• Isaiah J. Downing / FOR THE DAILY CAMERA

    Niwot's Layla Roebke, right, won the Class 4A girls state title in October. Teammate Taylor James, left, was second.

  • Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Sydney Swanker should lead a Broomfield team striving for a Class 5A girls team title once again in 2019.

  • Isaiah J. Downing / FOR THE DAILY CAMERA

    Peak to Peak's Anna Shults eyes another stretch of the course at the Class 3A state meet in October.




Samree Dishon, Jr., Niwot: Call her the area’s breakout runner of the year. Or just Samree. Dishon dropped well under 20 minutes in a 5K for the first time in her career and went a jaw-dropping 17:24 at the Desert Twilight Festival in Arizona back in September. She was 14th (17:42) at Nike Cross Regionals Southwest on Saturday. The junior finished 15th at state in 19:20.

Katie Fankhouser, Jr., Lyons: Fankhouser won the Class 2A meet in a time of 19:24. The junior and freshman Quin Gregg were spectacular in leading the Lions throughout the year and should be dynamic one-two punch in 2019.

Taylor James, So., Niwot: James won the regional meet and finished second at state in 18:35. The sophomore also finished 12th (17:49) at Desert Twilight and was 11th (17:37) at Nike Cross Regionals Southwest on Saturday. When considering her outlook for her next two years of high school, aim high.

Quinn McConnell, Sr., Peak to Peak: The four-time runner of the year won her region and league for the fourth straight year. Maybe even more impressive, the Furman commit ran a 17:00.10 at the Desert Twilight — which, at the time, was the nation’s eighth-fastest time in 2018.

Layla Roebke, Sr., Niwot: Roebke sat out half the season due to the state’s transfer rules before she not only helped fill out a talented Niwot girls’ team — she victoriously led the Cougars at the state meet. The Coronado transfer won the Class 4A race with a time of 18 minutes and 29 seconds, leading the Cougars to a team title.

Anna Shults, Sr., Peak to Peak: Shults capped off her brilliant career with a second-place finish in the Class 3A race. The CU commit finished second in the state race three times over her career and was third in 2016.

Maggie Smith, Sr., Niwot: Smith, who finished 25th at state as a junior, rounded out the Cougars’ five scoring runners in 20th at 19:31. All year, Smith was an integral part of Niwot’s pack attack. She won the Pat Patten Invite in September as the Cougars swept the top five places.

Sydney Swanker, Jr., Broomfield: Swanker improved upon her 22nd placing at state as a sophomore with an eighth-place finish (18:50) in the 5A race this year. Swanker, who also donned a leadership role for the Eagles this year, led her team to a sixth-place finish.

Coach of the Year — Kelly Christensen, Niwot: Christensen had the deepest girls’ team in the area. The girls won the 4A state meet and took third at Nike Cross Regionals Southwest on Saturday.

Honorable mention: Allison Beasley, So., Peak to Peak; Tiana Bradfield, Sr., Peak to Peak; Helen Cross, Jr., Nederland; Lucca Fulkerson, So., Dawson; Quin Gregg, Fr., Lyons; Kinsey Hall, Jr., Fairview; Abby Jones, Jr., Legacy; Kandice Kittinger, Sr., Longmont; Madelyn MacLaughlin, Sr., Monarch; Julia Mainland, Jr., Monarch; Molly Maskin, Sr., Centaurus; Maggie McCleskey, Fr., Centaurus; Joelle McDonald, Jr., Niwot; Marlena Preigh, Sr., Fairview; Stella Vieth, Fr., Boulder; Anna Wexler, Jr., Monarch; Kate Zacharias, Sr., Boulder.

Brent W. New: and @brentwnew