By Peyton Wright
On Saturday, Sept. 7, the Colorado College men’s and women’s cross country teams put on a strong performance at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Rust Buster meet at Monument Park. The meet was full of great competition, and the Tigers faced multiple Division II competitors.
The teams rose to the occasion, and the men took 5th overall behind Colorado Christian University, Colorado School of Mines, Metro State University at Denver, and UCCS. Only four women competed for Colorado College, so the women’s team did not receive a team score.
The four women who competed showed the Tigers’ dominance, with Megan Koch ’22 exhibiting both strength and skill. Her 5k performance placed her 40th overall, with a time of 21:05. She was followed very closely by teammate Emily Dwyer ’23, who placed 41st overall, and shared Koch’s official time of 21:05.
Claire Irigoyen ’23 was not far behind, taking 42nd with a competitive time of 21:06, and Audra Burrall ’23 finished 51st overall in 23:54.
On the men’s side, Tony Calderon ’20 completed his 8k in an impressive 25:20, finishing 14th and scoring 10 points for the team. Paul Olson ’21 took 60th overall in the same race, followed by Josh Fry ’22, who placed 65th. Theo Snowden ’22 was close behind taking 67th, and Lucaiah Smith-Miodownik ’23, Mason Castle ’23, and Parker Kerth ’23 finished strong, taking 72nd, 73rd, and 74th place overall.
Calderon’s performance had Head Coach Ted Castaneda very excited: “[Calderon] is well on his way to possibly qualifying for the national meet later in the season,” Castaneda commented to CC Athletics after the meet.
Coach Castaneda’s praise did not end there; he was also impressed with the quality performances of the freshmen. It sounds like they’ve adjusted to the altitude quite well!
Castaneda has been working as the head men’s cross country coach since 1981, and became the women’s head coach in 1993. He has coached more than 30 Tigers who have broken school records, and 22 of his cross country athletes have earned NCAA All-American honors.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams’ stellar performances do not end with their races. Both teams have a reputation for doing very well in the classroom as well, with both teams earning NCAA Academic All-American honors for the past nine consecutive years.
Coming up, the Tigers will be hosting their annual Colorado College Invitational at Monument Valley North Park on Saturday, Sept. 14th. Races will begin at 8:30 a.m., and CC fans are encouraged to come out for another great day of cross country racing.