League takes new approach for cross country meet

Coronavirus precautions cause split into East, West divisions


Mountain Vista's girls and boys cross country teams each won their ninth Continental League title since 2011, but the Golden Eagles this year had to share the honors.

Because of CHSAA restrictions related to COVID-19, the Continental League had to split into East and West divisions this year. Only 50 boys and 50 girls are allowed at a meet, with a maximum of 100 athletes in a single competition.

So Vista won both the girls and boys Continental League West championship this year in the competition held Sept. 30 at Heritage High School.

Junior Shada Zarrin won the individual girls race with a time of 18:24.36 as Vista had four runners place among the top five finishers. Skye Henley of ThunderRidge was fourth and the lone athlete not from Vista among the leaders.

Mountain Vista finished with 17 points, with Regis Jesuit coming in second with 73 points and the Rock Canyon girls running third with 80 points.

Harrison Witt of Vista was first in the West Division boys race with a time of 15:30.0 with Rock Canyon's Robert Scott was second in 15:49.86.

Vista had six of the top 11 runners in the race and won the team title with 21 points. Rock Canyon was second and Highlands Ranch third.

The East Division championship was held Sept. 30 at Salisbury Park and Aidyn Woodall of Douglas County was first in the girls race with a time of 19:31.1 while Castle View's William Merrick won the boys race in 16:38.0.

Douglas County had three of the top four finishers in the girls race and won the title with 32 points, followed by Chaparral and Castle View. The Castle View boys placed three competitors in the top five and captured the East boys championship with 32 points. Chaparral was second and Douglas County third.

Both Zarrin and Witt were confident at the two-mile mark of the West Division race and ran for their team.

“I feel like I ran good,” said Zarrin. “I feel pretty good. I was mostly running for my team. All of us were kinda basically running by ourselves and we were doing it was each other. At the two-mile mark I just said I've got to go and do this for my teammates.”

Witt claims the race boosts the team's momentum.

“We ran together as a pack and we all finished well,” he said. “I was really proud of our guys. We now have a lot of momentum going into the regional meet which qualifies us for state. I made my move at the two-mile mark and then when I entered the neighborhood at about two and half miles, I wasn't really close to anybody and I knew I just had to sprint to the finish.”

Mountain Vista coach Jonathan Dalby was also pleased with the performance of his team.

“The boys and girls had their best races of the season so far at the league meet,” he said. “Cross country is a sport where athletes have to be both consistent and patient with their development so that they run their best towards the end of the season. The boy and girls have been consistently training since last spring for the opportunity to run well in the postseason this fall. Their patience over the past six months paid off with a really great team performance at the Continental League championship meet this year.”


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