Widefield High School Cross Country

Blog Archives for 2008

Garden 10 Mile results

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Congratulations to those members of the team, and WHSXC alumni, who ran the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile!

On a very challenging course, Paul Gallogly and Jessica Shoop completed the race in very respectable times. Jessica improved on her time from last year by over 3 minutes, running a very solid 1:45.52. Her time was good for 19th out of 32 in a very tough age group of 15 to 19 year olds (Jessica was the youngest runner in her age group). Paul ran with alum Thomas Powers and completed the course in a great time of 1:10.10 which was good for 11th out of 29 in his age group (Paul was one of the youngest in his age group) and 78th out of 839 runners overall. Thomas finished just ahead of Paul in 10:10.02, good for 76th place overall.

Great job, Jessica, Paul, and Thomas.

The next road race to consider running is the Sailing Shoes 5k/10k in downtown Colorado Springs. Several members of the team are planning on participating in this race, as is Coach Nelson. If you have ever wanted to go toe to toe with Coach in a 5k, this would be the time to do it! For more information and to register, go to the Pikes Peak Road Runners web page.

Erik Nelson Running

Sailin' Shoes 5k/10k Results

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Congratulations to those who ran in the Sailin' Shoes races this past weekend! It was a gorgeous day for running, and the race had an amazing turnout--further proof why Colorado Springs is considered one of the top running towns in the country with over 1,000 people running the two races.

Those who ran in the race were: Paul Gallogly, Ben Gallogly, David Powers, Daniel Mahoney, and Coach Nelson (5k) and Tyler Klopenstine (10k). There were 574 finishers in the 5k and 448 finishers in the 10k. Paul finished with a time of 18:59, good for 36th place overall and 8th place in his age group. Ben ran a 5k PR of 20:23, was 54th overall and 12th in his age group. David was 73rd overall, and 15th in his age group despite not feeling well for the race. Daniel Mahoney also felt sick during the race but still ran well enough for 142nd overall and 23rd in his age group. Tyler went out at 5k pace, missed the turnaround, ended up running the 10k and still finished with an impressive first 10k time of 51:21 which was good enough for 135th overall and 5th in his age group. Coach Nelson crossed the line in 20:22 which put him in 53rd place overall and 4th in his age group.

To see the full results, and to check out pictures from the race, check out the PPRR Results Page!

Great job everyone!

4th of July Races

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Several members of the team participated in the 4th of July 4 Mile run in Palmer Lake, CO this past weekend. The results of those who participated were very impressive! There were a total of 712 runners who finished the race. Out of those 712 runners, Paul Gallogly finished 26th overall with a 4 mile time of 24:14! Paul's time put him in 8th place out of 85 runners in his age group. Right behind Paul was Sean Zimkas, with an impressive time of 24:39, good for 30th place overall. Sean's time placed him 10th out of 85 runners in his age group. David Powers was the next WHS finisher, completing the course in 25:19, and crossing the line 36th overall and in 14th place in his age group. Ben Gallogly completed the course in 26:48, which placed him 57th overall and 19th in his age group.

WHSXC alum Thomas Powers also ran in this race, clocking an impressive time of 21:56 and finishing 4th overall!

Congratulations to all who ran in this race. We are certainly in a very good place to make some great things happen this fall!

Welcome to "No Name Cafe"

Friday, July 18th, 2008

On July 13th, 11 members and friends of the WHS cross country team participated in the Aid Station Challenge during the Barr Trail Mountain Race. Working the No Name Creek aid station, they dressed as waiters and served up an amazing day on the trail! The weather was gorgeous, the runners were great, and the No Name Cafe came home with the first prize of $2250 for the cross country team! Check out these great pictures of the No Name Cafe!

A big thanks goes out to all of those who helped make this event such a great success!

Our victory in this year's Aid Station Challenge guarantees us a spot in next years' challenge, where we can defend our title!

Great job to all those who participated--it was a blast! And to those who missed it: we'll see you on the trail next year!

