by Heather Westfahl
Coming into the final 200 meters, we have Meeker’s Gabe Richardson, West Grand’s Henry Westfahl, Meeker’s Ethan Drake, and West Grand’s Galen Wilkinson. Galen has shifted into high gear; he has passed Ethan and is coming up to Henry. The finish line is just ahead… And Galen has Henry by just 0.67 of a second! Wait–here comes Alex Bergman of West Grand, finishing just 12.56 seconds behind Henry. Way to go, West Grand! Galen finished 11th, Henry 12th, and Alex 17th.
The events in this spot just 45 minutes earlier were very similar. Coming into the last 200 meters, we have West Grand’s Allura Luna, then Samantha Westfahl, Joy Hast, and Delta’s Kylie Huff. The three West Grand teammates have been trading the lead throughout the race, and we get to see them race it out. Samantha has found her signature kick and is coming on strong. Samantha passed Allura with about 50 meters to go. Allura finished just 1.41 seconds behind Samantha. No time to catch your breath–here comes Joy and Kylie! Joy is passed by Kylie and finishes 21.6 seconds behind Allura. The West Grand ladies finished within 23 seconds of each other. Samantha finished 5th, Allura 6th, and Joy 8th.
Delta’s Confluence Park is a fun course to compete on and a great course for spectators to see our athletes multiple times on one course. This Regional Meet is held on this course, and this race gives a preview of what to expect. It is also one of the fastest cross country courses in Colorado. This is the course on which many season and career personal records (PRs) are made and broken. Friday was no exception. All our West Grand athletes set either a season or career PR at this race.
Seven teams competed at this race on Friday. West Grand’s girls placed 3rd and as the top 2A team of the meet. Samantha, Allura, and Joy 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; Lillie Steinle and Joana Ramirez had significant improvements to boost the team score. Joana took over 5 minutes off her career and season PR. Lillie took over 5 minutes off her season PR, and almost 3 minutes off her career PR. Joy took over 2 minutes off her season PR and came within 25 seconds of her career PR. Allura took just over 2 minutes off her season PR and just under 2 minutes off her career PR. Samantha took just under 2 minutes off her season PR and was within 10 seconds of her career PR.
The boys’ team keeps growing this year, with eight members this year. This week, six of our eight boys competed. Vincent Schenk, Brandon Dale, and Eric Gregory keep getting stronger each race. Eric took almost 2 minutes off his season and career PR. Brandon took 6.5 minutes off his season and career PR. Vincent took 9.5 minutes off his season and career PR. Alex Bergman joined the team again this past week after taking a year off from cross country. Alex finished his first race of the season within 20 seconds of his career PR, set two years ago on the same course. Henry took almost a minute off his season PR and was within 15 seconds of his career PR. Galen took 1.5 minutes off his season PR and was within 45 seconds of his career PR.
All the athletes did well. As Coach Tripicchio says, “It’s never a bad day or meet at Confluence Park in Delta.” West Grand’s Cross Country team will be hosting a dual meet with Colorado Rocky Mountain School September 19, starting in Doc Ceriani Park at 11:00am. Come out, pick a place on the course, and cheer for your West Grand athletes!
by Heather Westfahl