MoHi Grabs Halloween Treats

By Sam Wexler (State photos by Jeff McCoy)
On the spookiest day of October, the running ‘yotes earned their candy whilst competing among the state’s best down in Colorado Springs at the State meet. Although plagued by injuries to key runners, both the boys’ and girls’ teams still proved their place among the top of the Colorado running food chain, with their identical sixth place finishes on a new and arguably improved course at the Norris-Penrose event center. The day was highlighted by Isaac Green’s first state cross country championship over friend/rival Jake Mitchem from Broomfield. In typical Isaac fashion, the win highlighted the rest of his undefeated season with a monster kick to the line.

The girls toed the line first at 11 am. Lauren Gregory from Fort Collins was the overall winner for her third win of three trips down to the springs. Notably second was Brie Oakley of Grandview, a soccer player who decided to try out cross country, definitely a remarkable feat. The top Boulder Valley finisher was Claudia Burgess, friend and fellow camp attendee, from Boulder High School in 5th. With Holly Bent sidelined, Audrey Lookner took charge as the coyotes number one, running to a 17th place finish despite a tussle with other runners and rushing Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 10.00.45 AMwaters in the creek crossing at the end of the race. Hailey Leader came into the stadium next, with a solid 60th place performance, a good 16 places better than last year as a member of the Fairview team. Liz Hogan and Brooke Forsythe ran in together in 70th and 72nd places respectively. Brooke, only a freshman, has had remarkable improvement this year to become a consistent scorer for the coyotes and has a bright future ahead of her. Senior Captain Emily Hoffmann rounded out the scoring for the coyotes with her 84th place performance. From not being on the regional roster last year to being a scorer in the state meet, Emily has had a terrific last season as a coyotes. Best friend and running companion, Daisy Fuchs was not far behind in 88th place. Alden Gruidel was the seventh and final Monarch runner into the stadium with her 102nd place performance. The girls’ 253 points was good enough for sixth in a loaded field, Broomfield won with 112.

The boys race at 1 pm had an “isaac” cloud written all over it. Coming off an undefeated season, Isaac Green was in contention for the state title, could he do it? Yes, he could and he did. Isaac came into the stadium with Jake Mitchem from Broomfield at his heels, and then demonstrated his prowess on the track when he took off following Jake’s surge and cruised into the line for his first cross country state title. Isaac’s 11th place finish last year is now a distant memory, as he proves his dominance in the Colorado running circles with a win in the mile and now 5k in 2015. Senior Captain Ben Hogan was the number two runner for the coyotes with his 33rd place finish, a major improvement over his 53rd place finish last year. Zach Litoff’s 3rd place finish on Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 5.55.36 PMthe team and 56th place finish overall is one of the most impressive, as he went from being the alternative to being a key scorer for the coyotes within a year. Isaac Russo or “Isaac 2.0” leaped from JV last year to being the 4th scorer and 69th overall at the state meet this year, a feat mirrored by no one else on the guys or girls teams. Greg Hibl improved on his 93rd place finish at last years meet with an 86th place finish as the 5th and final scorer for the Coyotes. Jack Herrmann, like Zach, was able to run in the state meet after not being on the roster last year. His 106th place performance is impressive considering the tumble he took in the creek. As Audrey did, he got sucked into the mud and water right before the final descent to the finish. Declan Stone-Murphy, who stepped in due to an injured Charlie Perry, was still able to post a 160th place finish to finish out the Coyotes. Mountain Vista took the team race in impressive fashion. Their fourth consecutive state title with a jaw-dropping 50 points, 60 points ahead of runners-up, Fort Collins. The boys’ 224 points, aided by Isaacs 1 point, were able to post a 6th place finish, a major improvement on last years 13th place finish.

