AURORA — Watching the first few races of the state cross country meet shaped the strategy for the Lyons boys team.
Coach Mark Roberts felt runners were moving too fast through the first stretch of the course at Arapahoe County Fairgrounds on Saturday. So he told his team to be patient early and go strong late.
The strategy worked, as Lyons brought home a second-place trophy in Class 2A. Sean Flynn led the way with a fourth-place individual finish, while Marcel Such was sixth.
The Lions finished with 24 points, barely losing to Crested Butte Community (21 points).
“Pretty much, our idea was it’s a downhill start, which is kind of unusual, so we wanted to stay focused,” Flynn said. “We all did that. Everyone ran smart and kicked in and we all pulled together to pull off an amazing race.”
Lyons was hoping for a top-three finish, but was ecstatic about not only how it finished, but with how well each of the five members of the team ran.
“With this kind of course, you have to be smart for the first half,” Such said. “People who go out really fast, they pay for it.”
In addition to the team finish, Flynn was excited about his fourth-place finish, and Such was pleased with his sixth-place finish. Such was third among underclassmen.
On the girls side, the Lions didn’t do as well as expected. They did finish fourth in the team race, which is about where Roberts thought the team would land. But, with 63 team points, the Lions were nowhere near the top three. Nederland won the title (19 points), followed by Vanguard (25) and Telluride (27).
Miriam Roberts led the way with an eighth-place finish — four spots lower than she finished a year ago as a freshman.
“I was a little disappointed,” she said. “I felt like I went out hard, but I don’t think I finished like I wanted to. That was the part that really disappointed me. I didn’t push the second half like I needed to. I wasn’t in the game as much as I needed to be.”
Alexander Dawson finished fifth in the 2A boys race. The Mustangs were led by seniors Jake Rothman (16th) and Kyle Becker (20th).
Brian Howell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.