MHS cross country runners showing poise this season; OHS boys place in Ridgway

Montrose High School runners Megan Motley, Olivia Cook and Kenzie Bush compete at a meet in 2020. 

Jonas Graff and Kenzie Bush are on a roll.

At the Grand Junction Tiger Invitational last Saturday, Graff posted a time of 16:58.90, which netted him second place in the 5,000 meter run.

Bush matched Graff on the girls’ side, finishing second overall in the same event following a top time of 20:01.80. Bush’s final time is an improvement on the 21:16 she posted last season at Connected Lakes in Grand Junction.

Bush and Graff have largely been at the forefront for the Indians this season, but runners like Zack Morris, Elijah Echols and, on the girl’s side, Ashley Ortega and Olivia Cook, have placed in the top 10.

Morris and Echols added to that on Saturday, placing fifth and sixth, respectively. Ethan Birchem finished ninth, running an 18:36.60. Micah Simpson placed 14th (19:08.50), and Mekhi Mangrum (16th) rounded out Montrose’s top 20 finishers. All runners bedside Graff (who was just 19 seconds behind his pace last season) exceeded their times from their 2020 performances at Connected Lakes.

Ortega and Cook, like Bush, improved their times from last season in the Tiger Invitational. Cook herself shaved more than three minutes off her 2020 time. She’s slowly become one of Montrose’s fastest runners after running strong as a freshman last season.

Trinity Thomson placed 14th on Saturday, and she was followed by Annabelle Hawkins, who was seven seconds behind Thomson, in 16th.

The Montrose boys placed first as a team, besting Grand Junction and Olathe high schools, while the girls also netted a first-place finish.

The Indians will head to Ridgway State Park on Friday for their next meet.

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press

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