Boys track and field: Roberts earns Athlete of the Year

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Paul Roberts of Lyons heads down the home stretch en route to winning the Class 2A 1,600 state championship on May 21. Roberts is the 2016 Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year for 2016.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Paul Roberts of Lyons wrapped up his prep career with nine state championships in track and field.



LYONS — Paul Roberts ended his high school running career with a bang.

The Lyons High senior added two more state titles and two more state records to his already impressive list of accomplishments. The four-time cross country runner of the year is also the 2016 track and field athlete of the year.

But when Roberts looks back on his final season, he will remember the people the most.

“At the end of the day, I had to kind of take a step back and have a little more fun,” Roberts said. “The season was a little bit weird with the weather and everything and I obviously didn’t get a PR in the two-mile but I was happy with the season overall. The whole three days at state and running the last meet together is what I remember the most.”

Roberts, who will take some time off before starting his training for his upcoming freshman year at Colorado State University-Pueblo, is the only prep runner in Colorado history to win four cross country state titles. At the 2016 track and field state championships, he set a 2A state meet record of 9 minutes, 26.17 seconds in the 3,200-meter run and a second state meet record of 4:19.54 in the 1,600.

Easily one of the most decorated prep runners in the state’s history, Roberts leaves the vaunted Lyons track and field program with nine state championships to his name. A testament to his career’s success, not breaking the all-classification record in the 3,200 was a disappointment in Roberts’ eyes. Still, he’s one of the best runners from an ultra-talented family and has given the Roberts family plenty to talk about at the dinner table over the years.

“Obviously coming into the season, the big goal was the 3,200 record,” Lyons head coach and Paul’s father Mark Roberts said. “You run 9:13 as a junior, you’re stronger and your cross country season goes well, that you can maybe get close to that 9:05, which is an incredible time. You plan and you hope and there’s obviously a lot of circumstances that have to go into something like that. He was a little disappointed but at the end of the day, he would happily have traded any of those individual titles for one more team title.

“When it’s all said and done, looking back on it, it was pretty special. And then on Saturday he runs in the Bolder Boulder and that might have been his best race of the year.”

Roberts placed fourth in the men’s citizens’ race at the annual Bolder Boulder 10K on Monday with a time of 31:9.15.

Brad Cochi: or