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Rocky qualifies both cross country teams to state

Ken Hamrick
Fowler Tribune
Rocky Ford High School's Kaysa Kurtz-Merwin, Kailene Black and Anahy Prieto on the cross country trail at the Class 2A Region 3 Meet Friday in Rocky Ford.

Rocky Ford High School qualified both of its cross country teams to the state tournament after high finishes at the Class 2A Region 3 Meet which took place last Friday at Melon Field and Babcock Park.

The Meloneers finished second in the boys meet with 49 points. They trailed only St. Mary's which scored 38 points.

Leading the Rocky boys was Josh Snyder, who took fourth place in 17:07.00. Caden Miller was sixth in 17:17.58, Jason Hernandez was 21st in 18:39.62, Ethan Robinson was 22nd in 18:44.33 and Fredrick Rikhof was 31st in 19:31.76.

Following Rocky Ford in the boys team standings was Thomas MacLaren with 52 points, followed by Buena Vista with 67, Centauri with 83, Sargent with 89, Platte Canyon with 113, Antonito with 120, Custer County with 136, Sierra Grande with 153 and Rye with 166.

Custer County's Micah Zeller was the boys individual champion as he ran the course in 16:01.80.

The Lady Meloneers took third place in the girls race with 54 points. The finished behind Buena Vista with 10 points and Centauri with 34.

Katie Preciado was Rocky's top girl runner as she placed sixth in 21:51.43. Abbie Snyder was 15th in 23:17.31, Kaysa Kurtz-Merwin was 19th in 23:36.84, Kailene Black was 20th in 23:30.15 and Anahy Prieto was 21st in 23:42.15.

The rest of the girls team scoring saw Rye place fourth with 79 points, followed by Platte Canyon with 85, Thomas MacLaren with 97, Sierra Grande with 107 and Antonito with 129.

Buena Vista's Zaila Smith was the girls individual champion with a time of 18:52.50

The Colorado High School Activities Association will host the state championship meets on Saturday at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs. The Class 2A boys meet will begin at 2 p.m. followed by the Class 2A girls meet at 2:45 p.m.

Kim/Branson ran a single runner in both races. Brock Doherty was 34th in the boys race in 19:42.50, while Ava Warner was 37th in the girls race in 29:35.70.

Tribune-Democrat reporter Ken Hamrick can be reached by email at khamrick@ljtdmail.com. Help support local journalism by subscribing to the La Junta Tribune-Democrat at lajuntatribunedemocrat.com/subscribenow.