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Titan cross-country team closes out season at state race

“They raced pretty much the way we thought they would”

by Than Acuff

The Crested Butte Titans boys’ cross-country team put the finishing touches on their 2018 season at the state championships on Saturday, October 27 in Colorado Springs.

With a young team and small in numbers, the coaching staff knew the season for most of their runners was all about the experience and building for the future. That said, there was also the expectation of the boys team making it to the big show and when they did, the coaches then had some finishing touches for them as the state race drew near.

“It was all about staying healthy and getting themselves mentally ready for the race,” says coach Laura Daniels. “Joe Coburn was the only one who had been there before, so for all of these boys it was going to be a new experience and you can get freaked out.”

After a week of positive reinforcement, health consciousness and visualization, the Titans headed to Colorado Springs the day before the race to get a glimpse of the venue and further assuage any pre-race jitters.

“We got a chance to walk and run some of the course and that was really helpful,” says Daniels.

Saturday morning the team woke up with several hours until the race start at 1:40 p.m. All season long the team has been famously easy going and focused on enjoying the moment so they maintained that mindset before heading to the race venue on Saturday.

“It can make them anxious if we get there too early so we let them sleep in, tried to focus on having fun,” says Daniels. “They’re just a playful team.”

Still, the state championships are the state championships, and once the Titans arrived, the nerves started to kick in.

“When we got there, the reality of what we were about to undertake kicked in,” says Daniels. “There’s going to be nerves. But that’s okay.”

Senior Joe Coburn led the way for the Titans both before and during the race as he remained focused on his plan and executed it to knock off several opponents throughout the race and finish 25th.

“He rose to the occasion,” says Daniels. “He ran smart and aggressive and we were super psyched for Joe to finish his career on that high note.”

It was the first trip to the state championships for senior Max Faust but he remained on task as well to run his way to a 45th-place finish out of 125 runners.

“He didn’t seem rattled at all and ran well,” says Daniels.

Sophomore Joseph Stock had a rough go of it in his first state experience. Stock got swallowed by the mass of runners, including being shoved into a post along the course, forcing him to stop, but he rallied to stay strong and place 75th.

“I think nerves and the venue got the best of him but it was about learning how to run in a super competitive environment,” says Daniels.

Freshman Porter Washburn kept his head in the game and had a solid showing, as did sophomores Logan Utz and Yvon Michel, and the team placed 13th in the end.

“They raced pretty much the way we expected them to,” says Daniels. “We’re psyched that our seniors finished one and two for the team and we’re excited the rest of the team got the experience as a young team. There’s a lot of good energy for the future.”

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