Not to be outdone, assistant coach and professional runner, Laura Thweatt, was over in New York making her debut in the marathon at the 2015 TCS Marathon, and boy did she make a debut. Laura hung with the lead pack through 21 miles. Chockful of olympians and record-holders alike, this in itself was a feat. She raced to a 7th place finish in a highly-decorated field and was the top American by over ten minutes. Her time of 2:28 is an average pace of 5:40 per mile for 26.2 miles, crazy really. Her first 5k split of 17:23 would have won the state cross Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 6.13.28 PMcountry meet this year. Questions arose quickly about what she would do for the Olympic Trials, and they were answered and shut down quickly. Laura is going to continue to race track events in hopes of making the Rio Olympics in 2016 on the track. Overall, Laura’s debut was a success, and proved to the rest of the world what everyone at Monarch already knows, Laura Thweatt is the best coach, runner, and person out there. We are so lucky to have her as a motivator and coach.

On To State

On a day better suited for a duck, the coyotes slogged their way to a pair of second place plaques and now move on to the State Championships on Halloween.

The ladies ran first, and were paced by 4 all-region performances from Audrey Lookner, Hailey Leader, Liz Hogan, and Emily Hoffmann. Audrey led the ladies with her 3rd place finishing time of 19:15.  The only runners to finish in front of Audrey were last year’s 2nd & 3rd place finishers from the State Meet. Hailey was next in 7th, followed by Liz in 12th, and Emily in 15th. Brooke Forsythe was the fifth and final scorer for the coyotes with her 19th place finish. Alden Gruidel,  Daisy Fuchs, and Sam Wexler all finished together in 25th, 26th, and 28th place finishes. Abby Hein rounded out the ‘yotes with her 37th place finish. On a day the Coyotes didn’t have the services of top runner, Holly Bent, their second place finish was impressive!

The boys were also paced by 4 all-region performers in Isaac Green, Ben Hogan, Charlie Perry, and Zach Litoff. Isaac was the overall winner of the race in a time of 16:41. Ben and Charlie followed in 4th and 5th, and Zach was 9th. Greg Hibl was the fifth and final scorer for the coyotes in 18th place finish. Jack Herrmann and Isaac Russo were the 6th and 7th runners for the coyotes with their 27th and 32nd place respective finishes. Declan Stone-Murphy and Brandon Wallace rounded out the coyotes in 40th and 42nd. The guys team finished 2nd with 37 points to Boulders incredible score of 26.

On deck…the State Meet on October 31st.

Front Range League Meet Recap

By Sam Wexler

The Front Range League meet took place on the kind of beautiful fall day everyone hopes for at the final meet of the regular season.  Sunny and 65 degrees on a “true” cross country course of single track and grass around the campus of Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins led to some great performances by the ‘yotes. As has been the practice in the past, the top 5 sit this one out with an eye towards the State meet giving many younger runners a chance to move up to the varsity race.

The girls varsity winner is worth a mention, as Lauren Gregory of Ft. Collins won the 5k race in 17:41 by almost a minute. Only a junior, she ran like the two time defending state champion she is. And while no coyotes were able to keep pace with her, they still ran strong against some tough competition. Brooke Forsythe, only a freshman, was the first finisher for the coyotes and dipped under the 20 minute barrier for the first time this season. Brooke crossed the line in 19:46, good for 18th place.  Sam Wexler in 31st,  Emily Hoffmann 37th, Abby Hein 43rd and freshman Katy Kilcoyne closed out the scoring in 46th place. Libby Moore and Caroline Bearce rounded out the varsity with their 68th and 71st place finishes. The ladies, minus the top five, were still able to secure an 8th place finish among some of the top teams in the state.

Isaac Russo, better known as “Isaac 2.0”, led the varsity coyotes with his 24th place time of 17:10. Jack Herrmann followed in 34th, Declan Stone-Murphy 41st,  Brandon Wallace 48th and Riley Sorbo was thefinal scorer in 59th place. Freshman Paxton Hansburg was the 6th and final runner for the ‘yotes in 76th place. The boys, minus their top five runners, were also able to nab an 8th place finish. Boulder High put together a strong race won with an outstanding 36 points.

    The JV girls, following a trend of strong performances by freshmen, were led by Cora Isaacson’s 22nd place time of 22:11. Maddie Johnson was right behind her in 23rd place with a time of 22:14. Annabel Richards was close behind them in 26th. Jensen Avey, Drew Bussanmas, and Val Jonas all came in close together in 41st, 45th, and 49th places. Sophie Schuler finished in 64th, Alison Stouffer in 79th, Sam Kalis was 88th, Julia Wilson was 92nd, Caitlin Browne was 137th, Caroline Hagelin was 170th and Emma Steen was 174th. The girls placed 5th with 146 points.

