MEAD — Lyons cross country’s Miriam Roberts didn’t want to push it until she started hurting at Saturday’s rainy Patriot League Championships at Mead High School.
The Lions sophomore ran a painless 19-minute, 49.3-second race to take third overall in the conference. It was a personal record.
“I haven’t been really pushing it,” Roberts said. “I’ve been kind of scared to hurt the last few races, but this was a good race. It should get me in good focus for state.
“I was hoping to get a little closer to the second or first person. I wasn’t as happy as I could have been, but I was pretty happy.”
Berthoud’s Kiah Leonard won the title with a time of 19:34.0, while Kelsi Lasota of Estes Park was second, at 19:43.9.
Thirty s behind Roberts was Mead’s Morgan Lu, who took fourth with a time of 20:19.1. Her goal was just to follow Roberts to a top-10 finish.
“Running past races with these girls, I knew I could stay near Miriam Roberts,” Lu said. “So I was trying to do that and some girls would pass me along the way, but then in the last mile I started to pick it up and stay closer to her.”
Roberts paced the Lions, many of whom ran best times, to a fourth-place team finish. Lu led the Mavericks to sixth. Berthoud was third.
“On milesplit.com (race simulator) they said that we were supposed to get fifth but none of us have run this well all season,” Roberts said.
Olivia Raspotnik was the next Lions runner in, finishing in 21:18.1 for 13th place. Kelsey Miner finished 29th, Jenna Anderson finished 31st and Anna Sundrud came in 33rd.
For the Mavericks, Brianna Hallmark was next in after Lu in 35th place. Acacia Stephen finished 37th, leaving everything out on the muddy course and expelling her breakfast just after crossing the finish line.
“She was freaking out like, ‘I actually puked!'” Lu said of Stephen’s jubilant response to vomiting. “I was proud of her because one of the parents on the team says you’re not running hard enough unless you actually puke.”
The weather worsened as the boys race began, but Lions sophomore Marcel Such wasn’t too bothered by the weather. Trudging through mud and at one point sleet, Such took 10th with a time of 17:43 to lead the Lions boys to a third-place team finish.
“My time was a PR,” Such said. “My previous best was a 18:09 and I got 17:43 today. I just wanted to break 18:00. We’ve been running slow courses all season so it was nice to get on a faster course.”
Such, in fact, welcomed the miserable conditions, which he believes can only help his performance at regionals.
“It makes you tougher,” Such said. “Adverse weather just makes you better.”
Mead head coach Phil Hodgkinson, whose boys team took 10th behind Jake Grasinger’s 34th-place finish, was surprised with how fast the Mavericks’ times were in the high wind and rain.
“Despite the weather, the times were fairly fast. I’m pleased with how our kids ran; they did a really great job,” Hodgkinson said. “They’re learning how to run and pace themselves. It’s all a learning process. They’re so young on the cross-country side of things that they’re just starting to figure things out.”
Hodgkinson was surprised by his young team’s times, but not by the Lions’ strong performance.
“Lyons is always tough,” he said.
Brad Cochi can be reached at email@example.com.
Patriot League Championships
At Mead H.S.
Team scores — University 30, Estes Park 43, Lyons 50, Brush 63, Eaton 81, Platte Valley 125, Weld Central 137, Berthoud 143, Strasburg 178, Mead 213, Highland 225, Valley 236.
Top individuals — 1. Anthony Rios, Brush, 16:47.5; 2. Garrett Coles, University, 16:58.5; 3. Jeff Switzer, Estes Park, 17:17.2.
Berthoud results — 28. Aidan Colton, 19:12.2; 31. Erik Maas, 19:49.4; 40. Quinton Urchek, 20:12.6; 44. Daniel Raak, 20:24.3; 46. Gabe Conde, 20:30.9; 51. Kyle Cavey, 20:43.2; 56. Shane Friede, 21:09.1; 59. Ben Sevy, 21:27.3.
Lyons results — 10. Marcel Such, 17:43.0; 12. Sean Flynn, 17:56.6; 13. Reed Test, 18:16.6; 15. Sam Crowley, 18:24.7; 25. Ryan Boucher, 18:59.6; 27. Brian Flynn, 19:10.2.
Mead results — 34. Jake Grasinger, 19:53.9; 52. Eric Rademacher, 20:43.8; 57. Stephen Negvesky, 21:14.6; 70. Josh Yuhas, 23:00.9; 72. Tommy Reeves, 23:11.3; 73. Chris Franke, 23:12.6; 74. Lucas Baril, 23:22.0.
Team scores — Brush 29, Estes Park 34, Berthoud 58, Lyons 76, Platte Valley 92, Mead 120, Eaton 164, University 167, Weld Central 200, Highland 206, Strasburg 208.
Top individuals — 1. Kiah Leonard, Berthoud, 19:34.0; 2. Kelsi Lasota, Estes Park, 19:43.9; 3. Miriam Roberts, Lyons, 19:49.3.
Other Berthoud results — 17. Emma Otto, 21:30.0; 19. Emma Degnan, 21:35.7; 21. Ally Klaes, 22:09.8; 25. Stefani Messick, 22:20.8; 28. Dillon Fagler, 22:27.8; 32. Hannah Kirk, 22:46.8; 45. Courtney Demoudt, 23:59.5.
Other Lyons results — 13. Olivia Raspotnik, 21:18.1; 29. Kelsey Miner, 22:28.7; 31. Jenna Anderson, 22:30.6; 33. Anna Sundrud, 22:48.0; 43. Hazel Myers, 23:44.3
Mead results — 4. Morgan Lu, 20:19.1; 35. Brianna Hallmark, 22:53.8; 37. Acacia Stephen, 22:54.1; 44. Kelsey Contouris, 23:55.2; 53. Marissa Zuccaro, 24:48.0; 68. Ashley Hulet, 28:50.6.