LAKEWOOD — Perhaps only an act from above would have kept Lyons’ Paul Roberts from dominating the Class 2A field of the 3,200 meter run on Thursday at Jefferson County Stadium.
Well, that act came about 10 minutes too early if you’re the rest of the competition.
Just moments after a micro-storm blew through the stadium wreaking havoc on the girls 3,200, the boys race went undisturbed for Roberts with the exception of a good race from Custer County’s Corey Lewenkamp.
Lewenkamp gave Roberts about all he could handle in the championship heat late in the afternoon, but the seasoned Lions junior managed to defend his title in the event with a solid time of 9 minutes, 38.84 seconds.
“The girls had to run in rough conditions, and I was like, ‘Uh-oh’,” Roberts said after his fourth individual track title. “I thought it was going to be like last Friday (at the St. Vrain Invitational) because it was pouring that day. You always want nice conditions for state, and it was nice that it blew over.”
Roberts entered the meet with an unheard-of top seed time of 9:13.55, accomplished just at the end of April at the Stutler Bowl Twilight Meet. His goal certainly was not to come anywhere near that time, especially given he had just ran the anchor on the Lyons 3,200 relay team about two hours before.
That Lions relay won gold, too, living up to its billing as the top 2A team by going 8:21.47. The relay included Joel Such, Matt Dillon and Cameron Cross, and Such and Dillon went on to race the 3,200 as individuals, too.
Roberts said his teammates had every bit as much to do with him winning the 3,200 as he did.
“My teammates got me a really good lead in the (relay), so I ran hard but didn’t have to kill it,” said Roberts, also a favorite in the 1,600. “I felt decent coming into the 3,200. We rested on the down time and then got in a little warmup, just tried to get mentally ready to go.
“When Corey went by me (midway through) and got a little gap on me, and I was a little scared. But I just had to make sure I quickened my feet up, and I got back and sat on his shoulder. He raced a heck of a race.”
While the weather cleared for Roberts, it had an affect on Sierra Tucker in her bid for a 3,200 individual title. Right in the middle of her race, as she was still in pack mode with five other girls, a short bout of rain and an even more threatening gust of wind threw in wrench in the spokes for the junior.
“It took my breath away,” Tucker said after finishing third with a time of 12:13.45. “If I could have run that race again, I probably would have tried to stay up front at the beginning but hang back the whole time, kind of like what (winner Courtney Jenson of Wiggins) did. But I’m going to let this go and race for my teammates the rest of the weekend.”
Tucker was at her best on an exciting 3,200 relay for the Lions that captured gold earlier in the afternoon. Combined with Faith Myers, Kate Berreman and Jenna Anderson, Lyons finished in style 13 seconds ahead of second-place Paonia.
Paonia was leading into the final exchange, but Anderson smoothly made that an afterthought. Lyons finished with a season-best time of 9:46.07.
“My teammates kept me in the race like they were supposed to, and when I got the baton I knew she had a big distance on me but that I had to relax,” Anderson said. “I patiently waited to see what she was going to do, and when we got past the first 400 I really started to close in on her and knew I had it.
“It was a great way to set the tone for the entire meet for us.”
After finishing fifth in the pole vault last year, Owen George moved up three spots to place second in 2015. In the process, he broke a school record and ended up at 13 feet, nine inches.
George, a junior, had been eyeing 13-6 the whole year.
“I’ve been ready to get the school record for awhile, and I just think everything fell into place today,” George said. “I had a couple good attempts at 14, but just couldn’t clear. That will be the goal for next year.”
Few other finals took place on Thursday, but freshman Ashley Sowders did help Lyons put more points on the board with her fifth place finish in the high jump.
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