Students Participate in Winter Series


Naiya Budler (10) runs at a State race. Budler has been running since her freshman year, and aspires to continue.

Sita Ahlen, Sports and Activities Editor

Pikes Peak Road Runners, an organization run by the larger branch of Road Runners of America prides itself on promoting and advocating personal fitness through running. This group administer education, training, and volunteer opportunities. The club is open to everyone, who pays an annual membership of 20 dollars.

The club hosts several running opportunities, including a full moon run and a trail clean up. To view their calendar click here ( PPRR has approximately 1700 members in the Pikes Peak area, including a handful from Manitou Springs High School.

The 5 students ran a string of races, called the Winter Series, from the 1st of January to the 27 of February. Encouraged by Duane and Jaclyn Roberson, the coaches for Cross Country,  6 runners joined the race.

Jennifer Cole (11), Hunter Sherraden (11) and Bryce Van Derveer (11) ran the short series of the Winter Series, four races that slowly move from 3 to 6 miles.

Naiya Budler (10) and Seth Nolan (11) ran the long series, consisting of five races that are of considerably longer in length compared to their classmates. These races ranged from 7 miles to 12 miles. In the series a larger majority of women ran compared to the number of men.

In his age group of 15-19, Nolan stayed below 25 positions throughout the series.

In the 10K race, the first race of the Winter Series, Nolan and Budler . Nolan placed 52nd in men’s overall, and 1st in his age group. Naiya placed 158 in women’s overall, and 1st in her age group.

The second race, Winter Series II, was eight miles long. Nolan graduated to position 28, and still placed 1st  in his age group. Budler also moved up to position 37.

A super half marathon on February 7th. This race was completed by running through downtown Colorado Springs, then through the Pikes Peak Greenway trail, ending near Bijou Bridge. Nolan placed 81 out of all. Budler placed 323 out of an extensive group of women.

Winter Series III, a mostly flat and fast course, was ten miles long. Nolan and Budler both stayed under 100 positions overall.

The last race, a 20K, titled Winter Series IV, held impressive results. Budler placed in the 31st position in her age group and Nolan placed 25 in his age group.

Both Nolen and Budler have engaged in running as a sport since 9th grade. Since then, it has become their passion. This dynamic duo does everything together, in fact, they’re commonly seen running together three to four times a week.

“I like running because it feels good, and it’s a challenge” says Naiya Budler.

Naiya plans to run Cross Country next year, and is enrolled in this year’s track team. Although, the track season has barely started, she enjoys the time she’s spent so far. Running is a passion to Budler, she explains that she enjoys that this sport is one that you can always get better at.

“I wasn’t doing a winter sport, and I wanted to stay in shape.” Budler explains her reasoning of running the winter series.

In this season, she was a hit on the Cross Country team. Running an average of about 24 minutes, Naiya was among the fastest on the girls team. Budler went on to state in that season, and in one race, had the second fastest result, at 24 minutes and 46 seconds, just behind her classmate, Brooklyn Mack (10).

For Nolan, the best part of the Winter Series was the banquet at the end. He explained that the running was hard and the weather was chilly, but he enjoyed participating.

Last year, he was a part of the Boys Cross Country Team, which held nine members, where he had remarkable results, with an average of around 19 minutes. Although, the Boys Cross Country did not end up making it to State.

Nolan did one more race than Budler, called the Rescue Run. The Rescue Run was a 10K race, where, in his age group, he placed first.

“We’re pretty much just the coolest.” Nolen and Budler said.

As for Hunter Sherraden and Bryce Van Derveer, they outdid many in the short version of the winter series. In the first segment of the Winter Series, which started on January 9th, was a 5K which held a number of icy hills. Sherraden placed twelfth in his age group, Van Derveer placed sixth.

Winter Series II was four miles long, Sherraden placed 14th, and just in front of him Van Derveer placed tenth. Van Derveer had managed to place just two places in front of Sherraden in the next two races, one on February 13th and another on February 27th.

“It was a good way to get myself training in the offseason of Cross Country and a way to participate in events with people.” Hunter Sherraden said.

Former Manitou student, Jen Cole, who participates in Manitou Cross Country here as well, did exceptionally well in the short version of the winter series. Cole kept her number below 204 places overall and under 58 places in her age group.

Duane Roberson, the Cross Country coach, encouraged several runners to attend the race. He and Jaclyn Roberson have been running these races as a pair for many years. They aimed to get as many students as possible to be involved.

By participating in many races during their off-season, the team has a higher chance to excel in the next cross country or track season.