By Renée Haip
Each spring the highly anticipated Saint Vrain Invitational brings together not only top caliber high school track and field athletes from across the state, but also elite sprint, pole vault, and distance athletes. Jointly hosted by Longmont and Lyons High School at Longmont’s Everly-Montgomery Field, this year’s May 3rd organizers and sponsors pulled out all the bells and whistles to provide track fans and competitors with a truly professional event more than worth the five-dollar cost of admission. This meet has it all—an electronic scoreboard with
live video feed, professional meet management, and accomplished announcers attuned to the fine details of individual achievements. This year fifty-eight schools were represented with a total of 1300 athletes meeting minimum qualifying standards.
While scoring (top-eight) is a notably difficult feat at a meet with such high caliber competition, it is exactly that kind of competition that helps athletes establish new personal records (PR), season bests (SB), and even school and meet records. In the very first event of the day, sophomore Jenna Anderson, junior Miriam Roberts, freshman Sierra Tucker, and senior Olivia Raspotnik set the tone of the day for Lyons by breaking the school record in the 3200 meter relay with a time of 9:50.93 for fourth place and a trip to the top of the 2A leader board. The old record of 9:55.25 was set in 2011 by Olivia Raspotnik, Miriam Roberts, Nola Basey, and Melissa Roberts. Senior Nola Basey continued her streak of high jump wins with a new SB of 5’5.5”, a height which also set a new meet record. Basey went on to take second in the triple jump with 35’8.75” and sits at the top of the 2A leader board for both high and triple jump. In the 1600M, Miriam Roberts ran strong and placed fifth with a nearly seven second PR of 5:08.01, breaking Roberts own school record set two weeks previous. Roberts turned right around to join sophomore Jenna Anderson, Nola Basey, and freshman Sierra Tucker for the 4x400M and together they posted a new SB of 4:14.05 for eighth place.
Despite not scoring, other notable performances from the Lady Lions came from senior Kelsey Miner and Sierra Tucker, who worked together in the 1600M to respectively achieve a SB of 5:46.11 and a PR of 5:44.52. Senior Austen Fankhouser set a new PR in the pole vault of 7’9”, which sends her up to the top-ten of 2A where she joins fellow seniors Brittany King and Amber Boyington. The 4x200M relay crew of seniors Amber Boyington, Nola Basey, Dana Arling, and junior Maddie Keen shaved more than two seconds off the school’s 4x200m season best to move from tenth to sixth in the 2A rankings. The 800M medley relay crew of freshman Jessica Boxrud, Maddie Keen, Dana Arling, and sophomore Anna Sundrud ran a SB of 2:00.32 by a huge nine seconds, which jumped that relay event for Lyons from forty-two to seventeen in the 2A rankings.
The big news for the boys was that senior Ryan Boucher not only broke his own 400M school record by four-tenths of a second, he also set a new all-time mark for the 2A state classification of 48.88. Boucher and Valor Christian’s Spencer Jamison dominated the race, driving each other to their first sub-49 personal records with Jamison edging Boucher out for the title by a mere fourteenth of a second. Freshman Paul Roberts battled upperclassmen Reid Chandler of Centaurus and Ethan Gonzales of Broomfield and came out with third place and an excellent PR of 4:23.72, which maintains Roberts’ position as fastest freshman miler in the state. In the 110 hurdles, senior Matt Radich (ranked number one in 2A) tied for fourth with 15.33; and in the long jump, senior Justin Boldt (ranked number one in 2A) jumped 20’1” for eighth place. The boys’ 4x200m crew of seniors James Hinker, Justin Boldt, Ryan Boucher, and Matt Radich ran a new season best of 1:30.58, a blazing fast time for fourth place, which further bolsters their number one ranking in 2A.
Other notable achievements on the boys’ side include sophomore Tullef Rudlong’s PR of 11.40 in the 100M, which takes him to the top of the 2A leader board. Junior Chris Lennard ran a new PR of 17.14 in the 110 hurdles; Lennard continues to pick up hurdling speed and current 2A rankings find him holding fourteenth in the 110M hurdles and fifteenth in the 300M hurdles. As well, the distance athletes continue making significant drops in personal records. Running the 1600 meter, brothers junior Marcel and freshman Joel Such respectively ran big PR’s of 4:35.10 (3rd rank in 2A) and 4:37.43 (5th rank in 2A; 4th fastest freshman in the state), and junior Matt Dillon broke five minutes for the first time with his own substantial PR of 4:55.25. The 4x400M crew of Justin Boldt, senior Zach Tucker, Paul Roberts, and Ryan Boucher closed out the night for Lyons by running a new SB of 3:30.84 to move from second to the top of the 2A leader board.
In the midst of all the excellent prep track and field action, the high school athletes and spectators were witness to English Olympic hopeful, Rory Fraser, breaking the 37-year-old Colorado mile record set in 1976 by Ted Castaneda. Fraser, a former University of New Mexico athlete, lives and trains in Colorado, while working as a Nike representative. Of the elite milers challenging the record, Fraser was the favorite among the Lyons’ athletes, as Fraser can sometimes be spotted hanging out with the Lyons’ coaches and athletes at meets and at the school, even once doing a training run and workout with Paul Roberts and Joel Such. At St. Vrain, Fraser delighted the crowd with a spectacular and inspiring 4:03.99 record-breaking mile!
The Lyons Lions officially move into championship season with the Patriot League Meet on May 10 in Sterling, Colorado. Good luck to all the athletes and their coaches!