HS & MS Boys Cross Country Teams Win Frontier League Championships!
By: Amy Peters
Last Saturday, October 6, Lake County High School hosted the Frontier League Cross Country Championship on the Colorado Mountain College trails. The Panthers dominated the meet, winning 3 out of 4 team titles.
With the participation of some 2-sport athletes, the high school boys achieved the first cross country league championship in my tenure as coach. Conner Lenhard led the pack by aggressively taking the lead right off the starting line, and only 1 athlete was able to pass him throughout the race. He finished in 2nd place with a time of 20 minutes 8 seconds, 45 seconds faster than on our course in September. Joshua Rivera, after playing for the LCHS football team on Friday night, took 5th place in 20:20. One of LCHS’ varsity soccer players, Fabian Jimenez, ran 20:38 for 9th place. James Garrison, another football player, placed 14th with a time of 22:03, and soccer player, Aaron Fierro, was close behind- 17th in 22:10. Emmanuel Torres completed his first race on the Lake County course in 23:27 and 26th place. Freshman newcomer Desmond Sandoval was 47th in 29:51.
Lake County beat 2nd place KIPP Denver Collegiate by 8 points.
The middle school boys also won the team title, but it was a tight battle with East Grand Middle School. Matt Cairns, still undefeated this season, is individual league champion and finished in 9:55 on the 2.5 kilometer course. Jace Peters took 2nd place in 10:41. He was followed by 3 East Grand runners. Lake County’s 3rd runner, Dakota Hanson, was 6th in 10:49. East Grand’s 4th runner took 9th and Lake County’s 4th athlete and final scoring harrier, Jaren Peters, placed 11th in 11:44. The Panthers ended up getting the win by 1 point. Josiah Horning dropped 34 seconds off his time in September to reach 11:58 and 14th place. Abel Gonzales also ran a strong race, finishing 17th in 12:13, and Jaime Castillo ran 15:05 for 33rd.
The most dominant performance of the day was turned in by Lake County’s middle school girls. Sisters Adele and Rose Horning finished 1st and 2nd respectively with times of 11:31 and 11:46. Keira King held off a competitor from East Grand to hold onto the 3rd place spot, crossing the finish line in 12:00. Jules Sandoval took 6th in 12:28, and Violet Hill was 11th in 13:27. Dropping 2:36 off her previous time, Grace Bunch placed 12th in 13:29. Ella Bullock, Clara Kirr, and Indigo Olsen finished 14th, 15th and 17th with times of 13:31, 13:33 and 13:50 (a 2:05 improvement for Olsen). Avery Milne cut 2:17 to run 14:48 and take 23rd. The biggest time drop of the day was accomplished by Susie Bullock. She took 2:51 off her earlier performance, reaching 15:25 and 26th place. Amara Olsen was just behind, running 15:28 and placing 27th in the 42-athlete field.
The Lady Panthers’ team score was 12. East Grand, in 2nd place, had 24 points.
The high school ladies finished 6th out of the 9 participating teams. They were led by Ariel Benney, who held on to 10th place with her time of 25:42. Morgan Holm ran 29:24 and took 27th. Aurora Marruffo and Abby Holm worked together throughout the race, encouraging each other along. In the end, Marruffo edged out Holm by 3 tenths of a second. They were 33rd and 34th in 31:04 and 31:05. Hannah Holm placed 41st in 34:09.
There are only 2 seniors among the Panther athletes, so the future looks bright for Lake County’s cross country program.