Off to a muddy start |

Off to a muddy start

Steamboat's cross-country team hosts Howelsen meet

— The Sailors opened their cross-country season with the Steamboat Springs Invitational on a muddy Saturday morning.

Based on early morning rainfall, Sailors coach Glen Light made the call to switch courses from one that looped around Howelsen Hill’s Bluffs trail in favor of running three one-mile laps around the base of Howelsen.

“This is great morning weather. It’s a little dirty, but that’s what cross country is all about,” Light said before starting the girls race, which featured athletes from Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Regis Jesuit and Steamboat high schools.

As the stream of red jerseys wrapped around the course, Glenwood sophomore Katrina Selsor took an early lead on the field of 63 runners. She held on to take first place.

“Every time I was coming down the final hill, it got worse and worse with more mud,” said Selsor, whose Glenwood team swept the podium. Melissa Buchanon and Sharaya Selsor took second and third, respectively.

Steamboat’s top individual girls runner was sophomore Rachael Caires, who finished 11th overall.

Glenwood took first as a team, followed by Regis in second, Aspen in third and Steamboat in fourth.

Steamboat fared much better on the boys’ side, with senior Matt Hill finishing second and sophomore Charlie Stoddard coming in third.

“I almost slipped down a couple of times on the downhill,” Hill said about the wet course.

“I’ve got a lot of training in front of me. It’s one of my better times of the year.”

Although Hill was pleased with his time, it was not enough to catch the relentless pace of Aspen’s Noah Hoffman, who finished ahead of the 25 other runners in an impressive time of 17 minutes, 40 seconds.

Behind Hoffman’s individual win, the Aspen team took first, Glenwood took second and Steamboat third.

Light said his runners met the high expectations he had of them in their first competition and now knows the adjustments he will have to make in terms of both team training and individual technique as he prepares the teams for their next meet, Sept. 19 at Clear Creek High School.

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