CMC cross-country runners finish season at national meet
By Mike McKibbin
Colorado Mountain College
Nov. 20, 2023 – This year’s Colorado Mountain College Eagles cross-country teams can “be regarded as the best cross-country teams in CMC history,” according to head coach Darren Brungardt.
The men’s and women’s teams recently finished their season on Nov. 11, at the NJCAA Division I National Championship at John Hunt Park in Huntsville, Alabama.
“The men out-performed the 2020 Eagles in terms of overall times,” Brungardt said of the season. “The women outperformed the 2021 Eagles in terms of times, too. I am so proud of all their efforts this season.”
At the national meet, the CMC men finished 26th out of 28 teams.
“The team score was not what they wanted, but it was a tough field,” Brungardt said.
He noted that the team’s top two runners, Miles Fischer (151st, 28:20.10) and Daniel Velasco (179th, 29:40.10), had off days. They were unable to improve their personal bests.
Nate Encinias ran a personal record of 28:21.4 and finished 153rd. He is now third all-time in CMC school history.
Harrison “Blur” Walter finished 159th in 28:35.0 — a 30-second personal record — and moved into fifth place all-time for CMC.
Lee Shackleford ran a 50-second personal record to finish 184th in 29:40.1.
Kenneth Obregon Orozco just missed out on breaking 30 minutes for the first time at 187th with a time of 30:00.3. However, it was a personal record.
Connor Ripley finished 205th in 32:43.00.
The women finished 22nd out of 27 teams. Mikah Gay was the top Eagle with a 30-second personal record and nearly broke 21 seconds for the first time. She was the top finisher for both men and women at 105th in 21:03.5. That moved her into second place on the CMC list.
Ayslynn Wardall finished 164th and ran a personal record of 24:02.0.
Adaline Fulmer (129th, 21:40.80), Brooklyn German (124th, 21:35.00), and Zoe Plummer (134th, 21:55.60) finished between Gay and Wardall but were unable to improve their personal records.
Brungardt also expressed appreciation to team sponsors On (“all of their gear and shoes helped them perform famously”), LifeTime Fitness (“their generous monetary donations and nutrition kept the team afloat”), Tennessee Pass Nordic Center and Ski Cooper, gifts to the foundation and many CMC departments.
The men and women runners will take some time off before they start winter training for outdoor track in the spring.