Runners ready for regionals |

Runners ready for regionals

Sailors boys have a shot at state

Melinda Mawdsley

— The Steamboat Springs boys cross-country team can advance to the Class 4A state meet if the members run well at Saturday’s regional race in Palisade.

Steamboat traveled to the regional course for a rare Friday race Oct. 14. Most of the regional teams were there. The Sailors girls didn’t fare that well as a team, Steamboat coach Glen Light said, but the boys placed third behind two Grand Junction schools. Neither school is in Steamboat’s region.

At the same race, the Sailors defeated Moffat County, a good sign heading into Friday.

“I think you keep the same approach in trying to get them rested and healthy and to end the season on the best race, as a personal note,” Light said of the practices leading up to regionals.

The top 15 individuals and the top four teams from Steamboat’s region — in the boys and girls races — will advance to the Oct. 29 meet in Colorado Springs.

The Steamboat girls are a young squad racing in an extremely tough region this year, so the team isn’t expected to finish in the top four. The Sailors’ top female runner, freshman Cassady Roberts, has a chance to finish in the top 15, but runners from Battle Mountain, Glenwood Springs and Moffat County have taken the top spots at most races this season.

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The teams in Steamboat’s region are Battle Mountain, Delta, Glenwood Springs, Mof–fat County, Montezuma-Cor–tez, Montrose, Palisade, Rifle and Summit.

The 5K course the boys and girls will run in Palisade is the flattest course the Sailors have seen this season. Steamboat has raced at home on Howelsen Hill and in Summit and Aspen, where the times are always higher.

“For me, training-wise, it would be better for them to run flatter races earlier,” Light said. “The morale is better to finish higher and have faster times.”

But the nearby races are on tougher, mountain courses. Steamboat would have to travel to the Front Range, which would include more overnight trips, in order to compete on the flatter, faster courses earlier in the season.

The Class 4A state course is at the El Pomar Youth Sports Complex near Harrison High School. It is a flat course, as well.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail