Cross Country Teams Have Great Race at Soroco!
Lake County High School’s cross country team enjoyed a change of pace last Saturday, switching from large competitions to a much smaller meet at the Soroco Cross Country Invitational. Only 3 high school teams participated in Soroco’s inaugural event- Lake County, Middle Park and Soroco. The 5 kilometer course was run through a grassy meadow with some rolling terrain and no shade.
After Middle Park’s lead runner pulled out of the race with asthma issues, Joe Koch took the lead. As Koch pulled away from the rest of the field, he caught the attention of 3 horses who had escaped from their ranch and come over to play in the meadow. They headed onto the trail and began to run after Koch. They chased him for about a hundred yards before the Middle Park coach steered them off the course, but they circled around and came toward Koch again a quarter mile later. Once again the Middle Park coach corralled the horses, so that Koch could run by. The experience really got Koch’s adrenaline going, and he ended up winning the race in a personal best time of 20 minutes 5 seconds.
Meanwhile, Koch’s teammates were doing exciting things. They gradually worked their way past their competitors and turned in excellent performances. Jarrett Rongstad, Zayden Tufte and Conner Lenhard also brought home top-10 medals. Rongstad placed 3rd in 21:02. Tufte took 5th in 21:55, and Lenhard finished just behind in 21:57 and 6th place. Completing his first cross country race, Emmanuel Torres ran 27:49 to take the 13th spot.
The Panthers won the team competition with a score of 9 points, compared to Middle Park’s 20 points.
The horses were cleared from the meadow before the start of the girls’ race, so the ladies didn’t have to deal with that distraction. Ariel Benney finished first for the Lady Panthers. She took 4th in a personal best time of 24:52. Molly Lenhard placed 7th in 25:31. Abby Holm, running her personal best time by over 1 ½ minutes, finished 12th in 31:37. Hannah Holm was 15th in 35:29, and Jackie Williams took 16th in 37:29.
As a team, the girls finished 3rd.