Danielle Cobb, like just about anybody else who has moved to Colorado, had to adjust to the altitude. After all, it’s a different atmosphere when you’re running a mile above sea level. But the Columbine senior has handled the adjustment quite nicely. She proved that Sept. 13 at the annual Liberty Bell cross-country meet.
The flat course at Heritage High School was no match for the former Tupelo, Miss., resident, who, in her first Liberty Bell meet, ran a time of 18 minutes, 32.9 seconds to place second in the girls Division 2 race. It’s her best finish of the season thus far.
Cobb didn’t know what to expect from the course. All she wanted was to top her pre-race goal of 18:45. She easily did that.
“I knew that it was flat. That’s all I knew,” Cobb said of the course.
Cobb was running neck-and-neck with Pine Creek’s Kaleigh Kroeker through much of the race, but Kroeker pulled away down the stretch to win by a little more than five seconds. She finished in a time of 18:27.6.
“I was right with her going into the long downhill, and she took off after that,” Cobb said. “I started to gain some ground, and then it was over.”
Kroeker helped Pine Creek to a first-place finish with 52 points. Columbine took eighth place with 257 points. Dakota Ridge was 10th with 298, and Littleton was 12th with 302.
The Dakota Ridge boys led the way with 204 points and an eighth-place team finish. Two runners — Chris King and Bradley Carney — placed in the top 25. Two more — Andrew Castagneri and Cameron Mattson — placed in the top 50 for the Eagles.
“Running was much more open. I remember huge crowds from the last two years,” said King, who took 21st in 16:54.8.
Carney was less than two seconds behind in 23rd in 16:56.2, Castagneri placed 32nd in 17:16.6, and Mattson was 46th in 17:29.5.
“You always learn something from every race,” said Carney, who has coped with tendinitis early this season. “Today was competitive, which is great. You have to get used to it. It was a good race.”
Littleton senior Ian Cox took 16th in 16:39.5. He was less than three seconds off from a top-10 finish.
“I knew that it was going to be a fast course and stuff. I knew on this course the first 2 miles was the race. The third mile you’re going downhill. If you have good position there, you can have a good time,” Cox said. “The goal is to really push the first 2 miles.”
The Lions, as a team, placed 13th with 263 points.
Columbine’s top finisher was Dylan Hinckley, who came in 63rd in 17:47.2. The Rebels placed 14th with 384 points.
Front Range Christian came in 10th in the 11-team Division 4 race. Leading the Falcons was Nathan Paladino, who finished 40th in 19:39.6.
Contact Michael Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.