While the Sept. 14 Golddigger Invitational had a bit of a rough start, the outcome was worth the wait for the Clear Creek High School cross-country program. Golddigger Xander Taylor placed first, …
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While the Sept. 14 Golddigger Invitational had a bit of a rough start, the outcome was worth the wait for the Clear Creek High School cross-country program.
Golddigger Xander Taylor placed first, finishing in 21:40, and teammate Ocean Caplan-Holdgrafer placed third in the boys' race. Then Clear Creek's Faith Ramsey and Anika McKown took second and third, respectively, among the girls.
Out of the approximately 35 boys running in the invitational, Clear Creek also took the sixth, seventh, eighth, 10th and 15th place slots. Then, of the 11 total girls competing on Sept. 14, the home team also placed fourth, sixth, seventh and 10th.
Even though the Golddiggers were running on their own turf, it was by no means an easy day.
A lengthy lightning delay forced Clear Creek officials to cancel the middle school invitational and push the high school start-times back approximately 30 minutes.
Then, once the runners finally started, the 3-mile course was quite challenging, Coach Becca McCarthy described. The course took competitors around the athletic fields before ascending what Clear Creek students and coaches affectionately call “Mr. Hill” on the south side of the stadium and school building.
Caplan-Holdgrafer and Taylor had been running alongside each other in second place, behind a runner from DSST Montview, around the athletic fields. But, Taylor got ahead of his teammate on the long, steep hill, Caplan-Holdgrafer explained.
“I'm really bad at hills,” Caplan-Holdgrafer explained. “I need to work on it.”
Taylor admitted that the hill was the most difficult part of the course for him, but after that, it was smooth sailing.
Taylor, a sophomore, commented how he and Caplan-Holdgrafer, a freshman, have been pushing each other this season, and that the team overall has been doing very well.
In the girls' race, DSST Montview senior Leah Hill took the top spot, finishing in 21:47. Clear Creek officials confirmed that Hill has placed first at Clear Creek every year since she was in seventh grade, completing her sweep last week.
In second place was Ramsey, whom McCarthy explained attends Gilpin but competes with Clear Creek because Gilpin doesn't have a cross-country program.
In third was McKown, a senior and the team's captain, and McCarthy said that she's been running well so far this season.
McKown commented that she liked the new course layout and thought it was a good way to get hyped for Saturday's race at Lyons.
Overall, even with the difficult course, McCarthy described how proud she was that both teams, but the boys in particular, “blew the times away.”
The coach added that the Golddiggers have realized that running in a group makes them stronger, which she said will help them at larger meets.
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