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Willis: Lyons’ Roberts fifth, Monarch girls fourth at SW Regional

Paul Roberts of Lyons, in action earlier this season, finished fifth at the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional meet Saturday in Casa Grande, Ariz.

Paul Roberts has made a name for himself by smashing course records in Colorado. Now the Lyons junior is taking his act nationally.

He didn’t win the ultra-competitive Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional meet Saturday in Casa Grande, Ariz., but he finished the Grande Sports Academy course in 14 minutes, 57.3 seconds to secure a solid fifth place among 271 competitors.

He was narrowly off the pace set by winner Joshua Collins (14:54.7) of Wasatch (Utah) High School. Roberts was the top local finisher and second among Colorado runners. Eric Hamer of Palmer Ridge finished third.

Roberts is among those slated to compete in Portland, Ore. on Dec. 6 in the Nike Cross National meet.

Monarch sophomore Isaac Green finished 29th, and other locals in the top 100 included Boulder senior Satchell Caldwell (50th), Niwot senior Elliot Minor (86th) and Broomfield junior Jake Mitchem (95th). Boulder finished 19th in the team scores to pace the local squads.

On the girls side, Monarch darted to a fourth-place team finish as four athletes finished in the top 55. Sophomore Holly Bent led the way at No. 25, followed by senior twins Karina and Elissa Mann (46th and 51st) and sophomore Audrey Lookner (55th).

Legacy’s Emma Gee was the top local individual on the girls side with a 16th-place finish in 17:58.5. Air Academy’s Katie Rainsberger won the event in 17:11.1.

Other locals in the top 100 included Broomfield freshman Emily Mitchem (36th) and senior teammate Regan VanDePol (64th), Boulder freshman Claudia Burgess (54th) and Niwot’s Emily Cranny (78th) and Jenna McCaffrey (82nd).

Paul Willis: or