Dakota Ridge XC Graced By the Onset of Winter

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Dakota Ridge XC Graced By the Onset of Winter

Peyton Cunningham, Staff Writor

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Dakota Ridge brings home four first place wins after the 2018 Fountain-Fort Carson invitational XC meet. Traveling down to Fountain Colorado, the team had to leave for the meet at 6:00, seemingly racing the sun. Upon arrival, the team was confronted with winter like 35 degree weather, cloudy skies, and an all dirt/grass course. In XC terms, a runner’s dream. These fantastic running conditions clearly made for a great race as the team placed first in the JV Men’s, Varsity Men’s, JV Women’s, and Varsity Women’s races.

First to take off was the JV Men’s team, being led by Drew Valerio (12). Drew Valerio placed first, followed by four of his teammates taking up the first through fifth place spots. Next to race was the JV Women’s team, with Kylee Sellers (10) taking first place. This race was followed by Men’s Varsity, where Austin Vancil (12) and Connor Ohlson (11) once again placed first and second. The final race of the day was Varsity Women’s, where Lucy Pidek (12) came in second, only 12 seconds behind the competition.

The initial stretch of the course was all downhill and covered in heel saving grass. After finishing this first half mile, racers entered a series of twists and turns, where keeping track of where you have been and where you are going was nearly impossible. The final 300 meters was completely flat and made one giant u shape where racers had a great chance to pass there competition. In addition to the great conditions of the course, the runners were kept comfortable by the weather, staying cool throughout the entire race. However, this was a different story for the spectators as they were forced to brave the chilly weather, but were rewarded with the team’s outstanding success.

As said by Lucy Pidek, “I thought the race was so fun! It was a small meet, and not a lot of other teams, but it was a really great opportunity to help our team grow stronger, and build some confidence for our bigger races to come. Collectively we fought through the bitter cold, cheered each other on, and had some incredible races. It’s always a good day when the whole team takes home the win!”