Jadyn Heil mastered her Saturday “to-do list” — again.
The Fruita Monument High School junior’s weekend routine:
■ Rise and shine;
■ Go to a high school cross country race;
Check, check and check.
Heil, in a repeat performance, won the girls 5K at the annual Grand Junction Invitational cross country meet Saturday at Connected Lakes State Park.
Continuing her quest to rebound from a vanquished track season last spring, Heil led from the starting gun and extended her advantage over each of the 3 miles on the double-loop course along the roads, paths and trails of Connected Lakes.
She won in 17 minutes, 54.7 seconds in front of a modest crowd of mask-wearing parents and friends.
Sophia Connerton-Nevin, a Glenwood Springs freshman, finished second in 18:33.5 with teammate Ella Johnson third (18:41.0). Kylie Kenny of Aspen was fourth (19:14.2).
“I was looking to break 18 minutes and I did that,” Heil said after Saturday’s win. “I wasn’t going quite as fast in the second mile. That’s what I’ve been trying to work on … being consistent throughout the whole race.”
A fast finishing mile enabled Heil to run 24 seconds faster than her winning time on the same course two weeks ago.
“It was hard, but I definitely felt good,” she said. “Our training has really been paying off.”
Heil said she was especially proud of her youthful Fruita Monument teammates.
“We have five freshmen girls on the varsity team,” Heil said. “They’re all running super-good. They’re all improving rapidly. I’m definitely hopeful for where our team is going to go this year.”
Ella Unrein, one of the Wildcats’ freshmen, finished fifth Saturday in 19:17.3.
The Fruita Monument girls won the meet with 34 points (five runners scoring). Aspen finished second with 54.
Palisade was third (84), led by Lexi Chele’s sixth-place finish.
Eagle Valley placed fourth (97) followed by host Grand Junction (102) and Ignacio (158).
Glenwood Springs and Central also competed but did not field enough finishers for a girls team score.
Fruita Monument teammates Elaina Archand, Mackenzie Black and Addison Eyre placed 11th, 12th and 13th, respectively.
Mandy Moran led Grand Junction in seventh place (19:54.4). Nina English was 18th (21:16.5) and Riley Pope 20th (21:22.8) for the Tigers.
Fruita Monument senior McGinley Zastrow extended his season-long winning streak by dominating the boys 5K.
Zastrow, who surged to the lead just 50 meters into the race, won in a stunning 16:00.9 — just off his targeted time. He won by more than 20 seconds.
Fruita Monument’s Gannon Seagren was third (16:41.3) and teammate Oliver Balestrieri was fourth (16:51.5).
The Wildcats finished second in boys team standings with 54 points.
Eagle Valley won with 44 points. The Devils were led by second-place finisher Gage Nielsen (16:22.2).
The Grand Junction boys, paced by Daniel Duffy in fifth (16:53.5) and Warin Watson in seventh (16:54.2), finished third as a team. Palisade was fourth with Shiloh Trowbridge sixth individually (16:53.7).
Aspen was fifth and Ignacio sixth in the meet limited in size by CHSAA and state health regulations.
“I was going for sub-16,” Zastrow said from behind his mask. “But my second mile …kind of slowed me for the rest of the race.”
Still, he finished in 16:00.9 — 9/10ths of a second away from a sub-16-minute 5K.
Zastrow ran out front solo for the entire race.
But on the long backstretch, he said he thought he heard someone running right behind him. He elevated his pace.
‘“But running scared is never a good thing,” he said with a self-deprecating chuckle. He regained his race rhythm and finished with another victory.
“I know he was hoping to go under 16 (minutes),” Fruita Monument coach Jay Valentine said. “But he’s right there. He knows he’s going to do it; it’s just a matter of time.”
Valentine said Zastrow has had to run out front by himself all season.
“He’s had no competition all year,” Valentine said, paying tribute to Zastrow’s dedication and attention to detail.
Similarly, he said, Heil is very focused when she races.
“Jadyn so sticks to the race plan. She is just so aware of where she is,” the Fruita Monument coach said, adding praise for the freshman runners.
“Ella … ran such a smart race. And for a freshman, it shows you her kind of talent,” he said.
Valentine and the Fruita Monument cross country program will host the annual Anna Banana Invitational next Saturday at Snooks Bottom.