    The JV boys posted the highest team finish of the day with a 4th place score of 120 points. Chris Lyders was the number one finisher for the ‘yotes in a 15th place time of 18:16. Ethan Glenn was close behind him in an 18th place time of 18:22. Mitchell and Tyler Waters pushed each other to 21st and 25th place respective finishes. Reed Henderson rounded out the scorers in 44th place. Tanner Conklin was next in 71st, Jacob Peterson was 79th, Sean Gazarik was 85th, Rhett Stockebrand was 90th, Sam Carner was 96th, Cayce Reese was 105th, Adam Cabrera was 107th, Jonah Rondash was 117th, Max Blanco was 157th, Perrin Ruth was 159th, Grant Saunders was 173rd, Jack Emerson was 174th, Aidan Payne was 194th, Will Crist was 199th, Corbin Hoppe was 227th, and Jacob Scheiffler was 239th.

    This meet marked the end of another great season for the majority of the coyotes. For the varsity athletes heading to Regionals and on to State, that march begins Thursday, October 22nd, at Regionals in Northglenn. ‘Sko ‘yotes!

Fast Times At The Pat Amato Classic

By Sam Wexler

There’s just something about the Pat Amato Invite that leads to fast times. Maybe its the composition of the course; fairly flat with a good mix of grass, trail and pavement? Maybe its where this meet falls in the schedule with runners at peak fitness levels? Maybe with a season of racing experiences in the rear view mirror, runners confidence is at a high?   Whatever “it” is, once again this meet didn’t disappoint as many runners lowered their season best times yet again!

The JV races led off the day at an early 2 pm starting time. Jack Herrmann and Riley Sorbo led the team with their 8th and 9th place respective finishes. Declan Stone-Murphy came next in 15th, followed by another close race between Mitchell Waters and Chris Lyders in 32nd and 33rd. Tyler Waters closed out the JV boys with his 55th place finish. The boys finished 4th overall with 93 points in a tight team race. Emily Hoffmann ran strong in the girls JV race, finishing  2nd overall. Libby Moore was the next coyote to cross the finish line in 18th place, followed by Katy Kilcoyne in 21st place. Cora Isaacson and Annabel Richards ran a close race together with their 31st and 33rd place finish. Jensen Avey rounded out the JV ‘yotes in 56th. The JV girls also finished fourth with 105 points.

The varsity boys team had the best team finish at the meet on Friday in 3rd place. Ben Hogan led the coyotes with his 12th place time of 16:32. He was followed by Charlie Perry in 17th place. Zach Litoff and Isaac Russo finished within 4 seconds of each other in 22nd and 24th place and Greg Hibl and Brandon Wallace completed the varsity squad with their 48th and 105th place respective finishes. The girls’ squad, with Holly Bent and Audrey Lookner taking a race off, still managed to piece together a fourth place finish with 197 points. The coyote girls ran in a tight pack with a 1-5 split of 26 seconds and a 1-7 split of 43 seconds. Liz Hogan led the lady ‘yotes in a 32nd place time of 19:56. Alden Gruidel and Daisy Fuchs were within 1 second of one another in 37th and 39th place. Hailey Leader, Brooke Forsythe, and Abby Hein were all also within 1 second of one another in 44th, 45th, and 48th place respectively. Sam Wexler closed out the varsity girls in 55th place.

The boys’ and girls’ open races followed the varsity races, but since they were timed by the coaches, I don’t have the results. In spite of a cold has been going around the team, a good majority of the team were able to piece together some solid times. Up next on the schedule is the Front Range League Meet on Friday up at Fossil Ridge in Fort Collins. It is the culminating meet for the majority of the team, and hopefully will produce even more PRs.

Pat Patten Recap

By Sam Wexler

This year’s Pat Patten invite’s course was significantly less challenging than last years course at the Buffalo Ranch, but it was a strength course nonetheless. Pat Patten allows 9 runners from each team for the varsity races. While the varsity teams were both successful, per usual, the depth of the team showed through in the jv races.

