CMC x-country team struggles in home meet
Men's, women's teams run hard but come up just short
By Mike McKibbin
LEADVILLE — The Colorado Mountain College Eagles cross-country team had a tough day Sept. 24 when it hosted the Central Wyoming College team.
The 26-29 final tally (lowest score wins) marked the first time in CMC's four-year cross-country history that the men lost to Central Wyoming College.
CMC head coach Darren Brungardt noted the men's team was missing their fourth and sixth runners. He added the results may have been different with the additional runners, "but CWC came to Leadville to race. They were tough, and their experienced runners ran really well against the newcomers on CMC's men's team."
Luke Crossley of CWC won the men's meet with a course record time of 30:23.1. Harrison Fries-Levy led CMC in second place. CMC’s Ben Lague and Kenneth Obregon finished fourth and fifth to earn podium spots. Obregon passed two CWC runners at the end of the race with an incredible sprint finish, Brungardt noted.
Also, Harrison Walter passed CWC's fifth runner to help the men's team score, but it wasn't enough in the end, Brungardt said.
Brungardt also noted CMC alumni Jason Macaluso and Chris Rohlf competed separately and ran well. Macaluso nearly caught the top first-place runner to finish second overall.
The Eagle women lost 20-35 to CWC. Brungardt said the women wanted to beat CWC badly, but the Rustlers were "super strong."
Kaylynn Sandall of Central Wyoming won the women's race in a course record of 23:52.2, followed by two teammates. The top CMC finisher was Abby Hagen in fourth place, Zoe Plummer finished fifth overall, and Brooklyn German ran in her first race of the season.
"This was the first time this season the women scored as a team," Brungardt said. "There were a lot of nerves at the start of the race for the women. They have never beat CWC in a head-to-head competition when CWC has had a full-strength team. They will have to wait until the regional meet in October to try again."
Brungardt said he remained proud of the team.
"They have had a lot of tough practices since [the Sept. 10 meet in] Alamosa," he said. "We definitely trained through the meet. I hoped our altitude and home-field advantage would have helped us push through tired legs and win the meet.”
The Eagles' next meet is on Oct. 7, at Fort Lewis College in Durango.