Cross Country dominates Frontier League Meet
by Amy Peters
The Lake County High School cross country teams dominated the Frontier League Championship, which they hosted at Colorado Mountain College on Saturday, October 3. Eight schools, mostly from the Denver area, traveled up to compete for bragging rights in the League.
The Middle Park women gave the Lady Panthers the biggest challenge, but the Lake County harriers held them off with solid front running and personal best performances from their 4th and 5th runners. Adele Horning cut 53 seconds off her time on this course a month ago on her way to a 2nd place finish and a time of 21 minutes 36 seconds for the 5 kilometer route. Rose Horning took 3rd in a time of 22:15, and Keira King ran 22:59 for 4th place. Violet Hill was able to break up the Middle Park pack and run a new personal record (PR) in the process. She completed the course in 23:58 and 8th place. Michaela Main improved her PR by over a minute, dropping it to 25:28 and finishing in 11th place. Running 1:50 faster than on this course in September, Clara Kirr took 13th in 25:40. In the end, the Lady Panthers scored 23 points to Middle Park’s 38 points. (In cross country, the lowest score wins.)
In the men’s competition, Jace Peters led the field for most of the race, but teammate Fabian Jimenez caught up to him with about half a mile to go. The victory was decided by a final sprint up a steep hill into the finish, and Jimenez beat Peters by half a second. They both accomplished a time of 19:26. As the meet champion, Jimenez was awarded the Frontier League Athlete of the Year award.
Returning to competition after a week at low elevation, Matt Cairns turned in a solid performance, placing 7th in 21:03. James Garrison, Josiah Horning and Abel Gonzales pushed each other to much faster times than they ran last month. They finished 9th, 10th and 11th respectively, with times of 21:14, 21:26 and 21:31.
As a team, the men scored 29 points. Platte Canyon, the 2nd place team, scored 67 points.
The Frontier League Middle School Championships turned out to be a small affair. Only 2 other Frontier League schools joined Lake County to compete at Colorado Mountain College on Friday, October 2, after Clear Creek Middle School had to drop out because the team was put under COVID quarantine. In order to increase the size of the field, Summit Middle School was invited to participate in the season-ending meet as well.
In the girls’ race, Ella Bullock placed 4th and finished the 3 kilometer course in 15 minutes 42 seconds, 1:01 faster than when she raced the course earlier this season. Chloe King was next in for Lake County; she was 7th in 16:18. Susie Bullock led a streak of Panthers that included Indigo Olsen and Aimee Lenhard. They took 13th, 14th, and 15th respectively in times of 17:48, 18:10, and 18:13. After running much of the route together, Layla Horning crossed the line in 18:53 and 18th place, and Amara Olsen was 20th in 19:01. Chloe Moffitt ran 22:57 for 33rd place, Daphne Duran was 34th in 23:22, Faith Pongrekun took 37th in 26:15, and Cynthia Garcia placed 38th in 27:50.
Jaren Peters led the boys’ team with a 6th place finish and a time of 14:49. Jake Cairns was 8th in 15:30, and Barrett Poupore wrapped up his middle school career with a time of 15:51 and a 10th place finish. Matthew Quinn continued to progress, dropping 37 seconds off his September time to reach 16:08 and 11th place. Running steady and consistent, Jude Peters took 19th with his time of 18:12. Wesley Sandoval entered the finishing area with Ben Woodcock close behind. Sandoval finished in 19:22 and 23rd place. Woodcock ran 43 seconds faster than in September, improving to 19:34 and 24th place. Leo Bloodgood shed 1:50 off his previous time to place 28th in 20:28. The biggest time improvement from September to October was accomplished by Merritt Baker. He lowered his time by 2:30 to reach 22:23 and 30th place. Itai Sheleg’s time of 22:45 was 1:46 better and earned him a 31st place finish.
Although Summit snatched both team titles, Lake County beat all of the other Frontier League challengers.