Weekend Rewind: Wild Races From The Colorado State Champs

* Parker Wolfe of Cherry Creek won his first 5A Colorado State title on Saturday

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The Colorado High School Activities Association Cross Country State Championships on Saturday in Fort Collins, Colorado was the most exciting meet of the weekend.

In girls Class 4A, it was a close matchup between the top freshmen in the state. Previously, neither Air Academy's Bethany Michalak nor Niwot's Mia Prok showed any weakness. But while they were both undefeated, neither had they competed head-to-head.

Until Saturday.

It was a close finish and Michalak had the better day as she finished in 17:59.10, just three seconds ahead of Prok.

Michalak earned a 140 speed rating to Prok's 139. Prok was the runner up in 18:02.40.

Then again, Prok walked away happy. Niwot won the team title with 55 points and an average of 19:15. The split between Prok and Lex Bullen, Niwot's fifth runner, was 1:56. Battle Mountain came in second with 93 points, and Michalak led Air Academy to a third-place finish with 111 points, respectively. 

And then there was the boys race. 

While the results will tell you Zane Bergen of Niwot won the boys Class 4A title in 15:29.50, which is an impressive result and the fastest time he ran this season, there was some controversy. 

Green Mountain's Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos was leading heading into the final straightway alongside Bergen.

But when Bergen made a move, there was contact made roughly 50 meters from the finish. Tuohy-Gaydos was later disqualified, granting Bergen the state win.

The junior also led Niwot to the team title with 36 points. All of the top five runners finished with a split of 53 seconds and with an average time of 15:55. Bergen's performance earned a 189 speed rating.

Mountain View's top runner, Jackson Shorten finished eight seconds behind Bergen for second place. Shorten finished the 5K course in 15:37.30 and with a high speed rating of 187. 

Parker Wolfe's was arguably the top performance of the day. Not only did he win his first Class 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championship title, but he also set a state record, passing a mark set by Valor Christian's Cole Sprout a year ago.

He ran his second-fastest time of the season of 15:10.40. His performance earned a 196 speed rating. He won his first title by 17 seconds ahead of Rampart's Ben Conlin. Conlin finished with a 190 speed rating as he crossed the finish line in 15:27.00. The top seven runners were all seniors in this race. The eighth finisher was Valor Christian's Ty Garrett, who happens to be a sophomore. 

In the Class 5A girls race, Riley Stewart defended her state title as she crossed the finish line in  17:33.80, 27 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.

She led Cherry Creek to the team title with 42 points -- thereby gaining redemption from its second-place finish a year ago -- and the team finished with an average of 18:30. Stewart's performance earned a 149 speed rating. Claire Semerod, who was the Bruin's fifth runner, placed 18th overall. The time between Stewart and Semerod was 1:25.  

Colorado State Champions:

2A Girls: Ella Johnson, Vanguard School - 19:34.50

2A Boys: Kidus Begashaw, Lotus School for Excellence - 16:17.80

3A Girls: Katelyn Maley, Basalt - 18:39.00

3A Boys: Alex Baca, Gunnison - 16:07.80

4A Girls: Bethany Michalak, Air Academy - 17:59.10

4A Boys: Zane Bergen, Niwot - 15:29.50

5A Girls: Riley Stewart, Cherry Creek - 17:33.80

5A Boys: Parker Wolfe, Cherry Creek - 15:10.40

Check out all the information from the Colorado State Championship

*Wayzata's Abbey Nechanicky competed at the Lake Conference Tri 

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Another Edina-Minnetonka-Wayzata Battle in the Books:

For the last several weekends, Minnesota's strongest girl teams have been going head-to-head. 

In its first match up at the Lake Conference Jamboree on Sept. 18, Minnetonka won the team title with 30 points. Wayzata came in second with 52 and Edina placed third with 66 points. For the next two weeks, Minnetonka won the team titles over Wayzata and Edina.

Again ... until this weekend.

At the MSHSL Section 6AA Championship on Gale Woods Farm -- the last race of the Minnesota regular season, as the state championships have been canceled -- Edina broke Minnetonka's streak.

On displacement. 

While each team scored 48 points, it was Edina's sixth runner that gained the Hornets the coveted win. Freshman Eleanor Hinkie was Edina's go-ahead scorer, finishing 22nd overall.

The split between runners one through five for Edina finished 29 seconds within one another, compared to Minnetonka's 1:20 split. Edina finished with an average of 19:02 for 5K while Minnetonka finished with an 18:58 average. 

Maggie Wagner, the junior from Edina, and her teammates, Mary Velner and Lauren Cossack finished in the top 10 to lead the Hornets to the top place finish. 

