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DENVER — One of the best female distant runners in the state looked like a sprinter at the start the girls cross country Class 5A Jeffco League championship race. Pomona junior Emma Stutzman …
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DENVER — One of the best female distant runners in the state looked like a sprinter at the start the girls cross country Class 5A Jeffco League championship race.
Pomona junior Emma Stutzman didn’t waste any time in taking an early lead as she dashed down the slight downhill of westbound Nassau Ave. in front of D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School on Oct. 14.
“I really wanted to take a fast mile out, kind of hang with it in the second mile and push myself in the third mile,” Stutzman said. “I was a little bit behind my goal time, but I essentially did what I wanted to do.”
What Stutzman did was win another individual conference title with a time of 17 minutes, 47.7 seconds. The junior was a full minute ahead of runner-up Chatfield sophomore Hannah Anderson. It was the largest margin of victory of the four individual varsity races.
The weather was a little dicey before the race with a rain/snow mix. However, the skies cleared just before the start of the races.
“Running in the mud and the rain can always be fun,” Stutzman said. “I wasn’t too worried about it. If anything I was worried about it being hot. We came here last week and it was pretty hot up here.”
Stutzman turns her attention to regionals next week. Pomona will run in the 5A Region 3 meet on Thursday, Oct. 21, at Broomfield County Commons Park. Then it will be likely off to the state meet Saturday, Oct. 30, at Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs where Stutzman will go head-to-head against Cherry Creek senior Riley Stewart.
“I definitely want to go for the three-peat,” Stutzman said of trying to win her third regional meet to qualify for state. “I definitely want to get in that top-5 at state, potentially top-2. I want to dominate the course with Riley.”
Stutzman finished third at state last Fall behind Stewart and Cherokee Trail’s Cameron McConnell.
In the 5A Jeffco League team races, Valor Christian had a clean sweep. Arvada West senior David Rhoades claimed the 5A boys individual title with a time of 16:30. He finished about a dozen seconds ahead of Chatfield junior Camden Law.
On the 4A side, Golden senior Bryce Reeburgh took full advantage of the graduations of Green Mountain’s Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos and Conifer’s Zack Gacnik.
“Grahm and Zack were just ahead of me. I’ve kind of been sitting in their shadows for awhile,” Reeburgh said after winning the 4A individual boys race with a time of 15:49.6.
Conifer junior Patrick Doty finished second with a time of 15:58.6. It was a little chaotic before the first race of the day.
“The course wasn’t bad. It was actually really fun,” Reeburgh said. “Before the race it started snowing and raining so I put on a bunch of layers under my uniform. Then 10 minutes before the race I had to take it all off. It was a little stressful at the beginning, but it worked out fine.”
Reeburgh said his goal is to win at regionals next week. The Demons head to Evergreen for the 4A Region 1 meet at Evergreen Memorial Park on Friday, Oct. 22, for the state qualifying meet.
“I’ve never had a really good state race,” Reeburgh said. “I’ve either just bombed it or been sick or injured. Just want to have a really good race there and hopefully take a top-3 position.”
Conifer claimed the 4A boys team title and Green Mountain won the 4A girls team championship with Conifer sophomore Audry VanWestrienen winning the individual title.
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com
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