Summit High boys cross country wins Eagle Valley Invite for the first time in 18+ years
In her 18 years coaching the Summit High School cross-country running program, Heather Quarantillo’s boys team had never won the Eagle Valley Invitational.
That was, until Saturday.
Racing under ideal 70-degree, bluebird conditions at the familiar 5,000-meter course at Gypsum Creek Golf Course, the Tiger boys won the boys team competition with a low score of 68 points. Summit’s mark bested runner-up Fruita’s 80 points and third-place Grandview’s 81.
At the meet featuring 22 schools, Summit’s Jeremiah Vaille led the way for the Tigers. Vaille’s runner-up time of 16:45.20 in the 231-runner high school boys race was just a tenth of a second off of the championship pace of Battle Mountain sophomore Sullivan Middaugh (16:45.30). Vaille was joined in the top-10 by fellow Tiger senior Max Bonenberger, who ran to ninth place with a time of 17:13.
Though the veteran leaders Vaille and Bonenberger have been leading the Tigers with top-10 times all season, Quarantillo said it was the boys team’s depth that led to the team title on Saturday. Along with Vaille and Bonenberger’s top-10 times, Summit seniors Paul Hans and Samuel Wescott also received top-20 ribbons, finishing in 15th- and 16th-places respectively.
The Tigers’ top times were rounded out by freshman Zach McBride’s 26th-place finish (18:05), Mike Thebeau’s 39th-place time (18:37) and Landon Cunningham’s 48th-place time (19:01).
“We were hoping to come in for a top-3 finish today,” Quarantillo said. “Because they had awards down to third place, so we were shooting for an award. We are really excited. We were down a couple of runners out with minor injuries, so it was really exciting for us to find out we won the meet even down a couple of strong runners. It shows our depth is working for us and that when we have runners out, others are rising to the occasion. It’s a really good sign for us at our mid-season point.”
In the 195-runner girls race, Summit finished in 11th place out of 17 teams. Leading the way for the Tigers was junior Alice Wescott, who ran to a 35th-place time of 21:37. Freshman Logan Reid had another great meet during her first year running with the team, taking 68th place with a time of 23:12, ahead of Tigers junior Nikka Dassatti (70th place, 23:15.40), sophomore Aubree Confer (71st place, 23:16.20), sophomore Kaelin Love (72nd place, 23:20.30), senior Alexis Morici (24:26.10) and sophomore Rena Singleton (97th place, 24:32.50).
The Tigers will next race on Friday at Columbine High School’s Dave Sanders Invite, scheduled for Clement Park in Littleton at 3 p.m.
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