Pre-State Meet

Monday, August 11th, 2008

The teams opened their racing season in Fort Collins by running in the Pre-State meet. This is the same course the State meet will be run on, so many of the best teams and runners in the state were on hand to get a preview of it. The course seems to be fairly fast, with some stretches that will play into the hands of the stronger runners.

In their race, the boys team took 14th out of 32 schools, led by Luke Wall's 56th place finish. Behind Luke were: Paul Gallogly (67th), Ben Gallogly (69th), David Powers (77th), Sean Zimkas (91st), and Nick Wilson and Jack Sexton.

The girls team got off to a very solid start, bettering their opening times from a year ago by 1-2 minutes across the board. Jessica Shoop led the girls team for the first time, followed by Audra Bergman, Grace Norris, Karisa Sabisch, and Kat Bergman. The top 4 girls were separated by only 25 seconds!

Way to go team!

Canon City Invitational: Lots of Hardware

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

The WHS cross country team put on a great show in Canon City this past Tuesday. In an illustration of just how fit and fast they are at this point in the season, the team recorded 11 Personal Course Records and 2 Personal Records. The average improvement in the PCRs was 1:48!

On the boys side, four Gladiator runners placed in the top 16, led by Luke Wall in 9th place. Right behind Luke were Paul Gallogly (12th), David Powers (14th), and Ben Gallogly (16th). Sean Zimkas rounded out the top 5 in 36th place, helping the boys to a 2nd place team finish! In the JV race, Daniel Mahoney made an impressive season debut, finishing 2nd in an impressive time of 19:26. JOsiah Valenzuela (8th) and Josh Cooper (19th) both got recognized for their finishes in the JV races.

The girls results were equally encouraging. Despite having only 2 returning members from last years State Qualifying team, the girls ran even with their counterparts from a year ago, nearly matching every single time they ran on the same course last year. Grace Norris led the way with a :52 PCR as the girls placed 6th out of 16 teams.

Widefield Cross Country Invitational

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

At their first ever home meet, the Gladiators took care of business!

In the boys race, the Glads went 10th thru 12th (Paul Gallogly, Ben Gallogly, David Powers), 15th (Luke Wall), 20th (Sean Zimkas), and 24th (Daniel Mahoney), en route to a second place team finish. The boys were only 4 points away from taking home the inaugural team title. A very strong Pueblo West boys team finished first.

On the girls side, Audra Bergman became the third girl to lead the team in as many races, finishing in 23rd. She was followed closely by Grace Norris, Karisa Sabisch, and Jessica Shoop. Taylor Anderson rounded out the scoring for the girls team, as they finished 4th out of 13 teams in attendance.

The boys JV race proved equally exciting, as Jack Sexton went straight to the front of the pack along with Josiah Valenzuela. By the half way point, Jack was in front and lengthening his lead. At the finish line, Jack broke the tape well ahead of second place, recording only the second individual victory for Widefield runners in the past 5 years. Josiah made a strong push at the end, finishing fourth, followed by Robby Giese (7th), Josh Cooper (9th), and Eric Lewis (11th).

Given the teams performances in all races, the rest of this season should be a lot of fun, and the future looks bright!

For complete results, click here.

Keeping the Streak Alive

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

At the Florence Husky Invitational, the Widefield boys maintained their streak of great individual and team success. For the 3rd consecutive meet, the boys team finished 2nd overall (all three times getting beaten out by Pueblo West) and brought home yet another team trophy. The boys ran short handed, missing 2 of their top 7 from the previous week, and went out hard for the first two miles. They still managed to hang on and place 4 runners in the top 18, however. Paul Gallogly became the first Gladiator this season to run a 5k in under 18 minutes.

In their race, the girls recorded 3 PRs and two Season Bests as they continue to make strong strides. They continue to outpace their counterparts from the team that went to State a year ago.

In the JV race, Josiah Valenzuela competed hard and placed 4th overall. However, the top 3 finishers were all runners who normally run Varsity for La Junta. Robby, Josh, Anthony, and Eric all placed in the top 16 in the 45 runner field.

