COLORADO SPRINGS — On the one hand finishing 14th at the 4A state cross country championships isn’t too shabby. But when you’re Jackson Sayler, Evergreen’s top male runner who won both the 4A Jeffco League and a regional title in 2012, it wasn’t exactly what you were hoping for, either.
“I’m definitely not satisfied, but I definitely could’ve done a lot worst. It was just an average race,” Sayler said.
Sayler ran the 3.1-mile Norris Penrose Event Center course Oct. 27 in 17 minutes, 21.2 seconds. He was less than a minute behind Eli Hemming of Ponderosa, who won the race in 16:30.4. Finishing a little back of the pack seemed to be a recurring theme for Evergreen on this day.
The boys team, which placed second at leagues and won regionals, was 12th with 373 points. Coronado won the team title with 65 points, followed by Cheyenne Mountain (106) and Thompson Valley (159).
“We were hoping to be up there toward the front of the pack. We were pushing as hard as we could. It just didn’t come together for us today,” Gage Larson said.
The same could be said top female runner Sammy Skold. Hoping for a top-10 finish before the race, the Evergreen senior, who also won a league and regional title this season, finished 22nd in 20:25.6. Elise Cranny of Niwot edged Air Academy freshman Katie Rainsberger by .01 seconds, winning the state title in 18:41.3.
“I’m really disappointed with what I did today. Mentally, I guess it wasn’t there. But honestly thinking about it I did everything I possible could,” Skold said. “The last race of my senior year no it didn’t end like I wanted it, too, but I’m so grateful for what I have and the opportunity I had. With my coaches, parents and my friends I have never had so much support in my life. I just want to thank them for everything they’ve done.”
Evergreen’s girls team, however, did pull off a fifth-place finish with 200 points, led by three finishers in the top 33. The Classical Academy won with 98 points, followed by Coronado with 127.
“I thought it was so cool that I was able to be a part of this team and that (fellow freshmen) Emily (Schulz) and Cat (Moss) were able to be a part as well. It was a great experience. I’m really proud of everybody,” said Caitlin Schmitt, who came in 30th in 20:44.