Race challenges local runners

Warrior cross country meet included high water and mud

Tom Munds
Richard Weigang is the first Eagle to cross the finish line in the boys varsity race at the Aug. 29 Warrior Invitational Cross Country Meet at deKoevend Park in Centennial. Weigong finished 15th in the field of about 350 runners from 62 schools. His effort helped Heritage to finish 12th in the boys varsity team standings.
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Challenging.

That is how Heritage runner Richard Weigang described the Aug. 29 Warrior Invitational Cross Country course after heavy rains turned the High Line Canal into a rushing, thigh-deep stream and the slopes into slippery, muddy climbs.

“It was a hard course,” Weigang, the first Eagle across the finish line. “Trying to judge how to run through the water was difficult. The water was deep and running fast. I tried running straight through it but that didn't work like I expected. I wouldn't call this a fun race but it definitely was a new experience and I am glad I ran today.”

Weigang, a junior, was among about 350 runners from 62 schools who competed in the varsity boys division of the race held at deKoevend Park in Centennial.

Weigang's performance helped his team finish 12th in the varsity boys team standings at the event hosted by Arapahoe High School.

Mountain Vista won the boys team title with 112 points. The Eagles took 12 place with a team score of 390 points. Arapahoe, led by Steven Goldy, finished eighth. Goldy's time of 17:11 earned 15-place honors. Littleton finished 27.

Pine Creek won the girls varsity division. Arapahoe was 23rd and Littleton was 37. There were about 330 girls competing in the girls varsity division.

The heavy rains that drenched the area created some unexpected challenges for the runners.

Usually at the Warrior, runners have to jump over the small amount of water flowing at two points along the Highline Canal. However, the rains changed all that as the canal became a high, fast-running stream. One crossing was about thigh high and the second crossing was up to the waist of many runners.

Runners also had to use hand-holds and work their way up two or three slopes turned slippery and muddy by the rain.

Race organizers held a freshman-sophomore race, a varsity race and a junior varsity race. There were boys and girls divisions in all the races. Despite the unexpected natural challenges, almost all of the hundreds of runners finished the race.