Air Academy

Monday, September 15th, 2008

After being constant for nearly 24 hours, the rain let up in time for the 24th Kadet Cross Country Invitational this past Friday. The rain left the course muddy and sloppy, but that did not keep the Gladiators from running well. In a considerably larger field than the one we ran in last year, the boys ran only half of their top 8 and had three runners make their Varsity debut. Led by Paul and Ben Gallogly (31st and 32nd), the boys team still managed a 14th place finish out of the 26 team field. Paul, Ben, Luke Wall, and Josh Cooper all ran PCRs with Josh improving by 3:23 over last year and Ben dropping 4:55 from his debut time a year ago.

The girls team started the race at close to full strength and moved quickly into good positions. As the race progressed, Grace Norris remained at the front of the pack with Audra Bergman and Karisa Sabisch working well together just behind. Jessica Shoop became the sole casualty to the course, aggravating her hip and finishing in 5th for the team. Taylor Anderson rounded out the scoring in 4th place, her highest team finish ever. Grace improved her time from a year ago by several seconds, while Karisa Sabisch ran the team's only PR, taking 27 seconds off of her previous best! The girls performance was good for 12th place--the first time they have out performed the boys this year.

In all, 7 of the 8 runners who had raced on the course before set PCRs despite the sloppy conditions!

Breakthrough Week

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

This past week, the WHS cross country team recorded some breakthrough performances despite having their hardest training and racing week of the season.

On Thursday, at the Cougar Classic, the Varsity Boys kicked things off with a great team performance. David Powers led the team for the first time ever, nearly breaking the 18:00 barrier. The boy's fifth runner was only 32 seconds behind David, giving Widefield the best pack time of all teams in the race! As a team, the boys finished 14th out of 35 schools, but were 3rd among all 4A teams. The girls followed the boys performance with very solid performances of their own. Running short handed, they too saw some breakouts as Taylor Anderson ran well under 25:00 for the first time, and Kat Bergman broke 28:00. The JV runners followed suit, going 3 for 3 with PRs!

Two days later the team turned around and raced at the Fountain Fort-Carson Invitational. On a course where great things happened for the team last year, expectations were high and everyone competed well. However, the course ran considerably slower this year than it did last year due largely to longer grass on some sections of the course. Despite the slower course, we still recorded 4 PRs, 3 PCRs, and 3 Season Bests! The boys team finished 6th overall, while the girls were 18th.

Pueblo Central

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

At the Pueblo Central Invitational this past weekend, the Gladiator harriers put together the best team performance of the season. On a course that ran slower than in previous years, the Gladiators got very good performances across the board, recording 7 PRs, 5 Personal Course Records, and one Season Best.

The JV boys kicked the day off in great fashion, as Josiah Valenzuela and Anthony Erker went quickly to the front of the pack. They both demonstrated great determination and toughness, battling to keep their spots throughout the race. Josiah ended up finishing 4th overall, becoming the first freshman this year and 8th member of the team to break 20:00. Anthony held on for a 23rd place finish, with Josh Cooper coming in one second and one place behind. Eric Lewis rounded out the JV runners earning points with their place, as he finished 37th out of the 106 or so runners in the race.

The Varsity Boys race followed, and the Gladiator boys refused to be out done by their JV counterparts. Going out more relaxed than they had been previously, the entire boys team put themselves in positions to do a lot of passing throughout the race. And pass they did! David Powers became the 2nd member of the team to break the 18:00 barrier and finished in 20th place overall, earning a medal for his performance. Luke Wall followed with a PR, along with Paul and Ben Gallogly, Sean Zimkas, and Nick Wilson who all ran Personal Course Records. Jack Sexton rounded out the Varsity team by running a very solid season best.

In the girls race, the top 3 girls did an amazing job of finding one another and running as a pack from the 2nd mile on. At the end, Karisa Sabisch out kicked her teammates to become the 4th girl to lead the team this season, her first time ever atop the team. Audra Bergman finished one second and one place behind Karisa, with Grace Norris just a short distance behind. Taylor Anderson equaled her best team finish and continues to impress as she ran yet another PR! Jessica Shoop rounded out the teams' scoring, and Kat Bergman recorded a PR as well!

