Cross Country: Niwot dominates at RE-1J Meet
September 20, 2017
Running as a pack, the Niwot boys and girls cross country teams both took first place at the RE-1J District meet in convincing fashion.
Paced by sophomore Cruz Culpepper, the Niwot boys had five of the race’s ten fastest times to take first place with 21 points. Lyons was second on the day, with 58 points, followed by Mead (60) and Erie (104).
Culpepper took second overall with a time of 17 minutes, 51.79 seconds, followed by seniors Ethan Steiner (17:53.15) in third, Oskar Wells (17.55.64) in fourth, and Benjamin Bi (17:56.32) in fifth. Junior Jack Volf (18:00.90) was seventh. Ares Reading, who took first in the Division 2 race at the Liberty Bell Invitational on Sept. 8, was ill and unable to compete, as was senior Kenny Lang.
“We had a plan to run as a pack, and they did,” Niwot head coach Kelly Christensen said after the race at Longmont’s Sunset Golf Course. “Sometimes that’s just testing maturity levels and learning a different racing strategy.”
“The girls did it better than the boys,” he continued. Indeed, senior Jeri Wilcox captured fourth place overall with a time of 21:29.40, followed by Taylor James (21:29.66), Joelle McDonald (21:29.88), Annabelle Huddle (21:30.10), and Maggie Smith (21:30.34) in formation, fifth through ninth. The girls finished the race with 30 team points, well ahead of second-place finisher Mead (74).
Up next for the Cougars is the Pat Patten Invitational at Viele Lake in Boulder on Sept. 23. Christensen said he expects both teams to be at full strength for the small but exclusive meet, which this year will include Class 5A contenders Mountain Vista, Dakota Ridge, and Monarch.
“A lot of the top teams in the state are going to be there,” he said. “We’ll try to go and see where we’re at, see if we’ve made any progress on them.”
Liberty Bell Invitational, Heritage High School, Sep. 8
Niwot Individuals (boys) — 1. Ares Reading (Jr.), 15:49; 8. Benjamin Bi (Sr.), 16:23; 14. Ethan Steiner (Sr.), 16:34; 19. Jack Volf (Jr.), 16:38; 33. Oskar Wells (Sr.), 17:03; 40. Peter LeCavalier (Sr.), 17:18; 72. Kamran Elahi (Jr.), 18:03
Niwot Individuals (girls) — 5. Taylor James (Fr.), 18:38; 30. Annabelle Huddle (Fr.), 20:00; 31. Joelle McDonald (So.), 20:00; 36. Jeri Wilcox (Sr.), 20:09; 82. Sophia Grant (Sr.) 22:08; 85. Mallory Finley (So.), 22:21
RE-1J Meet, Sunset Golf Course, Sep. 13
Niwot Individuals (boys) — 2. Cruz Culpepper (S0.), 17:51.79; 3. Ethan Steiner (Sr.), 17:53.15; 4. Oskar Wells (Sr.), 17:55.64; 5. Benjamin Bi (Sr.), 17:56.32; 7. Jack Volf (Jr.), 18:00.90; 10. Kamran Elahi (Jr.), 18:31.85; 16. Caleb Bishop (So.) 19.02.97
Niwot Individuals (girls) — 4. Jeri Wilcox (Sr.), 21:29.40; 5. Taylor James (Fr.), 21:29.66; 6. Joelle McDonald (So.), 21:29.88; 7. Annabelle Huddle (Fr.), 21:30.10; 8. Maggie Smith, 21:30.34; 15. Samrawit Dishon (So.) 23.10.65; Mallory Finley, 23.16.04