Girls’ Cross Country Places 1st at Florence Invitational


Aubrey Hall

Braeden Lewis (12) placed 5th at the Florence Invite, where the girls cross country team came in first place.

Kaitlyn Davidson, Senior Reporter

In the 97 degree heat, September 12th, Manitou Springs Cross Country team battled for victory in Florence. All members of the large team ran varsity. The girls performed especially well, with noticeable finishes from Dana Gutierrez (9) placing 4th, Braeden Lewis (12) placing 5th, and Naiya Budler (12) coming in 9th place. These fantastic races led to the girls team placing 1st, despite tough competition like Pueblo Centennial, who are in the teams league. Last year, the girls didn’t win despite a near 2 minute drop on average of time, yet individual placement was significantly better.

The boys’ team gave ample performances as well, including runners Max Cannarella (10) and Noah Sobeck (12).

Captains Budler and Sobeck said that there was, “no divison between varsity and JV or girls and guys. We feel more together this year.”

“Noah is focused on positive feedback and inspiration, but I am more focused on the basics of running. I’m about the anatomy. We both try to motivate everyone mentally though,” Budler said. “I’m excited for the girls team. We have some really strong young talent, as well as a really strong core senior group.”

As far as season goals go, Budler is hoping for more action at this year’s state meet. “I’m hoping for some individual qualifications for state since we lost a lot of our strong boy runners last year. (…) As far as state goes, a lot of schools dropped down so there will be tougher competition.”