This week, the team heads to Englewood High School to run on what has the potential to be one of the fastest courses in state. The boys JV race will kick off at 9:30, followed by the Girls Varsity at 10:00 and the Boys Varsity at 10:30.

The Big "Mo"

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Momentum is a precious thing--either you have it or you do not. After back to back season-best team performances, it is official: we have it!

At the Windjammer Invitational, hosted by Englewood high school, the Widefield cross country teams took big steps towards racing in the last weekend of October. Evidence the team is running its best at the right time can be seen in these numbers: as a team, we recorded 10 PRs, 10 PCRs, and 3 season bests. Out of the 19 people who competed in this race, 17 ran one of the above.

With near perfect conditions, the JV boys kicked things off. Jack Sexton was the early team leader. With nearly a mile left in the race, Jack's shoe got stepped on and wrenched off his foot. Despite running nearly an entire mile with one shoe, Jack held on for a Personal Course Record and one of his best times of the year. After Jack lost his shoe, both Josh Cooper and Robby Giese were able to successfully make a move to the front of the WHS pack. With neither willing to give in, it came to a kick to the line as Josh out leaned Robby in a PR time of 20:16 (a 3:09 improvement over this course last year) to Robby's PR of 20:17. Shortly after Jack came Anthony Erker in a nice PR, Eric Lewis with a season best, and Connor Brewer.

As the girls race began, the weather started to heat up. It was the girls who were red-hot, though! Throughout the race, the girls found one another and worked together, pulling each other to season bests across the board! Audra Bergman out leaned Karisa Sabisch as they finished with identical times of 22:39, PRs for each of them. Just behind them was Grace Norris, running a season best and PCR of 22:43 and completing the terrific trio up front for the girls. Mere seconds later Jessica Shoop crossed the line, also with a season best and PCR. Taylor Anderson rounded out the scoring for the girls, finishing a mere 65 seconds behind the duo up front and also running a PR. The biggest improvement of the day, however, went to Kat Bergman who took nearly a minute off her previous best time! The girls' team finished 14th out of 23 schools.

On the line, the Varsity Boys looked to continue the trend and build on the momentum. At the gun, Luke Wall and Paul Gallogly went to the lead group. Paul played some leap frog with the runners around him, going from 12th to 20th during the course of the race, but finished in 18th place with an impressive PR of 17:31! Ben Gallogly had a solid finish and crossed the line in a PR of 18:06 (3:30 faster than he ran on this course last year). Four of the remaining five runners battled through various ailments during their race, but performed admirably none the less. David Powers dealt with cramps the entire race and still finished with a PCR of nearly one minute. The concrete reeked havoc with Sean Zimkas' knee, yet he finished fourth for the team and also took nearly a minute off of his time on this course a year ago. Luke Wall finished 6th for the team despite a tight neck and shoulder, and Nick Wilson set a PCR and kept his varsity spot while fighting through a tight hamstring.

The big story of the day for the boys, however, was the emergence of Josiah Valenzuela. One week after earning another shot at varsity by becoming the 8th member of the team to break 20:00 this year, Josiah went out and ran with the big boys. Looking calm and relaxed throughout, Josiah took another minute plus off of his time, becoming the 6th boy this season to run under 19:00. With his performance, Josiah changes the complexion of the boys team completely, adding depth to an already strong top 5, and proving he is ready to step up when the team needs him. With his help, the boys team placed 9th out of 23 schools in attendance.

Keep it rollin'!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Two days before many League Championship meets, 15 teams converged on Monument Valley Park for one final invitational. Many teams ran their JV squads, but at least four teams ran their Varsity racers. Going into the race the Gladiators looked to prove that their fantastic performances at Englewood last weekend were not a fluke and to continue building on the momentum they have gained in recent weeks. The result: keep the momentum coming!

