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Cross Country: Niwot overcomes illness to win girls race at St. Vrain Invitational

Lyons, Nederland have standout runners in first race

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Niwot's Amelia Philofsky, left, and Broomfield's Sierra Parks at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Niwot's Amanda Philofsky at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Monarch's Anna Wexler at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Skyline's Katherine Nieuwlandt at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Monarch's Julia Mainland at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Fairview's Josephine Atkinson at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Jeanna Kilcullen of Skyline at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Erie's Grace Jardine at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Erie's Lily Meskers at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Broomfield's Maelynn Higgins at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Niwot's Samrawit Dishon, left, and Taylor James at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Boulder Daily Camera

    Niwot's Samrawit Dishon, far left, and Taylor James, center, at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Broomfield's Sydney Swanker at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Mead's Lauren Caldwell at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Boulder's Sofia Krodelsmith, right, Wren Hybertson run together at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brandon Boles/BoCoPreps.com

    Lyons' Quin Gregg at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

  • Brandon Boles/BoCoPreps.com

    Nederland's Helen Cross at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

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LYONS – The Niwot Cougars came into Lyons not feeling the best on Saturday.

Sickness has hit the team and many girls came into the St. Vrain Invitational cross country meet with a cold they would have to battle through.

“Every day, it’s just about effort at this point,” Samrawit Dishon said. “We just give all that we have, and whatever happens happens. We focus on staying together as a team and that helps. We’re all hurting and dealing with the same sickness.”

Niwot pushed through with five runners finishing in the top 10 of the 4A/5A girls race to secure a first-place finish in the team standings.

Niwot's Samrawit Dishon, left, and Taylor ...
Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com
Niwot’s Samrawit Dishon, left, and Taylor James at the St. Vrain Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

The five pack of girls included Dishon, Taylor James, Amelia Philofsky, Madison Shults and Joelle McDonald. All five jumped out to the front of the field and stayed there throughout the race. Dishon led towards the end with James and Philofsky following behind.

In the final breakaway to the finish, James and Jocelyn Millican of Palmer Ridge were in a full-blown sprint to get to the finish line first. James won the sprint, and with it moved up a couple places to finish in fourth place with a time of 19 minutes, 29 seconds.

“I always try to finish hard at the end of races. I think it’s important,” James said. “Even if you don’t have your best race on the rest of the course, you need to try to pass as many at the finish line to help your teammates. That’s what I did and I had to kick hard. The Palmer Ridge girl was kicking hard and made it difficult.”

Philofsky was next to finish in sixth place, Dishon was seventh, Shults was eighth and McDonald came in ninth. The pack time between the five runners was only 11 seconds.

The infamous loop at Lyons makes for a challenging course in addition to facing a number of quality teams in the field, but for Niwot, it has become a race they look forward to competing in and one they have had success in during recent history.

“I love this course,” James said. “We always run well here and it feels like part of our community. Lyons puts on such a great meet. The key for this meet is chugging along in the uphills but maintaining your speed in the downhills.”

With the win at the midway point of the season, Niwot hopes to get healthy and continue improving in order to have more success in the postseason.

“I feel like we’re stronger than we were last year, and we were pretty strong last year,” Dishon said. “The girls are tough as nails and I love having so many strong ladies to run with.”

Lyons, Nederland stand out in 2A/3A race

The first race to kick off the St. Vrain Invitational was the 2A/3A girls race. Lyons represented well on its home course with Quin Gregg finishing in second place and Jamieson Legh coming in ninth to help the team finish in second place in the team standings.

Gregg opened up with Shannon King and Audrey Orstead of Faith Christian to the front of the field in the first lap. The lead grew for King while Gregg was chasing her down to form a two-person race for the top time. It would be King who won and Gregg coming in right behind at 19 minutes, 45 seconds.

“Given my sprint at the end, I feel I could have given more in the middle of the race, so I’m frustrated about that,” Gregg said. “Other than that, I’m pleased. It was a good race considering it’s a PR outside of state, so I’m happy about that.”

The four runners of Gregg, Legh, Hannah Thomas and Alora Cross were enough for Lyons to edge Liberty Common by three points in the team standings. Faith Christian, a 3A squad, saw its top six runners finish in the top 15 to take the team title.

It was a result that makes Lyons believe it has what it takes to compete for a state championship later this season, according to Gregg.

“We’re all really excited,” Gregg said. “We all know we’re going to get the best performance at state and we’re probably going to get another state championship, so we’re excited.”

Another individual runner to perform well in the race was Helen Cross of Nederland. The leader for the team this year, Cross found herself in the front pack for the duration of the race and finished in fourth place with a time of 20 minutes, 8 seconds.

“I feel good because last week I ran a much slower time on what I think was a faster course,” Cross said. “I think I improved, which is exciting. This is a fun atmosphere to run in because I know a lot of people here.”

Notable

Monarch and Broomfield each had two runners finish in the top 20 to help their teams. Anna Wexler was 11th and Julia Mainland finished 20th for Monarch as the team came in fifth place. Sierra Parks was 13th and Sydney Swanker came in 14th for Broomfield to get the Eagles to sixth place in the team standings.

Josephine Atkinson led Fairview and helped the Knights edge rival Boulder in the team standings. Her finish made the different in points to move the Knights up to 12th place while Boulder was 14th. Erie was 20th, Longmont finished 23rd, Mead was 26th and Centaurus came in 27th to round out the local team scores in the 4A/5A race.

Jefferson Academy was led by the trio of Tessa Stadler, Emma Wiley and Jocelyn Farhar for 12th place. Sydney Adams would pace Peak to Peak to 13th place.