Summit High's Liam Meirow ran into 10th place at the 4A state cross-country meet Saturday. That's out of 224 other racers.
"He's thrilled. He wanted to stand on the podium, and he did today," head coach Heather Quarantillo said. "He was in 11th with a half mile left. He wanted it so badly, he ran by the boy ahead and got his 10th place finish. He got what he came for and was all smiles the rest of the day."
He finished the race in 17 minutes, 9 seconds, well off from his season fastest, 15:52. Quarantillo outlined vast differences between Saturday's course and the regional meet course in Delta, with a mixture of loose gravel and dirt, a large hill in the middle of the race and two stream crossings making up a challenging route in Colorado Springs. The runners finished in the Penrose Equestrian Center stadium, making for an exciting end to the races.
Meirow, a junior, has consistently placed among the top runners in meets throughout the fall season, broke his own school record by 31 seconds and earned himself a trip to state - without the support of the rest of the boys' team.
"He still has a lot of room to improve. It'll be exciting to see what he can do as a senior," Quarantillo said.
The girls' team, which attended the state meet in Colorado Springs as a squad for the first time in two years, finished 11th of 30 teams in the 4A division, with freshman Ruthie Boyd coming in 23rd of 221 runners in 20:29.
"She very much surprised herself to be our top finisher today," Quarantillo said, adding that Boyd was in third place for the team approaching the one-mile hill climb. There, she used her climbing skills to become the team's front-runner.
Junior Katherine Pappas wasn't far behind, finishing second for the team and 54th overall in 21:12. Freshmen McKenna Ramsay and McKinley Jones crossed the finish line in 21:25 (62nd) and 21:43 (83rd), respectively. Senior Sydney Stein finished in 22:36 (135th), freshman Emily Pappas came in 23:09 (164th) and sophomore Riley Vargo was seventh for the team in 23:52 (194th).
The team finished 32 points ahead of Durango, a strong squad that beat the Tigers in the regional meet.
"Eleventh is a great re-entry into the state meet when we've been gone for two years," Quarantillo said, adding that the team has youth which should bode well for the future. Four freshmen should return next year, with freshmen Jessica Horii also expected to step up into Stein's place when she graduates. Katherine Pappas, who qualified for state individually in 2010 and 2011, will be the senior leader and Vargo is expected to return, adding depth to the team.
"We are very happy with our results. It's been an entirely exciting season. We're wrapping up the season today being very happy with what we have plus looking forward to the future," Quarantillo said.