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Niwot girls take third at NXN Southwest

Series: Niwot cross country | Story 1

November 21, 2018 | View PDF

Laura McDonald

The Niwot girls cross country team took third overall in the Championship race at the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Region race on Nov. 17. From left: Joelle McDonald, Maggie Smith, Samrawit Dishon, Layla Roebke, Taylor James, Mallory Finley, Eva Klingbeil.

With barely time to catch their breath after winning the 2018 Class 4A state championship meet late last month, members of the Niwot girls cross country team traveled to Casa Grande, AZ, for the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional on Nov. 17.

Thousands of high school runners from teams in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah competed in the meet, one of eight regional qualifying events for the 15th annual Nike Cross National Championships coming up on Dec. 1 in Portland, Ore.

Paced by sophomore Taylor James, the Niwot girls (competing under the team name Real Training) finished third overall with 140 team points. Unfortunately, they missed second place and an automatic bid to the national meet by just five points to the runners from Colorado’s Battle Mountain HS, this year’s Class 4A runner up. However, the Cougars are still in contention for an at-large bid to the prestigious race.

Laura McDonald

Niwot sophomore Taylor James finished in 11th place at the 2018 Nike Cross Southwest Region race on Nov. 17.

James finished 11th overall, with a season-best time of 17 minutes, 37.6 seconds, just ahead of her junior teammate Samrawit Dishon (17:42.1), who finished 14th. Senior Maggie Smith (18:14.74) was 47th overall, followed by junior Joelle McDonald (18:30.57) in 70th place. Class 4A state individual champion Layla Roebke, who was named the CHSAA Runner of the Year on Nov. 12, was 86th overall.

In the boys race, junior Cruz Culpepper did not compete, but senior Ares Reading, the runner-up at this year’s state meet, finished seventh overall for Niwot, with a time of 15:01.06. Though impressive, that wasn’t quite enough to boost the team’s prospects, and Niwot finished in 21st, well out of contention for a bid to NXN next month.


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