Wayzata's Abbey Nechanicky won the race by 34 seconds in 17:31.50. This was her third fastest time of the season. Nechanicky finished with 150 speed rating. 

1	Edina High School	48	5+8+10+12+13 (22+26)	0:29 1-5 Split | 19:02 Avg
2	Minnetonka High School	48	2+6+11+14+15 (25+27)	1:20 1-5 Split | 18:58 Avg
3	Wayzata High School	63	1+9+16+18+19 (20+31)	2:10 1-5 Split | 19:03 Avg
4	Hopkins High School	121	3+23+29+30+36 (59+61)	2:56 1-5 Split | 20:01 Avg
5	Eden Prairie High School	131	4+7+34+40+46 (48+55)	3:01 1-5 Split | 20:19

Saratoga Springs' Girls Looked Strong at Saratoga-Springs-Burnt Hills Meet:

The preseason No. 1 ranked team on the MileSplit50 rankings from New York had an unforeseen bumpy start to the cross country season. Like other teams across the nation, Saratoga Springs had a delayed start to the competition.

With the Blue Streaks, no one could tell their season was postponed. This weekend's action was their third meet of 2020, however, and they looked strong over the weekend. 

The top five runners consisted of two freshmen, a sophomore and two juniors. Preseason MileSplit50 ranked athlete Ella Kurto led the Blue Streaks to 15 points and helped her squad win the meet by 12 seconds in 17:42.4 for 5K at the SPA State Park. The fifth-place finisher, Alycia Hartfinished in 18:27.0.

Both the JV and Varsity teams won with 15 points over Burnt Hills.

Place Name Div Sch Di School Female Pace
===== =================== === === == =========================== ======= =====
1 Ella Kurto 1 1 11 Saratoga Springs 17:42.4 5:49
2 Mackenzie Hart 2 2 11 Saratoga Springs 17:54.5 5:53
3 Sheridan Wheeler 1 3 10 Saratoga Springs 17:57.0 5:54
4 Emily Bush 1 4 9 Saratoga Springs 18:06.0 5:57
5 Alycia Hart 2 5 9 Saratoga Springs 18:27.0 6:03
6 Christina DeMeo 1 6 12 Saratoga Springs 18:38.0 6:07
7 Anya Belisle 3 7 9 Saratoga Springs 18:51.4 6:11
8 Mia Paolino 4 1 9 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 19:33.1 6:25
9 Catherine Mongan 3 8 11 Saratoga Springs 19:44.5 6:29
10 Sadie Mcbain 4 9 11 Saratoga Springs 20:01.9 6:35 

On the boys side, the Blue Steaks won with 23 points to Burnt Hills' 34. All five of Saratoga Springs' runners finished in the top eight. Junior Ryan Bush won the race in 15:35.7. His performance earned him a 180 speed rating. Burnt Hills' top five runners finished in the top 15. 

Place Name Div Sch Di School Male Pace
===== =================== === === == =========================== ======= =====
1 Ryan Bush 1 1 11 Saratoga Springs 15:35.7 5:04
2 Ryan Allison 2 1 11 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 15:52.8 5:13
3 Brady Tooker 1 2 12 Saratoga Springs 15:56.7 5:14
4 Matthew Rounds 1 2 10 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 16:07.0 5:18
5 Dawson Tooker 2 3 12 Saratoga Springs 16:38.7 5:28
6 Max Fredette 3 4 12 Saratoga Springs 16:47.0 5:31
7 Peter Fulgieri 3 3 11 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 17:02.8 5:36
8 Shifan Shaffe 4 5 12 Saratoga Springs 17:03.7 5:36
9 Matt Windecker 1 4 9 Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 17:15.8 5:40
10 Evan Barthelmas 4 6 11 Saratoga Springs 17:29.7 5:45 

*Kamari Miller competed in a tough competition at the Bob Blastow meet in August

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Fast Performances at the Coach Wood Invitational:

In Whitesburg, Georgia, on the McIntosh Nature Preserve, the Coach Wood Invitational took place on Saturday. The top 11 finishers were seniors, which brought out some strong competition on the course.

Kamari Miller of Marietta (GA) and Jenna Hutchins of Science Hill (TN) won the 5K championship races. Miller finished in a new personal best of 14:51.22. He led Marietta to a third-place finish with an average time of 15:47. The Syracuse commit won the meet by almost 20 seconds and earned a speed rating of 191.