In the boys' race, the Gladiator "B" Squad more than held their own, stepping up to the challenge of running Varsity and proving themselves up to the task. As a team, the boys finished a very impressive 4th, led by Josiah Valenzuela's 23rd place finish. Right behind Josiah came Nick Wilson, Jack Sexton, Anthony Erker, and Robby Giese, separated by only 11 seconds!

The lone girl to run in this race, Karisa Sabisch recorded a PCR, finishing in 26th place.

In total, the eight runners turned in 3 PCRs, one PR, and, more importantly, showed that the best is yet to come for the Gladiators!

On Thursday, the team will head back to Fountain Fort-Carson as they look to record their highest team places in over a decade at the Colorado Springs Metro League meet. This will also be the last chance for individuals to earn spots on the Regional team, guaranteeing the races will be well worth watching. Race times on Thursday will be: 4:00 Boys Varsity, 4:30 Girls Varsity, 5:00 Boys JV, 5:10 Girls JV. Come support the Gladiators in their final meet before Regionals!

Into the Bell Lap

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Going into the Colorado Springs Metro League Meet, the Gladiators were looking to simply keep alive the momentum they had built over the past several weeks. When the meet ended, the teams were flying high, having built even more momentum and positioned themselves for a strong kick to the finish.

The boys Varsity team kicked the day off in style. Running against 3 of the top 7 teams in the state, the competition was expected to be fierce, and did not disappoint. In a huge field, the boys ran smart collectively, moving up throughout the race, and finishing well up in the field. Out of the 4A competitors, Paul Gallogly finished 16th, David Powers was 17th, Ben Gallgoly crossed in 22nd, and Josiah Valenzuela continued his hot streak, finishing in 24th place with an impressive time of 18:22. Sean Zimkas rounded out the boys scoring runners. As a team, the boys placed 4th, edging out Cheyenne Mountain.

The girls followed the boys race and did something they had not done all season: have a better 1-5 pack time than the boys! Led by Grace Norris, the girls packed Audra Bergman, Taylor Anderson (also with yet another PR!), Karisa Sabisch, and Jessica Shoop within 30 seconds of each other! They finished 5th as a team. Both the boys and girls teams were first out of teams from our region.

The boys JV runners refused to be outdone by their Varsity counterparts. Anthony Erker became the 9th boy to go sub 20:00 this season, running a nice PR and leading the way for a pack that included Robbie Giese, Josh Cooper, and Eric Lewis who all finished within 74 seconds of each other!

Next Thursday, the team will go to Monument Valley Park where they will attempt to do something that has not been done at Widefield High School since 2001: qualify both teams for state. The boys look to be in great shape for a top 4 finish, and it appears any of the top four teams in the region could make a push for a Regional Title. However, there are also several teams lurking behind the top four teams who will be sure to pounce if anyone falters. A repeat of the last two weeks performances would have the girls in a great position for a top 5 finish and a realistic shot at a State berth.

A Fond Farewell

Friday, October 17th, 2008

The Regional meet marked the last high school cross country race for two of our runners.

Grace Norris did not run cross country as a freshman but was convinced to run track by a friend. She had intended to be a sprinter, but on the first day of practice her friend dragged her to the group of distance runners. The rest is history! That summer Grace became one of the first members of WHSXC to log 300 miles of running, a feat she accomplished each of the next 2 summers as well. Her sophomore cross country season she was consistently in the top 3 on the team and even led the team on multiple occasions. That year she set a then-PR of 22:55, which still ranks 6th on the sophomore girls top 10 list. As a sophomore, Grace also became one of a very few individuals to letter in three sports: cross country, swimming, and track. In her Junior cross country season, Grace got off to a slow and frustrating start. However, with a great supporting cast around her she persevered and ended up having her most successful season. She recorded a PR of 22:24, was a member of the State qualifying girls team, and team captain. She still owns the top 4 and 8 of the top 10 times run by a junior since 2004. Grace again lettered in three sports as a junior. This season, Grace was again voted team captain and for the first time was the teams top runner consistently. She recorded 4 personal course records on the season, and finished in the top half or better of nearly every race she ran. She ran her most complete race ever in her last race, finishing in 21st place at Regionals. Grace has been an example and role model for the team and will be missed.

