Summit High cross-country wins at home on Frisco Peninsula
It’s been six years since the Summit High cross-country team has hosted a home meet — in part because beetle-kill logging operations on the Frisco Peninsula left trails in less than optimal conditions for a race.
“The footing was really bad,” Tiger head coach Heather Quarantillo said, describing mulch left behind after the removal of a large number of trees.
Prior to the logging, the high school had hosted an annual meet on the peninsula that at one time attracted as many as 15 schools.
“We had a huge amount of runners,” Quarantillo recalled.
Now that the trails are back in good shape, that tradition returned to Summit County Saturday, for the first time since current members of the team were in middle or elementary school. And while only six schools competed this time around — scheduling conflicts prevented a number of others from participating — Quarantillo called it a success and believes it will continue in years to come.
“We’d really like to make it great again,” she said of the meet. “To break back into it is difficult.”
For their part, the Tiger runners did their best to put on a show for a loud local crowd. Both the boys and girls teams came in first overall.
“I’m so thrilled,” Quarantillo said. “It was so much fun.”
In a field of 32 runners in the girls race, Summit accounted for all of the top six spots, earning the schools first perfect score in cross-country.
“It was really exciting to have a home meet,” first-place finisher Ruthie Boyd told the Daily.
Teammate and second-place finisher McKenna Ramsay said it was “awesome” to have a home crowd behind them.
“I thought it was a lot of fun,” she added.
Just as they have all season, the pair jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.
Ramsay held on to first for the first two laps, until she was passed by her teammate.
Boyd crossed the finish line of the three-lap 5K course in 21 minutes, 33 seconds, Ramsay followed, crossing 15 seconds behind her.
With a number of top five and top 10 finishes between them this season, the pair of juniors appear to be poised to make another attempt at a state title. Both competed last year as sophomores.
When asked how the two have been able to put forward such strong performances week after week, Boyd smiled and laughed.
“I can’t tell you,” she joked and then proceeded to credit their summer running regiments and the Breckenridge Summit Trail Running Series which they both take part in.
Ramsay added simply, “We just listen to what Coach Q says.”
Emily Pappas, Christa Gutzel, Jessica Horii and Katie Mason rounded out the top six in the girls race.
On the boys side, Coal Ridge’s Noah Crisler took the top spot in 18:58, followed by Ben Kelly of Soraco at 19:16. Summit’s Alex Mason (19:36) and Colin McGrew (19:50) finished third and fourth.
The team will travel to Englewood High School Saturday, Oct. 4, for their final regular season meet before regionals.
The girls team will look to make their second consecutive trip to state. Last year only graduated senior Liam Mierow qualified for the boys.
Looking ahead, Quarantillo said, “I think that we’re looking very strong. We have a good amount of depth with the boys team. Now we just need to speed up.”
She called the girls team “one of the best teams we’ve had,” adding, “They’re getting stronger every race.”
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