Mary Persons' (GA) Justin Wachtel finished in second. His performance earned a 186 speed rating as he completed the course in 15:06.69. The University of Virginia commit has remained consistent this year as he ran his third-fastest performance at this meet. His fastest race was at the Greyhound Invitational - Release the Hounds meet when he won in 15:01.57. 

Miles Ally finished two seconds behind Wachtel in a personal best in 15:08.31. The NC State University commit and Martin Luther King senior (TN) ran in his third meet of the season and each of his performances were under 15:20 for 5K. Both Ally and Cooper Atkins of Scottsboro (AL) finished with a 185 speed rating. 

Hutchins won her race by 71 seconds when she crossed the finish line in 16:39.06. Hutchins's performance earned a 156 speed rating. 

Boys 5K Championship
  1 Miller, Kamari            12 Marietta Hig          14:51.22   
  2 Wachtel, Justin           12 Mary Persons          15:06.69      
  3 Ally, Miles               12 Martin Luthe          15:08.31   
  4 Atkins, Cooper            12 Scottsboro HS         15:10.00   
  5 Truitt, Zack              12 Landmark Chr          15:12.17   

Top Performances Of The Weekend:

  • Nathan Green ran his first sub 15 minutes for 5K of the season. At the Skyview Meet at Lakeview Park, Borah's (ID) senior and University of Washington commit ran a 14:54.81. This equaled a 193 speed rating and he won this meet by 108 seconds. 
  • Brooke Rauber hit the cross country course for the first time this weekend after having the chance to compete in 5Ks on the track. At the Tully Covid Series Invitational #2, Rauber ran a 17:32.1 and earned a 157 speed rating, one the highest speed rating so far this year for the girls. Tully's (NY) Rauber, Lilly Fowler-Conner and Katie Edinger finished grabbed the top three places and led the team to a second-place finish with 30 points. At the same meet, Caleb Bender of Skaneateles won the boys section in 16:14.2. His performance earned him a 181 speed rating.
  • Judson Greer competed in his second meet of the season dropped another sub 15 minutes for 5K at the Lovejoy XC Fall Festival. The UNC commit opened his season in the beginning of October at the Desert Twilight XC Festival where he ran a 14:45.81. This weekend he crossed the line in 14:51.90.
  • Anna FenskeFarmington's (MN) senior, won the MSHSL Section 1AA Championship in Owatonna, Minnesota. Fenske finished in 17:35.04, almost a minute ahead of her sister, Mariah Fenske, who placed second in this race. This is Fenske's fastest time of the season for 5K. She continued her undefeated streak and won the meet with a 147 speed rating.
  • For the MSHSL Section 4AA Championships, Analee Weaver of Stillwater (MN) paved the way by nearly a minute. She earned a 147 speed rating after she won the meet in 17:39.00 in St. Paul. 
  • On Oct. 15, Standford commit and Germantown Academy (PA) runner, Robert DiDonato ran a 14:25.40 on the track at the GA 5K Showcase. This isn't just a new personal best for him, it's also the second-fastest time over the distance on the track in Pennsylvania state history.
  • At the IHSAA Cross Country Regional 10- Noblesville, one of Carmel's (IN) sophomores, Kole Mathison won the meet in 15:12.20. This was a new personal best for Mathison and his seventh straight win of the season. He led Carmel to a second-place team finish with 46 points and an average of 15:45. Carmel finished five points behind Brebeuf Jesuit Prep (IN) who also finished with the same average time. 
  • Annie Christie, a senior from Carmel, won the IHSAA Cross Country Regional 10 title in a personal best of 17:44. She edged out North Central's Ellen Baker by 1.30 seconds. Christie led the Greyhounds to a team title with 45 points. The team finished with an average of 18:31 and their runners one through five finished in 1:14. 
  • At the Keller - Debbie G Invitational in Keller, TX, sophomore Brayden Kennedy of Flower Mound (TX) won the race in 15:33.12 for 5K. His performance led Flower Mound to the time title with 30 points, edging out to Coppell's 48. 
  • Jake Gelfand of Severna Park (MD) competed at the VA Elite XC Invitational in Mechanicsville, VA. He led the Severna Park Cross Country Track Club to 33 points and with an average time of 15:48. Gelfand's performance earned a 181 speed rating. Juliette Whittaker of Mount De Sales Academy (MD) competed unattached in the same meet. She opened her season in a 17:29 for 5K and earned a 136 speed rating. 
  • Brynn Brown had a strong performance at the North Texas Cross Country Circuit Week No. 5 (Finals). On the South Lakes course, she ran 16:13.52 for 3 miles. She earned a 162 speed rating

The Weekend Rewind