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Leaders of the pack

The Pueblo West High School boys cross country team captured the SCL championship and set a new meet record in winning the Southern Challenge meet at the Elmwood Short Nine Golf Course in Pueblo.

The West runners “packed up” and finished with an incredible 21 points (15 points is a perfect score).

Running together for the entire race, the Cyclones placed all five of their scorers in the top seven overall.

Zach Retzlaff led the West flock, finishing second with a time of 17 minutes, 9 seconds.

His teammates were just a few strides behind.

Wyatt Swanson clocked a 17:16, Jace Montera a 17:23 and Jacob Sloan crossed the finish line at 17:29. Corban Pagnotta finished the scoring for the Cyclones, with a 17:40.

Pueblo West High School cross country head coach Matt Sherman said he was very proud of his team’s performance.

“These kids have worked extremely hard to get to where they are,” Sherman said.

“They have been running 40-50 miles a week, and pushing each other to achieve their ultimate goal.”

That ultimate goal is a 4A state championship.

The Cyclones can take another giant step toward reaching that goal by winning the regional meet this week. The regional championships will be run at 4 p.m. today, at the same Elmwood Course in Pueblo.

It is expected to be a preview of the state meet, as perennial power Coronado is in the same region.

Running with confidence on the familiar and fast track, the Cyclones certainly like their chances.

The Cyclones girls runners also had a strong showing at the Challenge, placing three in the top 10. Darby Spence finished third overall with a time of 20:51, Bailie Jones finished fourth at 21:12, and Susan Marshall crossed in ninth place at 22:31.

The West girls team finished second overall with a score of 42.

The state cross country meet is slated for Oct. 26 at the Penrose Equestrian Center in Colorado Springs.

The Cyclones said they are hoping it will be one to remember.

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