Tigers cross country runs for state
FARMER’S KORNER – Thursday, the Summit High School cross country team split in half and played a game of ultimate Frisbee – a light practice for today’s regionals. And, while the runners never got tired of running around the soccer team’s practice field, the free-spirited athletes seemed a bit pent up by the rules and sidelines.
“That’s the nice thing about running,” Tigers head coach Heather Quarantillo said. “We don’t have rules, really. You just get out and run the course.”
Both the boys and girls teams are hoping for personal bests, but, in reality, they have two entirely different quests. For the girls, the ultimate goal is a team berth into the state meet. For the boys, regionals means experience for the six runners and, for sophomore Ben Holland, an outside shot at the state meet.
A girls race usually samples this pattern: Tigers senior Sierra Anderson takes out with a fast pace, while senior Tara Carosa and sophomore Brittany Perkins pace themselves with the front pack.
While Anderson steadies into a pace, Perkins and Carosa are creeping up as the 3.1 mile course winds and turns. In any given race this year, Anderson, Carosa and Perkins could share the Tigers’ No. 1 spot after a race.
“They’ve all been in the top 15 for many races,” Quarantillo said. The top 15 runners at regionals will individually qualify for the state meet Oct. 25 in Colorado Springs. “As far as the team goes, we need our No. 4 and No. 5 to have good races.”
While Ralston Valley, Conifer and Evergreen have beat the girls earlier this season at the Class 4A Jeffco League meet, Longmont and Centaurus will be battling the Tigers for the fourth bid to state.
“I never really know if I’m having a good race,” Perkins said. “Sometimes I hear the other coaches telling their kids how they’re doing and I just listen to that.”
The regional course in Broomfield is flat and should be quick.
“We’ve been training at high altitude, which makes us go into a race thinking we have more than the other girls,” Anderson said. “We have more confidence.”
And, for Carosa, Saturday’s race could end with her fourth straight trip to the state meet.
“If I’m 16th, I’m definitely going to pick it up,” she said. “This could be the last race of my high school career. At my last meet, my mindset’s going to be to run as fast as I can.”
For Holland, a trip to state might take a personal best of 18 minutes, 45 seconds by 10 seconds.
But that just so happens to be his goal. He’ll be examining the course before the race to look for places to make his move.
“I feel better on the hills,” Holland said. “That’s where I like to pass. I’ll examine the course, find areas to pick it up and examine the finish area, too.”
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