Michael Key was dragged out for cross country by a senior member of the team when he was a freshman. He was a short, hyper freshman who enjoyed cross country but was not very focused on running. Over the years, Mike grew as a runner as well as as a person. He has become one of the most loyal members of our team and someone who the team as a whole loves to have around. In his sophomore season, Mike won the Most Improved award after running 5 PRs on the season and dropping his time from 26:27 to 21:37. Mike's smile, fun loving demeanor, love for cross country, and support for his team will be missed.

Thank you both for all that you have done for our team. We will not soon forget you!

Fort Collins Bound!

Friday, October 17th, 2008

For the past several weeks, the Widefield Cross Country teams had been building momentum with each race, preparing for a strong showing at Regionals and a potential State berth. Well, at the Regional meet, they did not disappoint!

The boys Varsity kicked the day off. At the first mile mark the boys were running conservatively but were in perfect position to make a move. Over the next mile, they worked themselves right where they needed to be for a strong finish. Coming down the final straight away, it was a sea of Columbia Blue, as the Glads put 5 runners in the top 20 and 6 in the top 28, more than any other team could say. Paul Gallogly led the way, running an impressive 5:26 for his last mile and crossing the line in 17:45, his second fastest time ever, which was good for 9th place overall and an individual berth to State. Shortly behind Paul, David Powers ran an equally impressive last mile. He moved up several places, finishing in 13th and also earning an individual bid to State with a Personal Record time of 17:56.

Neither Paul nor David wanted to be the only ones going to State, though. The rest of the team did not want that to be the case either, and it showed! Luke Wall ran a PCR, finishing 16th overall. Right behind Luke, Ben Gallogly also ran a PCR, good for 19th place. And, rounding out the top 5, Josiah Valenzuela was the first freshman in the region to cross the line, placing 20th overall. The boys' 77 points was good for 3rd place in the Region and a team berth for the State meet next week! Sean Zimkas finished just behind the lead group, running a very solid 18:47 which was good for 28th overall. Completing the boys' Varsity team was Nick Wilson, who finished in 57th. Congratulations to these 7 boys who will be competing at State!

In the girls race, there was a sense of urgency in the pack from the start. With only a few of the 15 individual qualifying spots realistically up for grabs, there were many girls who had their eyes on those spots. Grace Norris was one of those girls. And, boy did she go after it! Running with heart and determination rarely seen before, Grace ran an amazing race, recording a Personal Course Record time of 22:38, good for 21st place. The rest of the girls team showed heart and determination not previously seen this year as well. Karisa Sabisch and Audra Bergman both finished in the top 50% of the race with PCRs. Also recording PCRs were Taylor Anderson and Kat Bergman. Jessica Shoop had been battling a migraine all week and was not feeling anywhere near 100% on the line, yet she gutted out the race, recording her 4th fastest time of the season in a very impressive effort.

The top 4 teams in the region distanced themselves from the pack as our girls team finished 7th. However, for a team that had only 2 members who had ever run a cross country race before this year, the girls accomplishments, both individually and as a team, cannot be understated. They improved every single week and performed their best at the end of the season. Very good things await this girls team!

In the JV race, the boys had to deal with a lot of traffic in a field of over 220 runners. With lots of people to pass, Robby Giese ran one of only 2 PRs on the day, finishing at 20:00 (or 19:59 depending on whose watch you look at!) Jack Sexton finished just behind Robby as both finished in the top 40% of the race. Josh Cooper, Anthony Erker, Eric Lewis, and Michael Key rounded out the boys JV team. All season long this group of JV boys pushed the Varsity runners in meets and practices, setting the tone at several meets, and making sure whoever was on Varsity on any given day knew they had to run well to stay on Varsity. The future is in good hands with this group of boys around!

