Cross country opens Saturday

Yuma High School cross country is off and running already.
The boys and girls teams open the 2021 season Saturday at the Windsor Invitational, which will be held in Greeley.
“I don’t know if very often we’ve had a meet on the first open weekend for competitions,” coach Robert Zahller said.
YHS cross country benefited last year from volleyball and football not being a part of the original fall schedule, due to COVID-19 impacts from state mandates. Participation blossomed, and both teams had a great season, highlighted by the girls qualifying as a team for state, and one boy also making the state meet.
“Last year’s success was good for us,” Zahller said. “It was a great recruiting tool. We have a lot of freshmen.”
There are nine out for each team, for a total of 18 running cross country.
The girls team has returning experience in junior Hailey Eyring, sophomore Ashley Ibanez and senior Sam Wells, while the boys welcome back juniors Javier Duran and Angel Escobar, along with senior Jaxson Lungwitz.
“We have big enough teams to develop a varsity five,” Zahller said. “We have a solid varsity three on both teams, and we can find two of the younger ones for the fourth and fifth spots. It will take a couple of weeks to figure it out.”
As of now, others out for cross country include Wendy Garcia, Mely Gonzalez, Diego Gutierrez, Angel Ibarra, Natalia Jurado, Liam McClaran, Myka McDonald, Orlando Rascon, Alyssa Roberts, and Gabriela Varela.
Cross country got to run last fall, but it was a limited schedule, with limited participants, and protocols such as wearing masks at the starting lines. None of that is in place right now, and Zahller said it appears there will be a huge gathering of runners Saturday in Greeley.
“I think it’s going to be good,” Zahller said.