Whiting twins help Delta girls qualify for state XC meet
DELTA — For the entire cross country season, Delta High School sophomore Cleo Whiting has been trying to keep up with her twin sister, Clarissa.
She finally caught her Wednesday, when the sisters finished second and third in the Class 4A Region 5 meet at Confluence Park, helping the Panthers secure their first state bid in seven years.
“It’s the first time I stayed with her all year,” Cleo Whiting said.
Clarissa finished second with a time of 19 minutes, 4 seconds, behind winner Mandy Ortiz of Battle Mountain, who finished in 18:46. Cleo finished third, five seconds behind her sister, to help the Panthers place fourth with 130 points. Teammate Carissa Sidor placed 12th in 20:01 and qualified for state.
“I knew if they ran the way they have all year, they could finished toward the top,” Delta coach J.B. Lopez said.
Palisade’s Katy Mueller grabbed the final qualifying spot, placing 15th in 20:09. Montrose’s Dana Shellhorn placed sixth in 19:39 to qualify for state.
The Delta girls finished nine points ahead of Glenwood Springs, which saw its string of seven straight trips to state end.
Battle Mountain finished in the top spot with 43 points. Durango scored 53, Moffat County 107 and Delta 130. Montrose placed eighth and Palisade ninth.
“It looked like our boys ran well, which was our only bright spot for today,” Glenwood coach Mike Schneiter said.
Moffat County won the boys team title with 68 points. Durango took second, Glenwood Springs was third and Eagle Valley placed fourth and qualified for state. Montrose was fifth, Delta was eighth and Palisade was 10th.
Alfredo Lebron of Moffat County took first place in 15:47. Andrew Mansfield of Glenwood Springs was second in 16:08.
Delta had two individual qualify for state. Jacob Ames of Delta placed third in 16:19 and Daniel De La Rosa was 11th in 17:07.
The Hotchkiss girls, who finished second at state last year, came in right at the qualifying line with 65 points in the Region 1 meet at Confluence Park.
“Last year we barely got out of regional and went to state and did well. We hope to do the same thing this year,” Hotchkiss coach Kelly Cowan said.
The Bulldogs were led by sophomore Natalie Anderson, who finished fourth in 19:39.
“She ran pretty close to her best time all year,” Cowan said. “I just have to remind her to relax a little bit more.”
The Aspen girls won the meet with 42 points, ahead of Bayfield (62), Hotchkiss (65) and Gunnison (67).
Cody Barlett led the Hotchkiss boys team to second place with a time of 17:06. He finished fourth. Teammates Kurt Katzdorn was 15th, Trevor Walters was 16th and Jason Sturgis placed 17th.
Pagosa Springs finished first in the boys regional with 42 points. Hotchkiss was second with 49, Gunnison had 55 and Buena Vista was fourth with 72.
Rifle’s Jake Statler qualified for state with a ninth-place finish in 17:31. Grand Valley’s Isaiah Martinez qualified for state with a 14th-place finish in 17:56.
The Telluride boys and girls won the Region 4 team titles at Confluence Park and qualified for state.
The Miners’ Ty Williams won the boys race in 16:05 and Rachel Hampton won the girls race in 18:28.
Meeker’s Jake Boesch, Lathrop Hughes and Krissie Harman qualified for state with top-15 finishes.
Fruita Monument’s Kyler Brown hasn’t run for more than a week because of shin splints, but placed 10th in the Region 3 meet at Aurora Sports Park to qualify for state.
Brown finished the 5K race in 16:46. Teammate Chuck Bisbee finished two spots behind him to qualify, clocking a 16:51.
“Kyler was injured for a week and a half and he still pulled it off,” Fruita coach Herb Huskey said. “Chuck was right behind Kyler and took 14 or 15 seconds off the last time he ran this course.”
They were the only state qualifiers for the Fruita Monument boys or girls. The boys took sixth place, missing the fifth and final qualifying team spot by nine points.
The Fruita Monument girls placed eighth, led by Micheala Hoffman. She placed 42nd in 21:10.
The Central boys placed 11th, led by Sebastian Nevin with a 71st-place finish in 18:29. Emma Beckstead placed 48th in 21:40 and Emily Stull was 49th in 21:41 in the girls race.