Spartans find success at state cross country meet


Sophomore Megan Starkey runs at the 5A State Championships in Colorado Springs.

Megan Battleson, Staff Writer

On Saturday October 28, Greeley West sent its third and fourth 5A individual runners to Colorado Springs for the 2017 state championship race.

Sophomore Megan Starkey and senior Maria Geesaman represented the Spartans, qualifying during the season with times of 20 minutes, and 20 minutes and 11 seconds respectively. The two were among 160 female athletes that participated in the race. The course revolved around the Norris Penrose Equestrian Center, including a steep hill notoriously known as “Little Willis”, and ran an average of 30 seconds slower than the other courses that the 5A athletes were accustomed to.

Before the race, Starkey was predicted to finish 86th based off of her performance over the course of the season. However, she exceeded expectations and crossed the finish line in 44th place. This success also earned her a time of 19:33, a personal record by 12 seconds. As well as breaking her own record, she also secured two positions in the West record books. Starkey tied the time set by Nicole Larson in 2007 for the tenth fastest female runner at West, as well as attaining the title as the fifth fastest sophomore girl in West’s history. Her goal at the beginning of the season of breaking the 20 minute mark became a matter of the past.

Geesaman completed the course with a time of 20:09, earning her a spot in 80th, exactly where she was predicted to finish based on her performance during the season. After participating in 2015 as a sophomore, when West qualified as a team, Geesaman already had a taste of the state championship experience. “I was quite confident; I knew what I was up against, I knew the course, and I wasn’t scared,” she commented.

Though she qualified as an individual this year, Geesaman was still not alone at the start line. “Knowing that Megan was by my side when the gun went off, there was no better feeling,” she explained.

Geesaman reflects that, “I knew I had the talent and ability to make it, it’s just how bad I wanted it.”