Jacob Sushinsky blasted off at altitude on Thursday.
At Lincoln Park Golf Course in Grand Junction, Sushinsky ran into what Mullen head coach Joe Welling termed as “rarified air” – the Mustangs junior obliterated a school record in cross country at the Class 4A Region 1 meet. He blazed to a time of 14 minutes, 58.8 seconds, to highlight a large day for the program.
“Sub-15 is such a big deal!” an excited Welling said.
Sushinsky shattered the previous Mustangs mark of 15:25 set by the outstanding Andrew Berberick, who went on to Stanford, in 2006.
Plus, Sushinsky, who had to settle for third place in the race, is one of just three 4A runners to break 15 minutes, the magical time for boys runners, in 2022. The other two (both of Battle Mountain) finished first (Will Brunner, 14:58) and second (Porter Middaugh, 14:58.5) at Lincoln Park in about as close of a photo finish as there is. Only four other runners over the state’s four classifications have broken 15 minutes this season.
“That’s some crazy stuff!” Welling remarked.
As a group, the Mullen boys were sixth.
As for girls, Amy O’Connell again led the Mustangs, taking third and heading the third-place finish for the team that was good for a trip to next weekend’s Colorado Championships in Colorado Springs. O’Connell, a four-time winner, was clocked in a brisk 18:19.8. Along with Kira Van der Steen (12th, 19:24.5), O’Connell and Sushinsky also were named all-region.
The veritable Mustangs pack of: 18. Maddie Sanchez, 20:22.6; 25. Lizzie McGarry, 20:38.3; 30. Octavia Gomez, 20:50.6; 33. Dri Eckman, 21:00.1; 34. Jaqueline Magolske, 21:00.9; 39. Julia Brown, 21:21.5, Welling said, was “the real magic” of qualifying for the finale.
“All of the scoring went to plan,” the coach added, although Sushinsky’s performance “caught everyone’s attention and now we’re talking about taking a run at (an individual) state championship … it’s not out of the question.”
At the Norris Penrose Event Center on Saturday, Oct. 29, O’Connell and the Mustangs girls will go off at 1 p.m. and Sushinsky will join the 4A boys at 2:20 p.m.
“We have 10 days to prepare,” Welling said.
CLASS $A REGION 1
At Lincoln Park G.C., Grand Junction
Team – 6th, 201.
Individuals – 3. Jacob Sushinsky, 14 minutes, 58.8 seconds; 40. Will Farris, 17:48.4; 41. Caleb Belcher, 17:53.9; 44. Kellen Fischel-Case, 17:55.7; 88. Caden Garrison, 20:09.5; 93. Ronan Pocock, 20:28.2; 94. Matthew Egan, 20:31.6.
Team – 3rd, 84.
Individuals – 3. Amy O’Connell, 18:19.8; 12. Kira Van der Steen, 19:24.6; 18. Maddie Sanchez, 20:22.6; 25. Lizzie McGarry, 20:38.3; 30. Octavia Gomez, 20:50.6; 33. Dri Eckman, 21:00.1; 34. Jacqueline Magolske, 21:00.9; 39. Julia Brown, 21:21.5.