Panthers senior blazes to victory at home
Middle Park senior Ethan Callarman continued to dominate the cross country courses Saturday by finishing the Panthers’ home meet far ahead of everyone else.
Callarman has won races throughout the year, and he posted his second fastest time of the season despite a stiff wind fanning nearby wildfires and making conditions less than ideal.
Still, Callarman crossed the finish more than a minute faster than second place during the 3.1 mile run at Snow Mountain Ranch. After the race, the senior speedster was happy with his time, though the wind did have an effect.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Callarman said after the race. “I was shooting for a faster time, but with the wind and everything, I feel pretty good about it.”
With this being his senior year, Callarman said he’s trying leave everything he has on the course, and make it to state with a strong enough time to get in a good wave.
“I’m just giving it all I got every race,” he said, later adding that the season has been “weird” with COVID-19 restrictions but he’s thankful he’s getting to compete.
Coach Beth Merrick has been deeply impressed by Callarman this season and on Saturday she was extremely excited to see Middle Park boys perform so well as a team.
“Ewan (Gallagher), Dane (Jensen), and Calvin (Ciccarelli) stepped it up this week,” Merrick said, explaining that Jensen helped out the team immensely with his time. “I’m so proud of all of them.”
Additionally, Jonathan Siefken was able to finish the race even though he was dealing with knee pain and Jonah McKnight looked very strong as well.
For the girls, Middle Park senior Katie Trail was the Panthers’ top runner, and she finished third with Leah Cormican, Sierra Manyak and Madison Trail also notching top 10 finishes.
“I love it and I hate it,” said Katie Trail, a standout volleyball and basketball player, of her relationship with cross country. “It’s like super painful during the race, but it’s super satisfying to end it and have a good time.”
Katie Trail joined the cross country team when the fall seasons got shifted around due to COVID-19, and more than anything, she’s just happy to be on a team again.
On Saturday, Panthers freshman Alaina Mears was 13th overall and sixth for her team, marking significant improvements in both measures. By upping her place on the team, Mears earned her slot as the Mustangs’ sixth runner at regionals.
“Yeah, I was last last time,” Mears said of her improvement on the team and making the cut for regionals. “I didn’t think I could do it.”
She will join another Middle Park freshman, Sierra Manyak, who continues to be a valuable asset. On Saturday, Manyak was seventh overall and third on the team, which also marked a nice jump for her.
“I always get beat by these three girls on my team, and this time I got one of them,” Manyak said, crediting training and hard work for the improvement.
Also in the girls race, West Grand’s Allura Luna powered to the finish and recorded the top time among Grand County’s girls. Close behind, Samantha Westfahl was fourth and Joy Hast took 10th.
“It’s been a lot of fun to see Allura make major progress this season,” said Mustangs coach Ryan Tripicchio as he talked about getting the team ready for regionals.
For West Grand’s boys, Henry Westfahl led the way Saturday and took fourth. Alex Bergman was sixth and Quentin Fletcher, Vincent Schenk, Brandon Dale and Eric Gregory rounded out the Mustangs finishers.
“It’s always interesting when you race over 8,000 feet,” Trippicchio said. “We had a good second place overall finish from the girls, and some really good performances from the boys … We’re excited. It’s going to be a whole lot of fun at 4,000 feet if we’re running this well (in the mountains).”
Snow Mountain Ranch Invitational
Saturday, Sept. 26
Boys team scores — 1. Platte Canyon, 38; 2. Middle Park, 40; 3. Clear Creek, 3:12; 4. West Grand, 72.
Middle Park — 1. Ethan Callarman, 19:07; 5. Ewan Gallagher, 21:04; 7. Dane Jensen, 21:15; 13. Calvin Ciccarelli, 22:11; 22. Jonathan Siefken, 24:15; 30. Jonah McKnight, 27.25.
West Grand — 4. Henry Westfahl, 20:44; 6. Alex Bergman, 21:10; 24. Quentin Fletcher, 24:46; 31. Vincent Schenk, 27.39; 38. Brandon Dale, 36:00; 39. Eric Gregory, 45.53.
Girls team scores — 1. Middle Park, 15. (It takes five runners to score.)
Middle Park — 3. Katie Trail, 22:40; 6. Leah Cormican, 23:12; 7. Sierra Manyak, 23:15; 9. Madison Trail, 23:34; 12. Cameryn Friesen, 24:44; 13. Alaina Mears, 25:09; 16. Kylee Boomer, 25:36; 17. Sylvia Brower, 25:38; 22. RJ Friesen, 27:17;
West Grand — 2. Allura Luna, 22:34; 4. Samantha Westfahl, 22:52; 10. Joy Hast, 23:47; 28. Lillie Steinle, 30:02.
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US Forest Service officials have closed Willow Creek Reservoir in Grand County because of a potential blue-green algae bloom.