Injuries and conditioning issues were a few points of adversity the Olathe High School cross country team had been experiencing at the start of the season. The girls have been working to push past injuries, while the boys worked vigorously during practice to get into top running shape.
The Pirates, after their meet in Hotchkiss last Saturday, and a flurry of strong finishes in Delta on Friday, are starting to make the improvements needed to qualify for regionals.
Four runners on the boys side posted personal records on the Delta course in Confluence Park, while two of the girls posted season bests.
“[Delta] is a faster course. The Hotchkiss [course] is a lot of hills, and it was 95 degrees when we were running, so the cooler temperature and the flat course will definitely make for easy running. So we did run really well.”
Miguel Almanza, unable to race in Hotchkiss, finished 6th overall (18:31), a personal record and his second top 10 finish after two meets. Cesar Franco posted a season best 19:57 in Delta and finished 18th overall.
The performance from Franco follows an 8th place finish in the difficult conditions at last week’s meet.
“He’s just learning how to become a better runner, so I’m really pleased with him,” Carlson said of Franco.
Seniors Bruno Ramirez (20:32) and Daniel Rogue (21:40) also posted personal records on Friday.
The girls are starting to shake off injuries that hampered them at the start of the season, Carlson said. Cheyanne Germann, participating in her first meet of the year after missing the first two to injury, finished 25th with a time of 24:51.
Rounding out the girls side were Valeria Renteria and Raguel Loyato, who both posted season bests at Confluence Park. Renteria finished 30th (30:08) with a time with Loyato not far behind in 37th place (33:29).
The times represented a significant jump for Renteria and Loyato. Although the conditions in Hotchkiss were difficult, they were able to cross the finish line with times much lower than what they finished with in Hotchkiss. Renteria had an improvement of over six minutes, and Loyato showed an 11 minute improvement.
“[Renteria and Loyato] are just troopers,” Carlson said. “They’re at every practice working hard.”
Conner Ripley, with a time of 20:24, posted a personal record on Friday. Rounding out the runners on the boys side were freshman Victor Almanza (23:38) and Lukus Barber (27:49). The two posted season bests in Delta.
Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press