Granby " Middle Park girls run away with 1st place at regional meet |

Granby " Middle Park girls run away with 1st place at regional meet

Will Bublitz
Grand County, Colorado

In a major upset, the girls team from Middle Park High School in Granby, Colorado, raced to victory at the 3A Region 3 Cross Country Championships at Bailey on Friday, Oct. 10.

Conducted on the Platte Canyon High School cross country course, the regionals saw the six-member Panther girls team win first place by a wide margin in the 15-team competition with a score of 39. Last year, Middle Park placed third at the regionals.

Holy Family, Middle Park’s closest rival, came in second with 47 while St. Mary’s Academy took third with 50. Kent Denver settled for a fourth-place finish with 57.

“Our girls had one of the best team races that I have witnessed as a coach at Middle Park High School and certainly one of the best races that I have ever witnessed on a Homecoming Week,” said coach Jim ‘Cajun’ Courville.

“I’m at a loss for words ” a rarity, I know ” to explain how our girls were able to overcome the distractions that were prevalent last week, but I do have a theory as to why they ran so fast,” he said. “They simply did not want to be late for their Homecoming Dance. Long may they run.”

Leading the Panther girls as she has all season was sophomore Samantha Berggren, who outran the entire field of 66 runners to win with a time of 19:48.5 over the 5-kilometer course. Her time was over two minutes faster than runner-up Hilary Hasse of Platte Canyon, who ran a 21:51.6.

The finish places and running times for the rest of Middle Park’s girls are: 4. Ryndi Zastrow, 22:45.9; 10. Samantha Miyauchi, 23:13.5; 24. Hannah Garcia, 24:21.3; 29. Lindsay Jones, 24.48.1; and 37. Melissa Plum, 25:30.5.

The top four girls teams at the regionals qualified for the state meet, in which all six Panther girls will be competing at the 2008 Colorado High School Cross Country Championships to be held on Saturday at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins. The 3A division race starts at 10:30 a.m.

Boys raced regionals

Middle Park’s boys runners gave it their best effort at the regionals but did not qualify for the state meet.

In last Saturday’s 5K results, the Panthers finished 11th out of 15 teams. Faith Christian won first place, followed by Colorado Academy, Clear Creek, Holy Family and Sheridan.

In the individual results, Melake Getabecha of Colorado Academy raced to victory over the 5K course in a time of 17:38.6.

The places and running times for the Middle Park boys are: 21. Nathanial Ziegler, 19:37.1; 49. Matt Naschak, 21:37.0; 52. Jared Cooper, 21:49.4; and 66. Nick O’Connor, 23:19.9.

“I would like to give an ‘atta-boy’ to Nathanial, Matt, Jared and Nick for one of their best team and individual efforts of the season,” Courville said. “Way to hang in there against really long odds and thanks for your efforts throughout the season.”

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