All-state strides: Summit runners Vaille, Bonenberger qualify for state | SummitDaily.com

All-state strides: Summit runners Vaille, Bonenberger qualify for state

Summit junior cross-country runners Jeremiah Vaille (left) and Max Bonenberger hold up their ribbons after each finished in the top 15 at Thursday's regional meet in Battle Mountain to qualify for the Oct. 27 state meet in Colorado Springs.

For the first time in four years, the Summit High School cross-country running team has qualified individual runners to the state meet in Colorado Springs.

With each of their top-15 finishes at Thursday's Class 4A, Region 1 meet at Battle Mountain, Tiger juniors Jeremiah Vaille and Max Bonenberger punched their tickets to the Oct. 27 state meet at the Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs.

Vaille ran to a seventh place time of 17 minutes and 52.7 seconds while Bonenberger qualified for states by a 9-second margin with his 14th-place finish and time of 18:04.2.

It's each of their first times qualifying for the state meet, as the Summit boys team overall placed fifth of the dozen teams at the event — just one spot out of team qualification for the state meet.

"This is a real thrill for our boys program here," said Summit head coach Heather Quarantillo. "Early on Jeremiah put himself in the top 10 of the race, then as he went through the three-lap race, as he went into the second lap, he pushed past three competitors and moved himself solidly into seventh, where he stayed for the second 2 miles of the race. He had a very well executed, very strong race. He knew what he was doing and had it all planned out ahead of time.

"Max had planned to start a little farther back in the field," Quarantillo continued, "and did a really good job being patient, running up to that 14th-place position going into that last mile, or so, of the race. So he solidly got there too, he ran everything according to how he planned to as well. He was very happy."

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In fact, Bonenberger was so happy, Quarantillo said, that he didn't believe her and other team members immediately after the fact when they told him he'd qualified for state.

"Once he got to see it, he was able to relax a little bit and enjoy the success," Quarantillo said.

Summit's girls team finished in ninth place out of the 12 teams in the region, the same spot the team was ranked and projected to finish heading into the regional race.

Tigers junior Grace Staberg again paced Summit, finishing in 18th place with a time of 21:30.8. Just three spots outside of a state-qualifying run, Quarantillo is confident Staberg is on pace to run in the state meet come her senior campaign next fall.

"She's new to cross-country this year," the coach said. "It's her first season competing for the high school team, so we believe she will be back stronger than ever."