. Maddie Greenly placed 55th with a personal record time of 22:11.
Rounding out the top four Lady Pirates (the top four team finished contribute to the scoring), was Taylor Lee-Hammer, who finished 63th in 22:38.
Also finishing for the Pirates were Dana Danielson, 64th, 22:47, and three others who recorded personal records: Delany Khung, 86th, 24:26; Megan Ellis, 90th, 24:42; Andie Miller, 167th, 26:31.
On the day, Anderson highlighted Greenly’s high finish in her second race.
“She did really well,” Anderson said.
The boys’ team edged into a 14th place finish at the meet, led by Tyler Greenly, who placed 57th with a time of 18:22.
Liam O’Brien finished second for the Pirates and was highlighted by Anderson for finishing 76th overall, with a personal-record time of 19:05.
Chris Archuleta was next, also highlighted by Anderson for his 77th-place finish and time of 19:06.
Rounding out the top four scorers for the Pirates was Mason Chronowski, who finished 89th in 19:30.
“Mason is improving every week,” Anderson said, noting Chronowski’s surgery over the summer to both lungs, and noting that Chronowski should steadily improve over the season.
Although not a top four finisher on the team, Zach Ellis contributed to the Pirates’ 14th-place finish by serving as a tiebreaker, despite having pulled a hamstring during the race. Ellis finished 100th with a time of 19:58.
Rounding out the Pirate finishers were Jacob Hughes, 105th, 20:06; Michael Iverson, 114th, 20:27 (a personal record); Ben Miller, 17th, 21:05; Zakk Brown, 191st, 22:03; and Coy Thomas, 202nd, 22:35 (a personal record).
With a promising start to the season, the team heads to Bayfield this weekend, for a smaller meet that features the rival Bayfield Wolverines.
“All our guys should be able to show up,” Anderson said, “and we’ll see if we can’t take a couple steps a little closer to our prey.”