Part 1 – State Prospects For The Boys
By Renée Haip
Last year, after running a well-executed state race, the boys’ cross-country team brought home a second place state trophy in a race where they were ranked a distant third to favorites Telluride and Crested Butte. In the school’s 16 years of the program, all under Coach Mark Roberts, the Lions have qualified for state all but once and brought home silver four times. This year, the team continues their quest for a first-ever state championship title and they have a lot of reason to be hopeful.
The Lyons’ boys bring back two of their five member state team in junior Marcel Such (6th place at last year’s state meet) and senior Ryan Boucher (44th place). Such went on to have a good track season (8th place state finish in the 3200m) and has trained with diligence through the summer. Once again, he figures to be one of the vital three scoring members of this year’s state team. Boucher placed 44th at last year’s state meet and truth be told, his bona fide talent lies in shorter distances, notably the 400 meter run in which he is the reigning 2A state champion and school record holder. With new distance talent coming up, Boucher may struggle to make this year’s state team, but regardless, his love of cross country will further his own goal of being fit for basketball and track, and importantly, be a huge asset to team morale.
Brian Flynn and Matt Dillon return as sophomores after stellar freshmen cross-country seasons where they ended their 2011 seasons as the 6th and 7th runners for Lyons with Flynn being the state alternate. Dillon went on to have a successful track season, while Flynn unfortunately struggled with a tenacious ankle injury and was largely unable to train again until this past summer. Both have put in a summer of base work and should prove to make solid team contributions. Expect to see Dillon running in the 4th position, while Flynn battles for the 5th position. That battle for the 5th position would be with senior Jacob Anderson, who is back running cross-country after taking a year off to ride on the Lyons’ mountain bike team. Anderson also had a good track season, a solid summer of training, and comes into the season set to compete for his own spot on the state team. Senior Levi Stone is yet another dedicated Lyons’ athlete prepared to step into position.
If you’ve been keeping track, we’ve only got Marcel Such running in the top three so far. The two that complete the runners out front surprisingly come from the bottom. After standout middle school careers under Coach Jeffery Boelé, Paul Roberts and Joel Such embark on their inaugural year of high school athletics. Both instantly break into the varsity roster and barring any mishaps will complete that all-important trio of scorers at the state meet. In fact, Roberts comes in as Lyons’ top runner and an instant favorite for the individual state champion title. The son of Coach Roberts, Paul has been diligently running since age three and has a vast aerobic base to draw from. Joel Such joins older brother, Marcel, as they both head into their third year of running. Both have made huge strides and figure to be each other’s closest competition. Plan to see the Such brothers battling together in the 2nd and 3rd positions this season. With Roberts and the Such brothers at the helm and a plethora of talent to back them up, the Lions head into the season as Colorado Milesplit’s pre-season favorites to win state.
Another key individual has come up from the middle school cross-country program this year and that is Coach Boelé. With former assistant coach, Kevin Akers departure to head Longmont High School’s distance program, Coach Roberts wisely offered the assistant coach’s position to Boelé. Originally from Illinois, Boelé brings both experience as a competitor (high school, college, post collegiate) and as a collegiate coach for both cross-country and track and field at his alma mater, Greenville College in Illinois. Boelé left his coaching position at Greenville to move to Colorado in 2005. He has been a valued member of the Lyons coaching staff since spring of 2010, coaching both middle school cross country and track and field, as well as jumps and sprints in the high school track and field program. Welcome Coach Boelé!