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Small schools report: Student-athletes who are making waves in their sport

Peak to Peak softball raking so far, while several new runners have emerged in cross country

Jacob Crookston, of Jefferson Academy, during ...
Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer
Jacob Crookston, of Jefferson Academy, during the Broomfield Battle cross country meet at Broomfield High School on Aug. 27, 2020.
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The somewhat tardy decisions on fall sports made August a bit turbulent for many small school athletic programs, and as a result there are many schools in the BoCo area that have not gotten the opportunity to compete in more than a handful of events.

Lyons cross country, for example, will lace up for the first time at Friday’s own St. Vrain Invite; Longmont Christian, meanwhile, has no fall teams active and will have to wait until basketball season to see action.

The pace will pick up in September for runners, tennis players, golfers and softball players. Which means more rhythm for some athletes already out to great starts. Here are a few names to keep an eye on for strong finishes after tallying some impressive early numbers.

Jamie Rader of Peak to Peak ...
Brandon Boles/BoCoPreps.com
Peak to Peak’s Jamie Rader, seen here in a 2019 game, has two pitching wins already in 2020 along with a pristine 1.000 batting average through 14 plate appearances.

Softball

Jamie Rader, Alyssa Alvarez, Kelsey O’Dowd, Peak to Peak — Pick your poison with Peak to Peak softball so far, as the Pumas’ collective on-base percentage is off the charts at .840. Rader and Alvarez, both seniors, are joined by O’Dowd (a freshman) in having a perfect batting average so far as the three have combined to go 24-for-24 with 12 walks drawn in the mix, too. Both seniors have 12 RBIs each in 14 plate appearances, while Rader already has two wins in the pitching circle.

Brooklyn Enny, Lyons — With three more hits Thursday against Resurrection Christian, the sophomore Enny now has 14 hits in just five games and is keeping the Lions (3-2) in the conversation in the tough Patriot League. Lyons hung in there against University on Tuesday, losing 10-7, but also has a win against Eaton under its belt.

Cross country

Jacob Crookston, Evan Mills and Sean Beasley, Jefferson Academy — It’s hard to say how smaller meets are truly affecting the outcomes of cross country races, but this trio of Jaguars have certainly posted some excellent marks early on, and Beasley is raising eyebrows as the freshman of the group. At the Thornton Invite on Aug. 21, they finished 1-2-3 with just 67 seconds separating them; at the Broomfield Battle on Aug. 27 it was Crookston who went all out to finish in 16:45 and in second place (Mills still placed third and Beasley in sixth).

Axel Fuentes, Prospect Ridge Academy — The Miners have competed directly against Jefferson Academy twice now, and Fuentes has rolled up two top-8 individual finishes with a top season run so far of 18:17 at the Battle.

Ryan Kuykendall, Peak to Peak — Peak to Peak’s most seasoned runner on the boys side, Kuykendall placed sixth at the Adams City varsity race on Aug. 22, coming in with a time of 17:32. That’s the only race logged for him so far according to Milesplit.

Daily Camera file photo
Holy Family’s Jackson Grace has four rounds in the 70s so far in 2020.

Boys golf

Jackson Grace and Ben Achziger, Holy Family — A friendly rivalry may be developing between this pair of Tigers, as they have gone back-and-forth as HFHS’ clubhouse leader through a busy August. Achziger has five rounds in the 70s already with a low of 74 at the Eaton Invitational, and Grace has four rounds of 79 or better while shooting his best of the season (73) at Broadlands on Tuesday.

Tommy Noonan, Dawson School — Forget Noonan’s disqualification at the Kent Denver Metro League meet last week; the kid is still swinging well as expected. Beginning with an 81 at Flatirons on Aug. 6, Noonan has stayed consistent and has a stroke average of 83 through five events.

Boys tennis

Roee Sela and Ryan Tran, Prospect Ridge Academy — Sela has been nothing short of spectacular in his jump to No. 1 singles, going 3-0 so far in matches with just two games dropped. At No. 2 singles, Tran’s record is also unblemished at 3-0 with only one of those matches reaching three sets.