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Cross country: Seniors close out careers with strong finishes at 5A state

Fairview finishes in top 5 of girls race

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Parker Lee of Legacy and Kinsey Hall of Fairview were down in Colorado Springs on Saturday to race for the last time in their high school careers.

As team leaders for their respective programs, the goals for Saturday were to give everything they had and ride off into the sunset on a positive note.

Lee and Hall ran personal best times at the state meet and were just short of a top-10 podium finish in the Class 5A state meet at Norris Penrose Event Center, but the memories made by them with their teammates on hand made the day regardless.

Kinsey Hall, of Fairview, during Colorado ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Fairview’s Kinsey Hall crosses the finish line in 13th place during the Class 5A state cross country race Saturday in Colorado Springs. The Knights finished fifth to lead local teams.

“I love the state course, I think it’s so much fun,” Hall said. “I think it’s a challenging way to show who’s better. I thought it was fun and a good race.”

Hall ran a steady, consistent race on the course and moved towards the front of the group early on. Her run ended with a time of 19 minutes, 17 seconds and was 12 seconds away from a top-10 finish overall. She would finish 13th individually in the race for the Knights.

“Up the hill, you have to pace yourself,” Hall said. “Once you pass the hill, you have to start passing girls. A lot of people go too hard up (the hill). In the last flat, you have to stay steady and settle your pace.”

Fellow senior Aloha Churchill ran a similar race with Hall and finished 21st overall in 19:39. Amelia DiGiano, Tegan Bartholomew Brown and Ellie Smith rounded out the top five for Fairview that saw them finish in a tie for fifth place along with Valor Christian, with 177 points.

Monarch’s Anna Wexler competed individually and managed to finish in the top 20 with her time of 19:25 to finish 15th overall. Another strong local runner competing individually was Stella Vieth of Boulder, who finished 37th.

Broomfield’s mix of veteran leaders and strong underclassmen shot them to seventh place in the team standings. Sierra Parks was the top runner with a time of 19:31 to finish 17th for the Eagles. Legacy was led by seniors Abby Jones and Brynn Siles as the Lightning finished 13th in the team standings.

In the boys race, Lee said he and the rest of the team were motivated to put on a strong performance to close a consistently good season for Legacy.

“Getting the whole team here to state and sharing that with them is a special moment,” Lee said.

A late push down the final stretch saw him cross the finish line at 16:16 for 15th place. Ryan Montera finished 18 seconds behind for a spot in the top 30, and with seniors Nathan Siles and Carson Primm running with freshman Liam Simmons, the Lightning came in 14th.

“We started the season with this goal,” Lee said. “We knew we had to get here again. Everyday we were working for each other and with each other, putting it all on the line every day.”

The other local runner in the top 20 was Broomfield’s James Thomas. Competing individually for the Eagles, he would make a push at the end to finish 17th overall in the race.

Fairview had its top senior runner in Wiley Feiger lead the Knights to a sixth-place finish with his time of 16 minutes, 34 seconds. Lukas Haug helped Boulder finish 10th with his top-30 time and helped the Panthers put on a good performance after last season’s disqualification hurt them in the standings. Five seniors helped Monarch finish 12th overall in Class 5A, led by Henry Little and Luke Johnson.