With the calendar flipping to November and the days continuing to get shorter, more champions are being crowned in many sports. Cross country was the latest to hand out hardware last weekend.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY OT SPORTSCHECK
Rocky Ford took fourth place in the Class 2A boys state event, with Caden Miller recording a top-10 finish individually. The junior took ninth to lead the Meloneers. Josh Snyder just missed a top-20 performance, as his time of 17:56.30 was three-tenths of a second out of 20th. He was 21st overall. Nate Encinias was 26th out of 133 runners in the meet.
There were 128 runners in the 2A girls state meet, and the area’s top finisher was Yuma’s Hailey Eyring in 32nd place. Yuma took 19th as a team. Stratton sophomore Keirstyn Louthan took home a 44th place finish.
Lamar’s Branden Davis capped his stellar career with a sixth place finish in the very deep 3A boys field. Davis clocked a time of 16:33.80, less than a minute behind the race winner. His teammate, Cole Krug was 59th in the field of 157 competitors.
Fort Morgan’s Elena Arteaga grabbed 32nd in the 4A girls meet, crossing the tape in 20:32.10. Gabriella Arteaga was just over two minutes back in 115th. There were a total of 157 runners in the field.
Gymnastics takes the spotlight this weekend, with Fort Morgan and Lone Star both competing in the Class 4A championships at Thornton High School. State qualifiers were to be announced on Monday.
The opening round of the boys soccer championships are in the book and the region’s lone qualifier, Fort Morgan, is out of the competition. The Mustangs were bounced from the Class 4A bracket 1-0 by Mead last Thursday. Mead scored the game winner in overtime.
Volleyball regional pairings were set to be released on Monday after the seeding committee meeting. While those pairings weren’t available at the time of publication, qualifiers in all five classes were known, as those were set by league standings (champions automatically qualified) and the final RPI standings.
The Class 1A field is loaded, with the likes of Briggsdale, Wiley, Fleming (last season’s runner-up), Haxtun, and Merino (defending champ) all in the top five. They will all host regionals this weekend. Cheraw, Stratton, Idalia, Genoa-Hugo, McClave, Springfield, Weldon Valley, Kit Carson, Simla, Cheyenne Wells, and Otis are also in the field of 24.
The same can be said for Class 2A, where last season’s runner-up, Sedgwick County, finished first in the RPI. Fowler, who dropped a tough four-setter to Alamosa late last week, was second in the final RPI and will be hosting a regional. Dayspring Christian and Holyoke were in position to host, and defending champion Wiggins will also host a region. Limon, Byers, Akron, Yuma, Crowley County, Las Animas, and Rocky Ford are all in the 36 team field.
Lamar had no worries about its positioning in Class 3A, as the Savages finished the regular season at 23-0. They will be hosting a region, as will Sterling. La Junta had some tense moments, but the Tigers will be in the field, but will be on the road.
All classifications except Class 3A will begin football postseason this weekend. There was little surprise when the six-man bracket was released, as Cheyenne Wells, who has been dominant all season, was put on the top line. The Tigers will host #16 Mountain Valley out of the South West. A lot of teams were in play for that final spot, but could not climb into the top 16.
Stratton is the #2 seed after winning the East Central. The Eagles will host Eads, who came on strong at the end of the season to claim the 15th seed. Granada finished second in the South East behind Cheyenne Wells, and the third-seeded Bobcats will host #14 Hi-Plains, one of four teams from the East Central, in the opening round. Idalia, also out of the East Central, hosts Briggsdale (North division) in the 4/13 match-up, while North division champion, Fleming, welcomes in #12 Hanover. If Idalia and Fleming both win, it would set up a rematch of a thrilling 32-24 contest between the two that was won by Idalia two weeks ago.
Prairie and Genoa-Hugo are #8 and #9, while the 7/10 clash has Cheraw hosting Arickaree/Woodlin. Sierra Grande, who beat Branson/Kim on the road last week, will host the rematch with the Bearcats to open the playoffs.
In eight-man, one of the few questions centered around who would be rewarded with the top spot. It came down to Haxtun and Mancos, with the Fightin’ Bulldogs landing the #1 seed. They will host Central division champion Byers in the opening round. Akron (#8) hosts Southern champ Calhan (#9) in one of the more interesting first round match-ups.
As the #13 seed, Crowley County will visit Dove Creek, and the other game in the top half of the bracket has a rematch between #5 Holly and #12 Swink. Holly, who won the Ark Valley with last week’s 55-36 victory over Crowley County, beat the Lions 42-28 to open the season.
The bottom half of the bracket has a rematch between #6 Sedgwick County and #11 Sanford. The two played in the Season A title game last December, and Sedgwick County just claimed a 42-0 win over the Indians two weeks ago. In the 7/10 match-up, Plains division rivals Dayspring Christian will host Merino. Merino just earned a 30-22 win over the Eagles two weeks ago. Fowler is in as the #15 seed and will travel to Mancos in the first round.
Five of the six North Central teams made the Class 1A bracket, with three-time defending champion Limon leading the field as the top seed. The Badgers open play against Bennett. A familiar face could be waiting in the quarterfinals, as #9 Wiggins travels to North Fork. Fifth-seeded Wray is also in the top half of the draw, as the Eagles will host Highland in the opening round. The winner will most likely see #4 Florence in the quarters.
The bottom half of the draw is highlighted by a first round pairing of #10 Yuma and #7 Strasburg. Those two met early in the season, with the Indians of Strasburg scoring a late touchdown to pull out a 19-16 victory. Yuma’s Clay Robinson ran for more than 300 yards in last week’s win over Holyoke, who is the #11 seed. The Dragons will make the trip to Meeker in the first round.
As the Patriot East champion, Brush was awarded the #7 seed in the Class 2A field. The Beetdiggers will host #10 Basalt in the opening round. Brush closed the regular season with six straight wins. The winner of their opening round contest will meet either #2 Resurrection Christian or #15 La Junta in the quarters. Eaton, the Season A champion last year, is the top seed in the bracket.
Class 3A still has one more week of regular season play, and Fort Morgan is in great shape to make the bracket as a wild card. The Mustangs began the final week of regular season play sitting second in the RPI to Roosevelt. Roosevelt won the North Central 3 title and is the only team to beat the Mustangs this season. Fort Morgan finishes the season at home against Holy Family on Friday.