High temperatures and a hilly course didn’t stop the Lyons Lions cross country team from taking individual firsts in both the girls’ and boys’ races for the high school and middle school competitions this past week. Temperatures soared into the 90s at the RE-1J District Meet 5K on the Sunset Golf Course in Longmont, but that did not slow
down freshman Quin Gregg and junior Isaac Roberts. Both Gregg and Roberts grabbed a strong lead, and maintained it throughout the race to finish ahead of their competitors.
Many of the Lions’ high school team members used the meet as a workout after giving maximum efforts in the St. Vrain Invitational just four days prior. Their goal was to “negative split” the race, running the first lap a little faster than the second, and some athletes had assignments to get through the 2-mile mark before easing off the course. Coach Roberts felt his young team handled tough conditions well, and they continue to make good progress as the team looks forward to cooler days and some faster courses. For the varsity girls’ race, Gregg finished first with a time of 21:13, and her first high school victory, with Katie Fankhouser coming in 11th place overall with a 23:02. Sophomore Hannah Thomas crossed the finish line in 17th place overall with a 24:27, followed by senior Jewel Thomas (27:37), freshman Katie Roberts (28:03), and junior Catherine Darrow (28:51). The girls earned fourth place overall in the team rankings out of the nine high schools in the district.
“It was an important workout to prepare us for the state meet and the heat of the day and difficulty of the course tested our team’s resilience,” said Hannah Thomas.
In the varsity boys’ race, Lyons had five runners placing in the top 25. Roberts placed first with a 17:19 and his third consecutive win on this course. Senior Colton Jonjak-Plahn (18:56) was 14th, juniors Nick Boggess (19:18) was 17th, Simon Stone (19:21) was 18th, and Jordan Schackelford (19:54) came in 25th place. Next up battling the tough course for the boys were junior Harrison Abernathy (21:07), freshman Arjen Wynja (21:12), sophomore Nick Parker (22:27), junior Felix Sykes (24:07), freshman Grant Gau (24:14), sophomores Peter Brent (24:45), Evan Moore (25:34), and Zack Carlstrom (26:02). The boys placed third overall in the team rankings. The future of Lyons HS Cross Country looks strong as 46 Lyons Middle School athletes ran a 1.5 race on the course, and earned individual firsts in both the girls’ and boys’ races. Eighth grader Jamieson Leigh placed first for the girls with a 9:56 breaking her own course record of 10:02 from last year, and eighth grader Cole Thomas came in first for the boys with a 9:18. Overall, the middle school boys’ team placed first and the girls’ team came in second.
The next challenge for the Lyons Lions is the Pat Patten race at Viele Lake in Boulder on Saturday, September 22, where they’ll race against teams from across the state. Come cheer on your Lyons Lions at the meet starting at 9:30 a.m., with the varsity boys, followed by the varsity girls at 10 a.m., JV boys at 10:30 a.m., and JV girls at 11:05 a.m.