By Coach Mark Roberts and McCourt Thomas
The Lyons Lions cross country teams stormed the course at the Pat Patten Invitational in Boulder last Saturday, with Lyons boys and girls hitting season’s best times across the board. On a beautiful day under the shadow of the Flatirons, eight girls and a dozen boys ran their fastest 5K times of the season so far.

 In the varsity girls’ race, junior Katie Fankhouser and freshman Quin Gregg placed 12th and 13th overall while breaking the 20-minute barrier and running 19:53 and 19:54 respectively. This is the Lions’ twenty-third year fielding a cross country team, and those times put Fankhouser and Gregg in the 11th and 12th positions on the All-Time Top Thirty-Five girls’ performance list (one entry per athlete per season). Also turning in their best times of the season were senior Kylee Udovich (22:07), sophomore Hannah Thomas (22:19), junior Alora Cross (22:59), senior Jewel Thomas (24:58), senior Laura Hickey (25:19), and junior Catherine Darrow (27:05). Fankhouser moved to third on the list of fastest LHS times by a junior, Gregg placed second in fastest LHS times by a freshman, and Hannah Thomas also earned a spot for the 13th fastest time for a LHS sophomore.

In the varsity boys’ race, according to Colorado MileSplit’s Bobby Reyes, junior Isaac Roberts, “made a very clear case for why he deserves to be in the conversation for a 2A state title next month. Roberts went stride for stride to finish fifth in 16:20; that's the second fastest time in 2A so far this year.” Roberts’ time placed him ninth in the LHS Top Thirty-Five Boys’ Performances and in third for the top times by LHS junior boys. Also running at a season’s best pace were junior Simon Stone (17:35) and senior Colton Jonjak-Plahn (18:05). Junior Nick Boggess came in at 18:54 followed by Jordan Shackelford with a 19:10. Junior Harrison Abernathy and sophomore Charlie Gau ran season-best times with a 19:41 and 19:43 respectively.

In the junior varsity boys' race, the trend of season’s best times continued, for seven of the athletes. Sophomore Nick Parker led the Lyons JV team with a 21:03, followed by sophomore Holden Soosloff (21:34), junior Felix Sykes (22:00), and freshman Grant Gau (22:33). The sophomore pack of Peter Brent (22:33), Evan Moore (22:45), Zack Carlstrom (25:05), Hunter Honemann (26:27) and Jordan Valente (34:46) also had strong finishes for the Lyons Lions.

Summing up the meet, junior Alora Cross said, “It was a tough course but it was a good test for the middle of the season. I think our hill training has paid off and everyone had great races on Saturday.”

Next, the Lyons Lions head up to higher altitudes at the Longs Peak Invite at the Lake Estes Golf Course in Estes Park. The varsity boys run at 10:30 a.m., the varsity girls at 11 a.m., the JV boys at 11:30 a.m., and the JV girls at 12 p.m. The high school races will be followed by the high-flying Lyons’ middle school cross country team at 12:30 (boys) and 1p.m. (girls). Come enjoy Estes Park and cheer on your Lyons Lions.

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