(ALAMOSA, Colo.) – Trinidad State hosted its first ever Cross Country meet in Alamosa over the weekend, when the Trojan teams welcomed region opponents from Gillette (Wyoming), Southeast CC (Nebraska) and Central CC (Wyoming) along with RMAC schools Adams State, Western State and Fort Lewis. For the Region teams this was their championship event. The Trojan teams ran well, placing first in the women's division and second in the men's. Both Trojan teams qualified for nationals next weekend in Iowa.
The men raced first on a beautiful, and surprisingly warm day in Alamosa at the Cattails Golf Course. The 8K course is challenging but the runners were up to the task with several setting personal best times despite the 7,544-foot elevation. Trojan Daniel Haymes ran at the head of the pack most of the way but it was Gillette's Ayrton Ledesma who would pull away late for the Region title. Ledesma crossed with a personal best 25:29.6. Haymes was second with a 26:18.9. Following three Adams State runners, Gillette's Lawson Sims barely outpaced Trojan Derek Holdsworth by seven seconds for third place in the region. Jorge Garcia from Gillette would claim the fifth and final spot on the All-Region team. As a team Gillette would score 23 points, the Trojans were second with 32 and Southeast was third with 75.
The women's 5k was up next. Trojan Toni Moore continued her great freshman season as she paced with the leaders most of the way. Toward the finish, unattached runner Piper Meuwisson from Bozeman, Montana pulled away to win it with a time of 18:11.9. Gillette's Charlene Brown would be the first Region IX runner to cross with a time of 19:04.9, seconds ahead of Adams State's Carson Severson. Moore was the second region runner to cross at 19:12.5. Also, making it into the top five of the region were Trojans Benadine Chelimo and Maria Montes, and Pronghorn Ryan Isennock. The Trojans won the overall Region title with 15 points.
The Cross Country season wraps up next weekend as the Trojans head to the NJCAA National Championships in Iowa. The teams are both ranked in the nation, the women are 15th and the men are 22nd.