West Grand battles to the finish in Delta
Coming into the final 200 meters Sept. 11 in Delta, runners from Meeker were battling it out with West Grand’s Henry Westfahl and Galen Wilkinson.
In the final stretch, Wilkinson shifted into high gear and passed one of the runners from Meeker, as he came up on Westfahl with the finish just ahead.
In the end, Wilkinson edged Westfahl by just 0.67 of a second, as the duo took 11th and 12th. Another Mustangs runner, Alex Bergman, finished just 12.56 seconds behind Westfahl.
The boys race was similar to the girls, as West Grand’s Allura Luna, Samantha Westfahl, Joy Hast had been trading the lead throughout the run, and then raced to the finish.
Samantha Westfahl found her signature kick and came on strong as she passed Luna with about 50 meters to go. Luna finished just 1.41 seconds behind and West Grand took fifth and sixth places with Joy Hast coming in eighth.
Delta’s Confluence Park was a fun course, and a great one for spectators to see the athletes multiple times on one course. The regional meet is held on this course, and it is also one of the fastest in Colorado. All of the West Grand athletes set either a season or career PR at this race, which saw seven teams compete on Friday.
As a team, the West Grand girls placed third and were the top Class 2A squad of the meet. Samantha Westfahl, Luna and Hast were the team’s top three finishers and the top three 2A finishers in the race.
It took all five girls to score as a team, and Lillie Steinle and Joana Ramirez had significant improvements to boost the team score
Meanwhile, the boys team keeps growing this year and now has eight members. On Friday, six competed.
Vincent Schenk, Brandon Dale, and Eric Gregory keep getting stronger each race, and Gregory took almost 2 minutes off his personal record. Also, Dale took over 6 minutes off his PR, and Schenk improved his by more than 9 minutes.
Additionally, Bergman rejoined the team recently after taking a year off from cross country. He finished his first race of the season within 20 seconds of his personal record, set two years ago on the same course. At the same time, Henry Westfahl took almost a minute off his season PR and was within 15 seconds of his career PR. Wilkinson took 1.5 minutes off his season PR, and was within 45 seconds of his career PR.
“Never a bad day or meet at Confluence Park in Delta,” Coach Ryan Tripicchio said.
West Grand will host a dual meet with Colorado Rocky Mountain School at 11 a.m. Saturday at Doc Ceriani Park.
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US Forest Service officials have closed Willow Creek Reservoir in Grand County because of a potential blue-green algae bloom.