Fruita boys, girls win Warrior Cross-country Invite
Part team sport and part individual, it’s easy from the outside to only see the individual side of cross country.
The team aspect was apparent Friday at the Warrior Invitational at Long Family Memorial Park as fans, coaches and teammates cheered the runners along from the first step to the finish line.
Running ahead of the pack, Alicia Nelson took first for the Moffat County girls team, winning by more than a minute.
“I try to go as hard as I can and let it all out instead of holding back,” Nelson said.
“We also encourage each other no matter what.”
Fruita Monument runners took second and third, with Olivia Daniels outpacing Kasey Mortensen.
The two have run together since elementary school when they were involved with Girls on the Run. Nelson also said she joined the organization as a young girl.
“What was nice about today is they really held onto each other. (They) did a very good job of saying ‘Hey, you gotta come catch me,’ ” Fruita coach Herb Huskey said.
In the boys race, Fruita’s Woody Seagren beat Wyatt Colloty of Grand Junction to the finish line by 6 seconds.
Seagren said toward the end he was thinking of “just the finish line and having a goal to accomplish.”
“Everybody counts, even the seventh guy or the last guy. Everybody counts and everybody helps the team,” Seagren said.
Colloty said he was happy with his performance and as he reached the end said he tried to “push through all the pain and pass the guy in front of me.”
Rounding out the top three for the boys was Chris Zirkle of Moffat County, finishing 20 seconds behind Colloty.
Grand Valley’s Brandi Krieg took fourth place for the girls and David Jerome of Central finished fourth in the boys race.
Jerome said during the run he tries to catch the runners in front of him. “I just keep setting small goals like that,” he said.
In fifth for the girls was another Moffat County runner, Maddy Jourgenson, and fifth for the boys was Fruita’s Tyler McDermott.
It was McDermott’s first race since an injury toward the end of last year’s track season sidelined him.
The Fruita boys and girls teams both won the team titles, with the girls scoring 39 points and the boys 29.
Moffat County’s girls were second with 51 points, helped along by the strong finishes from Nelson, Jourgenson and Nike Cleverly, who was seventh. Central finished third with 94 points.
Central runs in the Mercury Classic in Brighton on Tuesday, and the valley schools are at home next week, running in the Grand Junction Happy Ned Invitational on Sept. 12 at Canyon View Park.