Summit High boys cross country wins Eagle Valley Invite for the first time in 18+ years

The Summit High Tigers boys cross country team poses for a photo with the championship trophy after winning Saturday's Eagle Valley Invitation in Gypsum, the boys program's first victory at the meet in head coach Heather Quarantillo's 18 years coaching.
Courtesy Summit High Cross Country

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.”

Summit senior veteran runners Jeremiah Vaille (left) and Max Bonenberger run during Saturday’s Eagle Valley Invitational in Gypsum. Vaille was runner-up by just a tenth-of-a-second while Bonenberger ran to ninth place.
Courtesy Summit High Cross Country

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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