HS Cross Country Team Competes in Regionals. Lenhard Qualifies for State!
By: Amy Peters
The Lake County High School cross country team traveled to the Aspen Golf Course on Friday, October 19, to compete in their regional competition. The Panthers returned to the 3A level this year, after spending 2 years in 2A. In the 3A division, the places of a team’s first 5 athletes are combined to calculate that team’s score. In 2A, only 3 athletes are scored. As part of Region 1, Lake County faced 13 other mid-sized schools from the western half of Colorado, from Bayfield in the south to Craig in the north.
The top 4 teams and top 15 individuals at regionals earn the opportunity to race in the State Meet. After missing out on State in 2017, Conner Lenhard proved his desire for a trip this year by charging right to the front of the race and keeping himself among the leaders. He finished in 14th place, assuring himself a state-qualifying spot. His time of 18 minutes 19 seconds was a personal best by 46 seconds.
All of the Lake County boys had excellent races, resulting in personal best times. Fabian Jimenez cut 1:47 off his previous best time, finishing 29th in 18:51. Moving up into the team’s 3rd place position, Aaron Fierro placed 37th in 19:22, a 2:48 improvement. Despite dealing with knee pain from a football injury, James Garrison dropped almost 2 minutes off his best time to reach 20:07 and 54th place. Emmanuel Torres also improved by 2 minutes and took 76th in 21:27. The biggest time drop of the day was achieved by Desmond Sandoval, who shaved nearly 4 minutes on his way to a new best time of 25:55 and 110th place.
The guys finished 7th in the team competition. Although they missed qualifying for State, it was a strong showing for a young team without much cross country experience.
Senior Ariel Benney wrapped up her cross country career by running a smart race and finishing a full minute faster than ever before. She crossed the line in 23:12 and 42nd place. Morgan Holm and Dominika Piech ran through the course side-by-side, even sprinting into the finish together. They both finished in 25:59 and placed 75th and 76th. Aurora Marruffo ran under 30 minutes for the first time, completing the course in 27:56 and 87th place. Despite fighting a cold, Abby Holm ran 30:10, only 20 seconds slower than her season best, and took 94th. Hannah Holm’s time of 31:06 was a season best; she ended up in 98th.
The ladies were 12th as a team.
Lenhard’s state race will be contested at 9 am on Saturday, October 27, at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.