This fall season, the Durango High School Cross Country team will host the annual CHSAA 4A Region 5 Championships on their home course. After a rousing success at Durango Cross Country’s (DXC) Southwest Sunset Classic, athletes and coaches alike are excited to come back and race on Durango’s home turf.
“I’ve grown up playing golf up at Hillcrest, so I feel like I know the course even better just because of the experience I’ve had with it, even while it might not be running. Running at the home meet at night adds a lot to the atmosphere,” said Jr. Marcus Flint.
The Southwest Sunset Classic began in 2016 and takes place on the Hillcrest golf course. The five kilometer loop, the standard distance for cross country races, traces the south side of the golf course. This season, the local course will double as the CHSAA 4A Region 5 Championships. The race will take place on Thursday, October 19. In this meet, the top four teams and all athletes who finish in the top fifteen qualify for the 4A State Championship.
“Regionals is really all about doing what’s best for the team. A lot of the time, it’s attempting to run really hard, especially at home, when we might not have to, and end up putting ourselves in a bit of a hole going to state. I think Regionals really comes down to executing a race plan that gets us to the state meet, and then really laying it all out there at State when it truly matters,” said Flint.
The State Championships will take place in Colorado Springs at the Norris Penrose Equestrian Center on October 28. The Region Championships will bring a number of teams from all over Colorado, including Canon City, Cheyenne Mountain, Mesa Ridge, Montrose, Pueblo Centennial, Pueblo County, Pueblo East, Pueblo South, Pueblo West, and Widefield.
“I’m just excited that the [Region Championships] are at home because there is so much positive energy and people that normally can’t come can come watch Durango cross country win! I’m so excited,” said Fr. Ruth Holcomb.
After wins on both the girls and boys teams at the Southwest Sunset Classic hosting the Region Championships will be all the more exciting. The Demon girls won with 24 points and Alamosa in second with 70 points. The boys won with 41 points, the next team placing being Widefield with 102 points.
“I love everyone on the team and it’s like having thirty best friends immediately. I know [Regionals] decides who makes the State team so I just can’t have a bad race or everything could end there, which I’m nervous about. Either way though, I’m really excited,” said Holcomb.
As of September 30, 2017, the girls team is ranked 13th in the nation. The boys team is ranked 32nd nationally.