Top-10 placers Erin Norton of Grandview and Smoky Hill’s Rachael Chacko headline the 2012 Aurora Sentinel All-City Cross Country team, which is based on results at the Class 5A state meet Oct. 27.
The sixth-place finish of Norton, a junior, and the 10th of senior Chacko — the Aurora city champion — topped city runners in the 5A girls race at the Norris Penrose Events Center, where the state meet was contested for the first time after two years as the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds.
Taking advantage of the surprising late race collapse of 2011 state champion Jordyn Colter of Cherry Creek, Norton clocked a time of 19 minutes, 22.3 seconds on the 3.1-mile course, which helped her become the first all-state (top seven) finisher in Grandview history.
Rounding out the girls All-City team are two of Norton’s runningmates — senior Brooke Genovese and sophomore Nicole Mundy — from a Wolves team that won the city girls team championship early in the season, was a regional runner-up and placed an all-time best 10th at state.
Genovese and Mundy were 74th and 76th, respectively, in the state race. Genovese landed a spot on the All-City Team for a third time, matching her appearance in 2009 as a freshman and 2011, while Mundy made it for the first time.
Chacko got off to a strong start by winning the Aurora city meet by 35 seconds over Norton, then missed several weeks in the middle of the season due to illness and college visits. She rounded into form in time for a strong state race, which earned her a spot on the All-City team for a third consecutive season.
The 10th-place result was a career-best Chacko, who was 11th last season and 56th as a sophomore in 2010. After the season, she qualified for the Nike Cross Nationals championship race and then was accepted to run at Princeton.
Smoky Hill’s second All-City spot went to junior Chloe Andrie, who was 22nd.
Senior Madalyn Somer, the No. 39 individual finisher, represents a strong Regis Jesuit team, while Eaglecrest junior Alicia Taurchini ran at state for the third time and finished in a career-best 68th.
Taurchini made a massive improvement on her previous trips to state, a 123rd-place result last season and a 130th when she was a freshman.
The top Aurora boys finisher was Regis Jesuit senior Frank Morton, the last member of the school’s 2009 5A state championship team still running in high school, in 47th.
Aurora city team champion Smoky Hill netted three spots on the All-City boys team, headed by seniors Charlie Kleeman — the individual city champion — and Dan Kasberg, plus sophomore Blake Yount. The two seniors were close in just about every race, with Kleeman coming in 57th at state and Kasberg 89th. It was a big change from 2011 when Kasberg was 85th and Kleeman 101st, which also earned both All-City honors.
Yount, whose twin sister Brynell ran for Smoky Hill in the girls race, checked in 69th.
A tightly-packed Grandview team is represented by senior Nick Horton and junior Jeff Southern, who crossed the state finish line virtually together, with Horton in 84th and Southern in 85th.
Horton moved up 16 spots from his finish last season, when he also made the All-City Team, while Southern rose 30 spots from his 2011 state race.
Eaglecrest senior Marc Chalfant, a transfer from Gateway, was 64th in his first state race.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555
2012 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-CITY CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
BOYS: Marc Chalfant, Eaglecrest, sr.; Nick Horton, Grandview, sr.; Dan Kasberg, Smoky Hill, sr.; Charlie Kleeman, Smoky Hill, sr.; Frank Morton, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Jeff Southern, Grandview, jr.; Blake Yount, Smoky Hill, soph.
GIRLS: Chloe Andrie, Smoky Hill, jr.; Rachael Chacko, Smoky Hill, sr.; Brooke Genovese, Grandview, sr.; Nicole Mundy, Grandview; Erin Norton, Grandview, jr.; Madalyn Somer, Regis Jesuit; Alicia Taurchini, Eaglecrest, jr.
Honorable mention: Aldair Cid-Gonzalez, Overland, sr.; Johnny Droege, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Sam Ehrhard, Grandview, jr.; Hannah Feehan, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Meredith Hoggatt, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Melanie Jenkins, Grandview, fr.; Lindsey Koch, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Amy McConnell, Cherokee Trail, fr.; Cody Miller, Smoky Hill, soph.; Sean Morton, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Kevin Noto, Grandview, sr.; David Oberndorf, Grandview, sr.; Ryan Parker, Smoky Hill, jr.; Sylvana Ross, Grandview, soph.; Rachel Shaw, Grandview, soph.; Jen Steyaert, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Brynell Yount, Smoky Hill, soph.