The jv girls started the day off at 10:30 (a little late, but it is Boulder). Sam Wexler led the Coyote pack finishing 2nd overall in 21:41. Sam was followed closely by Libby Moore in 4th, Katy Kilcoyne in 5th, Maddie Johnson 6th and Caroline Bearce rounded out the Monarch scorers in 7th. The JV girls team placed 1st by a solid 40 points. Anytime you place 5 runners in the top 7 with a spread of 49 seconds…you have had an outstanding team race!

Riley Sorbo won the jv boys race with a winning time of 18:03. Riley was followed by Tyler Waters in 3rd place,. Chris Lyders 7th, Mitchell Waters 8th, and Declan Stone-Murphy took 11th to bring the team to a tight second-place finish of 30 points, three behind Rock Canyon’s 27.

The varsity girls race was also won by a coyote, this time that coyote was Holly Bent. She covered the course in 18:43, the fastest time ever by a female coyote. Holly made it look easy, winning the race by 20 seconds.  Audrey Lookner, raced her way to a 6th place finish, Hailey Leader, making her varsity debut, finished in 17th place finish, followed by Liz Hogan in 23rd and Daisy Fuchs in 27th. The scorers punched a 2nd-place finish behind Broomfield.

Ben Hogan took the top spot for Monarch in the boys varsity race with his 9th place finish in 16:56. Charlie Perry and Greg Hibl were numbers 2 and 3 for Mohi with their 15th and 21st place respective finishes. Zach Litoff and Isaac Russo in 24th and 28th kept all 5 monarch scorers in the top 30 overall. The boys, without the services of Isaac Green,  finished third behind a strong winning effort by Boulder High.

The races proved two things for the coyotes, that this years young team is deep and improving, and that their training is right where it should be.

Liberty Bell/St. Vrain Recaps

By Sam Wexler


The Liberty Bell starting line is not for the faint of heart!

This year, two of the top meets in the state, Liberty Bell and St. Vrain, fell on the same weekend. Coach Rieder and his staff weighed their options and used this to their advantage. They opted to run a full varsity and JV squad at Liberty Bell, thus pushing the next 7 onto varsity for St. Vrain, giving many runners the opportunity to gain valuable experience against some of the top runners in the state.
Isaac Green started things off at Liberty Bell with a bang, defending his Liberty Bell title and in the process, running the fastest time in the State, 15:16. As has become his normal racing tactics, Green hung with the top pack for the whole race before out kicking his closest competitor for the title. Ben Hogan returned to form, finishing in 12th with a time of 16:06. Closing out the scoring was a tight pack of Zach Litoff in 32nd, Charlie Perry in 35th, and Greg Hibl in 38th. The varsity boys nabbed a 3rd place finish in a close team race.
The JV boys were also strong, with three boys in the top 20. Isaac Russo paced the team with his 9th place time of 17:29. Jack Herrmann and Brandon Wallace weren’t far behind in 14th and 16th place. Declan Stone-Murphy was next in 33rd, and the Waters’ twins ran an identical race finishing in 52nd and 53rd with identical times. The JV boys were 5th overall in a highly competitive race.
Holly Bent led the varsity girls by nabbing a solid third place finish in 17:59. Audrey Lookner made a miraculous recovery to get 9th in 18:36 after being trampled and the last one out of the start.  Liz Hogan in 39th, Alden Gruidel in 48th, and Daisy Fuchs in 49th tallied the final points for the girls. The team finished 4th to Cherry Creek and Fairview, as well as out-of-state Albuquerque Academy.
Hailey Leader won the JV race in a time of 19:48. She finished 14 seconds ahead of  the runner-up to dominate the race. Brooke Forsythe and Sam Wexler followed Hailey into the top ten with their 3rd and 9th place finishes. Maddie Johnson in 12th place and Libby Moore in 13th kept the pack tight for scoring. The JV team scored an outstanding 33 points, 64 ahead of runner-up Grandview.
Saturday morning in Lyons, the remainder of the team geared up to race a tough course at the St. Vrain Invite. The guys and girls running varsity here were running against other schools top seven. Their results truly shows the depth and talent at Monarch.
The varsity girls were led by Katy Kilcoyne’s 91st place time of 22:56. Alison Stouffer was the next finisher, finishing in the top half of the runners with her 105th place finish., Val Jonas and Annabel Richards demonstrated a good pack race with their times differing by only 2 seconds. Drew Bussanmas and Cora Isaacson did this as well, placing 160th and 162nd respectively. Sophia Le rounded out the varsity girls with her 181st place finish. In the JV race, Izzy Antle and Shelby Oke were the top performers with their 25th and 35th place finishes.
On the varsity boys side, Paxton Hansburg led the charge with his 100th place time of 18:59. Chris Lyders, Tanner Conklin, Sean Gazarik, and Rhett Stockebrand finished out the scoring, all placing in the top 150. Garrett Weaver and Ian Fowles ran a tight race together, finishing 171st and 172nd with a 1 second difference in their times. Sam Carner and Reed Henderson were the top finishers in the JV race with their 38th and 52nd place finishes respectively.
Overall, this was a great week of racing for the coyotes. Though in the midst of a solid block of training, there were some excellent performances and the extra races gave the coaches a great opportunity to see some of the younger runners handle the pressure of a varsity race.

