Hopefully cross-country enthuse caught local runners at El Pomar Youth Sports Park on Sept. 9 for the Harrison Panther Invitational.
It was one of the few opportunities to witness these athletes up close.
Though Harrison, Mitchell and Sierra high schools did not have enough runners to place as a team on either side, several competitors set personal-best times during the meet. For Mitchell, the Marauders had a runner place in the top 15 of the event.
Below are results from local teams who competed in the race.
Hayden Smith was the top finisher on the boys’ side and finished 49th with a time of 20 minutes, 30.92 seconds.
Smith’s time marked more than a 35-second improvement from his run at the Widefield Invitational on Sept. 2.
Smith’s teammate Aiden Gallegos also cut significant time from his first race of the season. At Widefield, Gallegos ran a 27:25.60 and dropped it to 26:28.49 at home and finished 52nd in his second high school race.
Derrick Hopkins placed 58th at 27:22 and Angel Alamo completed the run in 27:41.39.
Linda McGoff dropped her JROTC apparel for cross-country gear and finished 81st in the girls race.
Harrison’s lone female competitor clocked in at 29:00.06 in her first action of the season.
“The goal is to continue to get better every week,” said Harrison coach Eduardo Vargas. “These kids push each other every day and every week and I’m proud of how they continue to grow.”
This Marauders team is compiled of athletes from soccer, softball and football. Coach Josh Browning said his runners find the energy to dedicate toward training each day and races each week.
The Marauders top finisher Christopher Horyczun displayed this in his race.
Horyczun placed 14th at 18:37.12, which was a personal best. Besides one high school race, Horyczun has set a personal record every time he’s competed.
His run at the Panther Invitational was a 1:14 improvement from his race in Rocky Ford on Aug. 26. Prior to Rocky Ford, Horyczun’s best time was a 21:44.60, which he set at Elmwood Golf Course in Pueblo on Oct. 21, 2021.
“Our school record is 17 flat and I think he can break it,” Browning said. “He’s a junior and every week he’s setting PRs by more than a minute. He’s learning how to compete and each week he gets better and better.”
Teammates Jair Rios, Orlando Sisneros and Kaiden Ramberg placed 57th, 63rd and 70th respectfully.
Rios finished in 27:08.78; Sisneros clocked in at 28:33.06 and Ramberg crossed at 34:02.50.
On the girls side, the Marauders had a quartet of new competitors experience their first competition.
Arianna McCray, Eliariz Rosado, Marissa Anderson and Moshi Pimpitcha Rewsa placed 85th (29:55.25); 93rd (32:49.97); 96th (37:19.93); and 97th (37:33.21).
“I think they’re persevering right now through multiple sports,” Browning said. “They’re learning to understand how to grind to get in a better position now and when track and field season arrives.”
The Stallions only have a boys squad this season and had two placers at the Harrison Invitational.
Freshman Brandon Lee was the top placer at 53rd and clocked in at 26:28.60. Seth Reneker finished with a PR of 27:30.23.