Arvada West cross country sweeps team titles at Wildcat Invite

ARVADA — Arvada West’s boys and girls cross country teams successfully protected its home turf Friday, Sept. 15.

A-West swept the team titles at the 9th annual Wildcat Invite. A-West hosts the 22-team meet at Stenger Soccer Complex, less than 2 miles away from Arvada West High School.

In the boys varsity race, Eaglecrest senior Mason Brown won the individual title with a time of 16 minutes, 20 seconds. Jefferson Academy senior Ryan Lehmuth (16:27) took second and A-West senior Colin Berndt (16:30) placed third.

“Obviously not winning it is always going to be upsetting, but it was good and fun for sure,” Berndt said. “I like this run.”

Junior Drew Craig (6th), along with seniors Andres Perez (13th) and Jacob Valdez (23rd) and junior Nicholas Oliveira (38th) also broke into the top-40 to lead A-West to the team title over Overland. Standley Lake placed third and Ralston Valley took fourth.

Jeffco's A-West, D'Evelyn and Green Mountain place in the top-5 of the girls race. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“We could have distanced ourselves a little more,” Berndt said of A-West winning the team title. “None of us really felt that good this week. I’ve been motivating everyone that we’ve got to pull it together next week.”

Next week is the Dave Sanders Invite on Friday, Sept. 22, held at Clement Park, the same site of the Jeffco League Championships next month. Most of the top Class 5A Jeffco teams will be there to give a preview of what the league championships could look like Oct. 12.

A-West boys are attempting to win a fourth straight 5A Jeffco team title this season.

On the girls side, A-West senior Claire Pauley placed second with a time of 18:57 at the Wildcat Invite. Legacy sophomore Brynn Siles dominated the race winning by almost a full 50 seconds.

“I’m pretty happy,” Pauley said of the race. “Place-wise was definitely good. Time-wise could have been better.”

Seniors Katie Doucette (5th), Amber Valdez (6th), Civianna Gallegos (15th) and junior Maya Fairchild (32nd) gave the Wildcats a comfortable victory over Legacy (2nd), D’Evelyn (3rd), Denver East (4th) and Green Mountain (5th).

Pauley said she is excited for the Sanders Meet this coming week.

“With most of us being seniors we’ve built up our confidence,” Pauley said. “I think we have a pretty good realistic idea on what is going to happen.”