Rams, Sailors take on state cross country; Knott repeats as Unified Champion

Soroco's Lupita Jaconetta crossed the finish line as her school's top finisher at the Whistle Pig Invitational on Oct. 13, 2023. Jaconetta advanced to the state championship race, placing 54th in the girls 2A classification as a freshman. The Soroco girls placed 15th overall as a team at state.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The top high school runners across Colorado gathered at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs on Saturday for the cross country state championship. 

Among those top runners was the Soroco girls team, comprised of four runners who qualified for the state race with a fourth-place finish at regionals on Oct. 20. 

The Rams placed 15th overall in class 2A at state with Lupita Jaconetta leading the charge for the Rams, finishing 54th on a 22 minute, 21 second time. Jaconetta was a staple for the Rams this season, leading the pack all year in just her first high school cross country season. 

Behind Jaconetta was senior Larhae Whaley in 78th while both Alyssa Martindale and Molly Smith broke the 100 mark, finishing 95th and 99th respectively out of 123 total runners. 

On the boys side, senior Alan Mayer was the lone Ram to qualify for state when he placed seventh at regionals. He raced to 31st in 17:38.50 over the 5-kilometer race, shaving off over a minute from his time at state last season, and jumped 30 places from his 61st-place finish in 2022. 

While Steamboat Springs was unable to qualify either its boys or girls teams into the state championship, Xavier Knott and Luka Russell proudly represented the Sailors in the Unified division. 

Knott was the 2022 state champion and defended his title this year, winning the race by over 90 seconds. He maintained a 5:35 pace per mile over the 3-kilometer course, finishing in 10:25.7. 

Alongside Knott was his teammate Luka Russell, who managed to cut a minute and a half off his time from last year’s race at state. He placed sixth overall on a 14:03.1 time. 

Colorado State Cross Country
Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023

2A Girls: 1. Heritage Christian Academy, 37; 2. Lake County, 47; 3. Banning Lewis, 69; 4. Caprock Academy, 84; 5. Denver Christian, 100; 15. Soroco, 266.

Soroco girls: 54. Lupita Jaconetta, 22:21.60; 78. Larhae Whaley, 23:11.90; 95. Alyssa Martindale, 24:22.50; 99. Molly Smith, 24:36.00. 

Soroco boys: 31. Alan Mayer, 17:38.50. 

Unified Championship: 1. Xavier Knott, Steamboat Springs, 10:25.7; 6. Luka Russell, 14:03.1.

Runners in the state cross country unified race celebrate on the podium after strong races from all athletes, including two from Steamboat Springs: Xavier Knott and Luka Russell.
Lisa Renee Tumminello/Courtesy Photo
Steamboat Springs cross country runners Xavier Knott and Luka Russell celebrate strong runs in the Unified division of the state championship race in Colorado Springs.
Lisa Renee Tumminello/Courtesy Photo
Soroco senior Alan Mayer took second at the Whistle Pig Invitational on Oct. 13, 2023. He placed 31st overall in the 2A boys state race in Colorado Springs.
Tom Skulski/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Steamboat Springs cross country runner Luka Russell runs the 3-kilometer state race in Colorado Springs. Russell placed 6th in the Unified division, crossing the finish line in 14:03.1.
Lisa Renee Tumminello/Courtesy Photo

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.