Centaurus Invite Recap

By Sam Wexler

On a sunny Saturday morning that was September 5th, the running coyotes took to a local course at Waneka Lake Park in Lafayette for the Centaurus Cross Country Invite. Monarch scored well in all 6 races, finishing in the top three team positions in each.

Girls varsity led off the day with a strong performance by Holly Bent, finishing in 3rd place with at time of 18:41. Audrey Lookner followed Holly into the top 10 with her 8th place time of 19:12. Liz Hogan, Alden Gruidel, and Daisy Fuchs rounded out the scorers, with their 23rd, 31st, and 33rd place finishes respectively. Emily Hoffmann and Abby Hein kept all 7 varsity runners for Mohi in the top 50 with their 39th and 48th place times. Overall the varsity team was second to BVSD foe, Broomfield with a score of 92 to their 77.

The Boy’s varsity race was the next to go off. Isaac Green broke away from Broomfield’s Jake Mitchem at the finish for the win in 15:59. Charlie Perry had an outstanding run to finish in 8th place with a time of 16:51. Ben Hogan, Greg Hibl, and Zach Litoff kept all of the scorers in the top 25 with their 18th, 22nd, and 24th place respective finishes. Riley Sorbo and Declan Stone-Murphy rounded out the varsity team with their 48th and 72nd place times. Overall the team was second to Rampart with a mere 4 points separating the teams.

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The JV races demonstrated Monarch’s team depth, with the Coyotes winning the next two races. Hailey Leader led the Girls charge with her winning time of 21:01, 33 seconds ahead of 2nd place. Brooke Forsythe, Sam Wexler, and Maddie Johnson all finished in the top 10 with their 4th, 6th, and 9th place finishes. Libby Moore, Caroline Bearce and Alison Stouffer kept the whole JV squad in the top 50 with their 15th, 22nd, and 42nd place finishes respectively. The JV girls won decisively with a 20 point victory over Broomfield.


Not to be outdone, the JV boys had the most dominating race of the day, with Will Dixon finishing 10 seconds ahead of teammate Isaac Russo to finish 1-2. They were followed by Jack Hermann in 5th, Brandon Wallace in 7th, and Mitchell Waters in 11th. Ethan Glenn and Tyler Waters kept all of the boys in the top 30 with their 27th and 30th place times respectively. The JV boys won the team title with a low score of 26 points, besting the second place team, Boulder, by 41 points.

The open races were supposed to be sent off at the same time, but due to the amount of runners, race officials decided to stagger the start by 3 minutes, with boys starting first followed by the girls. Six of the top 20 finishers in the boys open race were from Mohi, with Chris Lyders leading the charge in an 8th place time of 19:50. Matt Behrens, Sean Gazarik, Tanner Conklin, Paxton Hansburg, and Rhett Stockebrand turned in 10th, 12th, 16th, 17th, and 19th place times respectively. Ian Fowles, Garrett Weaver, and Sam Carner demonstrated good pack racing with their 21st,22nd,and 23rd times all within 2 seconds of one another. The open boys team score of 63 was 3rd to Boulder and Broomfield.