On Saturday, October 25th the boys team will travel to Fort Collins for the State Championships. The race will be held at Fossil Ridge High School. The 4A boys race will start at 11:00. Come support our boys team in their last race of the season!

Saving the Best For Last!

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

The boys cross country team went to Fort Collins for the State meet looking to do something special. When all was said and done, they had produced results that were nothing short of spectacular.

In a huge field of 196 runners, the WHS boys started the race exactly as they needed to: strong but relaxed. Coming through in the mid 5's for one mile, they were in a great position to have lots of people to pass and plenty of time and energy to do so. At the mile mark, the top 6 boys were within 5 seconds of each other, doing an incredible job of finding one another and working together in such a big crowd. By mile two, the top 5 runners for WHS had started to spread out--now there were 10 seconds between them.

Over the final mile and change, the runners worked to pass every person they could and leave it all on the course. And, when the fifth runner passed the 400 meters to go point in 16:40 or so, it was obvious they were on the verge of doing something spectacular.

This is the way the official results read: Paul Gallogly led the team in 79th place with a time of 17:37.17 (a PCR); David Powers was just behind Paul, finishing in 85th place in 17:40.52 (a PR); just getting out-leaned at the line by his teammate, Josiah Valenzuela finished in 86th place in 17:40.57 (a PR); Ben Gallogly ran a PR of 17:45.67, good for 92nd place; Luke Wall rounded out the top 5 coming through in 101st and a time of 17:55.52 (a PR); Sean Zimkas battled through a huge cramp for the last two miles, but still managed to run a 19:28.27; and Nick Wilson ran his best race ever coming through in 19:42.07 (a PR).

Prior to this race, the team had only had 2 members break 18:00 and only once had those two done it in the same race. Today, 5 members broke the 18:00 barrier. Also, on the toughest day to run as a pack, the top 5 put together their best pack time of the season, crossing the line within 18 second of one another.

All of this was good for a 16th place team finish out of the 70 4A teams in Colorado.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the day is what it makes one believe the future has in store for this group. Every member of this team will be back next season (one of only 2 teams in the top 16 that can say as much), and each of them is hungry to do even more. Paul Gallogly was the 25th junior to finish in the race, putting himself in position for a realistic push for a top 30 finish or better next year. David, Luke, and Ben were the 15th, 18th, and 22nd sophomore finisher respectively, setting themselves up for top 40-50 finishes next year and top 15-20 as seniors. Josiah Valenzuela was the 6th freshman finisher in the race, a fact that should have him eying a push for the state's top spot in a few years.

Obviously a lot can happen in the next 12 months, but this year's winning team scored 130 points, second place had 182, and fifth scored 250. When the seniors are eliminated from this years scoring, Widefield comes away with a total of 263 points.

What all this means, only time will tell. This is for certain, though: it was an amazing season that ended on an incredible note. And the best is yet to come...

Incoming 8th Graders

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

In order for WHSXC to be competitive at the State level year in and year out, we have to have a minimum of 15 freshmen join our team each year. If you are checking out our web site because you are thinking about being one of those freshmen, welcome! Feel free to check out our site and get a feel for our team.

There are some unique things about our team that you should know about. First, cross country is one of the only sports where freshmen get to train with, compete against, learn from, and potentially beat the upper classmen. Most sports have separate freshman teams, and unless you are an exceptional athlete, you will be playing with, practicing with, and learning from only other freshmen. Cross country is also the only sport where the boys and girls teams practice together and travel together.

Second, cross country provides many opportunities for freshmen to earn Varsity letters. In the past two seasons we have had 8 freshmen earn letters, which is more than all other fall sports combined. For the past 5 seasons we have never had fewer than three freshmen earn letters.

Finally, our team is good and getting better. We have a solid core of returning runners. However, the future looks extremely bright. Our boys team finished 16th at the State meet this past season and are looking forward to a top 3-5 finish next year. Our girls team qualified for State in the 2007 season and will have a realistic chance to do so again next year.

In order for us to become and remain one of the best teams in the state, we need you to join us!