Junior Duane Sena leads the race at one mile, shortly before losing one of his shoes. Despite running two miles with one bare foot, he still finished as the 2nd Hilltopper and 4th overall. Photo by Blake Wood
Freshman Grace Montoya and Ensley Jorgenson are well positioned early in the Girls race. The pair led the Hilltopper Girls in 4th and 6th places, and times of 19:41 and 20:06, respectively. Photo by Blake Wood
By BLAKE WOOD
The Hilltopper Cross Country teams traveled to Alamosa, Colo., last Saturday for the Joe Vigil Invitational, competing against many unfamiliar teams in that state. And they did that very well, with the Boys winning the meet in a field of 19 teams, and the Girls placing 2nd in a field of 14 teams.
The 5k Alamosa course was slightly longer and at higher elevation than the team’s previous effort at Cleveland HS, but was flatter. Thus, times might have been expected to be similar between the two courses. Nevertheless, most of the Hilltopper runners improved their times over the previous meet, some by large margins! There was one race for the Boys and another for the Girls, so there were no distinctions between Varsity, JV and C-team.
The Hilltopper Boys were led by junior Benjamin Sanchez, who placed 2nd overall in a competitive field. He covered the 5k course in 16:32. He was followed by junior Duane Sena, who placed 4th overall in 16:48, despite losing one shoe with two miles left in the race. Senior Grafton Urbatsch (9th, 17:06), senior Armando Inbody (13th, 17:14), and junior Mikey Bane (19th, 17:43) rounded out the Hilltopper scorers, winning the meet with a team score of 46 points to runner-up Salida High School’s 74 points.
The ‘Topper Girls were led by freshman Grace Montoya, who placed 4th overall in an excellent time of 19:41, despite running most of the race with no other runners nearby. She was followed by freshman Ensley Jorgenson, who placed 6th overall in a time of 20:06, with junior Rebecca Beaux close on her heels in 7th place and 20:12. Sophomore Mila Moseley (12th, 20:55) and junior Lena Ronning (28th, 21:40) completed the Hilltopper scoring quintet. The ‘Topper’s 56 points placed them 2nd to Alamosa High School’s score of 39 points.
Next up is the Rio Rancho Jamboree on Sept. 23.
Freshman William Hudlemeyer was one of many Hilltopper runners who posted significant improvements over the previous meet. Hudlemeyer was the 9th ‘Topper boy and finished 46th overall in a field of 204 runners, in a time of 18:45. Photo by Blake Wood
Senior Audrey See posted one of the largest improvements on the Hilltopper teams, finishing as the 7th ‘Topper girl and 41st overall in a field of 172. Her time of 22:25 was more than four minutes faster than she ran the same course last year, and 50 seconds faster than her time in the first meet of this season! Photo by Blake Wood