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LEADVILLE – After a year of planning and recruitment, Colorado Mountain College is launching its first National Junior College Athletic Association cross country running team.

Cross-country runner Jason Macaluso and his family

Battle Mountain High School 2019 graduate Jason Macaluso at his signing ceremony to join the CMC Cross-Country Running Team. Macaluso is surrounded by his parents and brother and (seated at right) CMC coach Darren Brungardt.

CMC Leadville is hosting the team’s season opener from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 31. The meet is in conjunction with Lake County High School’s home cross country meet (see below).

Darren Brungardt is the running coach and an assistant professor of mathematics at CMC Leadville. With CMC’s new team, he has elevated the college’s running program from a club to a team by securing an NJCAA designation for CMC’s runners.

‘They are fast’

Coach Brungardt has recruited six recent high school graduates from schools in Colorado and one runner from Kansas.

“They are really neat guys,” said Brungardt. “They are fast. This will be one of the fastest cross country teams I have ever coached, and it is only our first year!”

Summit High School 2019 graduate Chris Rohlf signs to join the CMC cross-country running team as Coach Darren Brungardt looks on.

Because it’s possible for team members to compete on the team while attending any one of CMC’s campuses, two team members – Jason Macaluso and Connor McDermott – will be training remotely, then competing with the team at meets. Macaluso is attending CMC Vail Valley at Edwards, and McDermott is attending CMC Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs. The rest are students at CMC Leadville.

“They train when we train, and are part of the team online and at meets,” Brungardt said.

The college’s cross-country running team members are all 2019 high school graduates, and all are new students at Colorado Mountain College, except for Chris Rohlf who’s been taking concurrent education classes while in high school.

Team members are: Tyrone Chavez, Valley High School; Jason Macaluso, Battle Mountain High School; Connor McDermott, Elizabeth High School; Caleb Neel, Green Mountain High School; Chris Rohlf, Summit High School; and Jack Setser, Wichita North High School.

Colorado Mountain College Leadville hosts the 10,000-ft. Invite

Saturday, Aug. 31

Tyrone Chavez, a 2019 graduate of Valley High School in Gilcrest, Colorado, signs to join CMC’s cross-country running team. Photo Darren Brungardt

Colorado Mountain College Leadville

901 S. Highway 24

Leadville

 

Race schedule:

8:30 a.m. 3K MS girls

9 a.m. 3K MS boys

9:30 a.m. 5K HS JV girls

10:10 a.m. 5K HS JV boys

10:50 a.m. 5K HS Varsity girls

11:25 a.m. 5K HS Varsity boys

12:10 p.m. 5K College women

1:10 p.m. 5K College men

Awards given following men’s race.

 

Additional CMC cross-country team meets:

Sept. 7: Joe I.Vigil Open, Alamosa

Jack Setser, member of CMC's cross-country running team.

Jack Setser, a 2019 graduate of Wichita North High School in Kansas, signs to join the Colorado Mountain College cross-country running team. Setser is one of six runners to join CMC’s new team. Photo Traci Nigg

Oct. 5: Roadrunner Invitational, Denver

Oct. 12: University of Colorado Colorado Springs Open, Colorado Springs

Oct. 27: Haunted Hills Races, Leadville

For more information, visit coloradomtn.edu/cross-country-team or contact Coach Darren Brungardt, 719-486-4296 or dbrungardt@coloradomtn.edu.