Miriam Roberts Breaks School Record
By Renée Haip
Providing a brief respite from their flood ravaged community, the varsity squads of Lyons Cross-Country traveled to Colorado Springs to represent their town at the Brooks/TCA Titan Thunder Invitational at Fountain Creek Regional Park. With excellent competition for both individuals and teams, this was
the key meet that Coaches Roberts and Boelé had targeted to highlight their strong boys’ team. Despite Paul Roberts coming off an injury, and Joel Such dealing with residual cold symptoms, the Lions made a big statement by securing three top-ten spots; no other school had more than a single runner crack a top-ten position.
Under welcoming blue skies and a Pikes Peak backdrop, the Lions ran intelligently and despite adjusting his pace to account for his tender shin, Paul Roberts took the lead around the mile mark and held that place to the finish for a win in 15:59. By the two-mile mark, Marcel Such was running unchallenged in second place to eventually cross the line with a huge personal record (PR) by 39 seconds of 16:09, while younger brother Joel came across in seventh place with a thirteen second PR of 16:33. Matt Dillon predictably shaved off another eleven seconds off his PR with his respectable 24th place finish in 17:03. The critical fifth runner for scoring purposes was Heath Fesenmeyer, who notched an impressive PR by 37 seconds of 18:15 for 77th place. Stephen Roberts had his own phenomenal race crossing the finish in 18:38, a PR by 28 seconds for 91st place of the 130 runners.
Of fifteen teams, the boys placed third with 101 points behind The Classical Academy (88 points) and Fort Collins (79 points). Race organizer, Coach Alan Versaw was quick to point out that Lyons was a 2A school, which had been through a lot recently, and with this the crowd broke into a touching and extended round of applause. Coach Versaw went on to express his appreciation for both Coach Roberts and all of Lyons. In post race analysis on Colorado Milesplit, Versaw pointed out that “had team scoring been terminated at either three or four runners, Lyons would have come away a decisive winner.” According to Coach Roberts, this was one of the top two boys’ team efforts in the eighteen-year history of Lyons Cross Country.
The Lady Lions have a mere trio of varsity runners (not enough to account for team scoring), but they had their own terrific performances as individuals. Running strong throughout the race, senior Miriam Roberts and TCA’s Lauren Hamilton kicked fiercely for the finish line in their contest for third place. While Hamilton edged out Roberts for third, Roberts’ time of 18:51 had deeper significance. When one hails from a running family, younger siblings chase older siblings times and records. In her last season as a high school cross country athlete, Miriam Roberts finally broke older sister Melissa’s school record of 19:04 set in 2008. Of the 129 finishers, Sierra Tucker crossed the finish line in 43rd place with 21:01, a PR by 36 seconds, marking her as one of the fastest sophomores in Lyons’ history just behind the Roberts’ sisters. Jenna Anderson significantly had her second consecutive strong race with a PR by 12 seconds of 21:35 for 63rd place.
The JV and middle school teams ran at the Mead Stampede in miserably wet and muddy conditions. In the girls’ JV race of 38 runners, Kate Berreman placed third with 26:51, while Johanna Beam placed 30th with 32:32. In the boys’ JV race of 52 finishers, Ryan Smith was the first Lion across the finish with 23:08 for twelfth place. Following were Brian Dillon (15) 23:18, Ryan Albrandt (16) 23:24, Peter Brookes (34) 26:40, Owen George (38) 27:36, Cameron Cross (39) 27:37, Jack Eaton (41) 27:38, and Matt Smith (50) 32:49.
Of special note is that the Lyons’ middle school boys’ team is chock full of young talent. These young Lions placed second of thirteen teams with six boys (half being sixth graders) running under fifteen minutes for 3K. In a field of 171 finishers, sixth grader Isaac Roberts placed second with 11:17 followed by seventh grader Colton Jonjak-Plahn in 12:29 for ninth. The others breaking fifteen minutes were Nick Boggess (18) 13:25, Adam Crowl (45) 14:24, Simon Stone (57) 14:48, and David Brett (58) 14:54. While distance running is clearly quite popular with the Lyons’ Middle School boys, the girls’ contingent oddly has a meager roster of four in comparison to nineteen on the boys’ side. Three of those girls ran at Mead with Kylee Udovich finishing first for the Lions with 16:16 for 26th place of 110 finishers, followed by Sierra Tanner (31) 16:24, and Amanda Dillon (43) 17:01.