Van Calcar runs to regional XC title
Palisade’s Greta Van Calcar won the girls race, and fellow Bulldog Jake Erickson was second in the boys race Friday in the Class 4A Region 6 cross-country meet at Delta’s Confluence Park.
Van Calcar ran the 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 43.9 seconds, finishing 11.4 seconds ahead of Valerie Constien of Battle Mountain, which claimed five of the top 11 places and won the girls team title.
Van Calcar was one of two area girls to qualify for next week’s state meet in Colorado Springs. The top 15 runners advance to state, and Delta’s Mykayla Music finished 14th (19:50.9).
The top four teams in both races qualified for state, and Montrose finished fourth in each. Weldyn Allen was the first Montrose girl to finish, placing 25th, and Lauren Cook was right behind her in 26th.
Ian Meek paced the Montrose boys, finishing fifth in 16:32, and teammate Mark Allen was 14th (16:55.5).
Palisade finished sixth in the girls race, five points behind Montrose, and fifth in the boys race, 11 points behind Montrose.
Erickson’s time of 16:07.4 in the boys race was bettered only by Summit’s Liam Meiro, who clocked in at 15:29.8. Erickson will have company at state as Palisade’s Anders Van Calcar placed sixth in 16:33.2.
Delta and Rifle each qualified one boy to state. Delta’s Dustin Ownbey placed ninth (16:40.4), and Rifle’s Brendan Wagler was 12th (16:51.3).
3A regional cross-country
Freddie Ramirez finished fifth (17:06.4), the first of three Olathe runners to finish in the top nine, as the Pirates’ boys team qualified for state by placing second at Confluence Park.
Kurik Mattics placed eighth (17:21) and Taylor Dement was ninth (17:22) for Olathe, which finished with 49 points, three behind regional champ Aspen.
Grand Valley High School’s Joel Carrasco made the state field, placing 11th in 17:30.5.
No area girls teams or runners qualified for 3A state.
2A regional cross-country
Natalie Anderson won and Mae Anderson took second to lead defending state champion Hotchkiss to a runaway victory at Confluence Park.
Bulldogs runners claimed five of the top nine spots to finish with eight points (top three individuals count toward score).
Natalie Anderson finished in 19:05.6, and Mae Anderson was next in 19:45.4. Jennifer Celis placed fifth for Hotchkiss, and Katy Parsons was seventh, and Sophia Schelle was ninth.
Paonia was second with 21 points as three Eagles finished in the top 13: Taylor Polson was third (19:48.3), Chelsea Meilner sixth (20:33.6), and Braiden Clement 13th.
Julia Eskelson of Meeker placed ninth to qualify for state.
In the boys race, Andrew Tiedemann finished third (16:47.33), leading Hotchkiss to third place and a state berth.
Three Bulldogs placed in the top 12 as Tyrell Clock was 11th, and Bryce Homme was 12th.
Paonia, led by a sixth-place finish from Jason Sturgis, finished fourth as a team to qualify for state.
Meeker’s Caleb Lange placed 13th to qualify for state.
Ashley Preuss and Courtney Gopinath had 11 kills apiece as Grand Junction upset Durango 25-21, 25-22, 25-20 in a Southwestern League match.
“This was the best match I’ve ever seen them play,” first-year Tigers coach Shawna Emmons said. “They were phenomenal. ... They came together and played as a team, every single player, they flowed out there. They played with heart.”
Cheyenna O’Brien led the Tigers (9-9, 2-7 SWL) with 20 assists. Tia Wright added six kills.
Durango dropped to 9-8, 5-3.
■ Montrose defeated Montezuma-Cortez 25-23, 13-25, 25-17, 25-18 in SWL play.
■ Carson Pipher had 11 kills and Morgan Hartigan had 10 as undefeated Paonia beat Plateau Valley 25-14, 27-25, 25-21 in Class 2A/1A Western Slope League play.