The Niwot girls cross country team is six weeks removed from a Class 4A state team championship, but they were still set on making headlines on Saturday in Portland, Ore.
Led by a consistent effort from Samrawit Dishon — the 4A state champ came in 15th with a time of 17 minutes, 58.70 seconds — the Cougars finished third as a team at the prestigious Nike Cross Nationals, just behind Saratoga Springs (New York) and Summit (Bend, Ore.). Last season, the team finished fifth overall.
Dishon, Lucca Fulkerson and Taylor James were the top three to finish, with Fulkerson and James supporting each other through to the end and finishing with nearly identical times of 18:51.60 and 18:51.70, respectively. A third group of NHS girls, Eva Klingbeil, Emilia Philofsky and Joelle McDonald also within nine seconds of each other. Freshman Madison Schults also gained valuable experience at the meet, which featured a number of the best Colorado runners.
Cruz Culpepper, also of Niwot, competed in the event once again and placed 20th overall, racing to a time of 15:30.80.