Tigers cross country on the move today | SummitDaily.com

Tigers cross country on the move today

Geoff Mintz
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

The Summit High cross country team kicks off its season today with a meet at Horizon High School in Thornton.

“We didn’t lose too many kids last year, which is nice, generally speaking, to start with a deep team,” said interim head coach Kevin Mastin, who is filling in for Heather Quarantillo. “We also gained a really nice crop of rookies from the middle school, so I think we’re starting with a lot better depth than we had last year.”

This first meet of the season is an “open meet,” which gives the coaches an opportunity to run all the kids head-to-head at the same time and sort out the varsity and JV squads for the season. Also to ease into the season a bit, today’s race is 4,000 meters, compared to the usual 5,000.

After today’s race, the top seven boys and the top seven girls will start the year as varsity; all others will run as JV.

Katherine Pappas, girls’ captain Alisha Scheifley, Sydney Stein and freshman Riley Vargo are emerging as the fastest girls to start the season.

Liam Meirow has set a very high standard for the boys, but right on his heels are all-squad captain Emmett Bailey, Robert Koegel, Troy Meeker, boys captain Sam Peihl and brothers Quinton and Cameron Bobb.

“The boys’ team feels very deep and competitive right now. I expect some very tight pack times and lots of jockeying for the last varsity spots,” Mastin said.

The team, which has been working together for about three weeks, has three training phases throughout the season. They’ve started with the endurance phase to get the kids, some of whom didn’t run all summer, back into condition. They’ll move on to a speed phase, followed by resting phase between races so the runners are really fresh for the bigger meets.

“We’ll run hills one day for strength. We’ll run distance another day for endurance and we’ll do some intervals for speed,” Mastin said. “As the season goes along, we won’t have to worry so much about endurance.”

He said the goal for the season is to make it back to the state meet, as a team. Runners can be invited to states individually or as a team – they’d like both, but especially the latter, which hasn’t happened for a few years.

“Last year, we were a little disappointed because we only had two girls make it to the state meet,” Mastin said. “We haven’t made it as a team in a couple of years. And I really think they have a good chance of making it this year. We’re really happy with our depth.”

Training at altitude, Mastin said, doesn’t really give the kids too much of an advantage when they head down to the Front Range, but when competing in the High Country, it can give them a bit of an edge over others from not-so-lofty places. Altitude will likely help at their next meet at Beaver Creek, hosted by Battle Mountain.

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