The girl’s open race was led by Katy Kilcoyne, whose time of 23:28 was 11 seconds faster than the second place girl. Annabel Richards, Drew Bussanmas, Cora Isaacson, and Sophie Schuler followed Katy into the top ten with their 4th, 7th, 8th, and 10th place times. The open girls team won with a score of 30 to Broomfield’s second place score of 56.

Overall, this convenient race was a hit for parents and runners alike due to the easy commute and the relative flatness of the course. Times are starting to drop as the season goes on, the sky’s the limit for the running coyotes.

Coyotes Run Wild At Cherry Creek

By Sam Wexler

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The first official meet of the year for the coyotes took place at the Cherry Creek Reservoir, and the ‘yotes came away with a fair share of wins, both team and individual. The team hadn’t participated in this meet for a few years, and Monarch made quite a splash in their first year back. The team thrived on this relatively flat course, mainly on trails and the road, and showed their strength on the hills near the middle of the race. This invitational was split into six different races. There was a frosh-soph race for both boys and girls, JV races (all juniors and seniors not running varsity), as well as boys and girls varsity.

The first race of the day was the boys frosh-soph race and the coyotes were paced by Mitchell Waters with his 11th place time of 18:29 for the 5k. Isaac Russo and Tyler Waters joined Mitchell in the top 20, finishing 16th and 20th respectively. Ethan Glenn, Sam Carner, and Paxton Hansburg rounded out the top 30. The frosh-soph girls were paced by Hailey Leader with her 5th place time of 20:39. She was followed into the top ten by Abby Hein and Brooke Forsythe, in ninth and tenth place respectively. Libby Moore, Annabel Richards and Shelby Oke also turned in great runs for the ‘yotes.

The MoHi Varsity guys turned in a winning performance by over 30 points. The team was paced by Isaac Green and Ben Hogan’s sweep of the top two positions in 16:34 and 16:35 respectively. Greg Hibl turned in a 12th place performance, Charlie Perry and Zach Litoff finished 18th and 19th, placing all 5 scorers in the top 20. Riley Sorbo and Will Dixon followed in 29th and 41st places respectively. The boy’s team performance solidified their position as a contender for the state title. The varsity girl’s race was also won by a coyote, this time it was Holly Bent leading the way in 19:01. Following Holly were Audrey Lookner in 5th place, while Liz Hogan, Daisy Fuchs, and Alden Gruidel rounded out the scoring positions in 17th, 20th, and 21st place respectively. Emily Hoffmann and Sam Wexler kept all of the varsity ladies in the top 40, with their 26th and 39th place finishes.

Both JV races were won by coyotes, and both were in a dominating fashion. Declan Stone-Murphy finished 13 seconds ahead of the field in18:03. Rounding out the top five were Brandon Wallace and Jack Herrmann, in 4th and 5th place respectively. Matt Behrens and Rhett Stockebrand both finished in the top 35. The girl’s JV race was won by Maddie Johnson, finishing nearly a half minute in front of the runner-up in 21:44. Jensen Avey followed her into the top ten, with an 8th place finish. Caroline Bearce and Alison Stouffer also finished in the top 25.

Overall, the first true meet of the 2015 season was a success on many fronts. For the top runners, they proved their worth, as champions or as varsity scorers alike. For others, they gained confidence and figured out how to pace themselves in a race. Overall, both the boys and girls squads showed their depth and championship material in an impressive fashion.

Complete Results

2015 Coyote Chase

By Sam Wexler

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The Monarch Cross Country Team started off the 2015 season with their annual “Coyote Chase” 5k run and fundraiser. This race also served as a time trial to see who would run varsity (top 7) at the first meet. The course this year was different than years past due to overgrowth in the old course. Our new course involved 2.5 X 2km loops around the fields, school, and K-8 next door. The course involved a mix of grass and pavement/asphalt. The 2km loop started on the field and ran on grass around the baseball fields and track, then it turned onto the road and sidewalk to connect to another big field behind the school. It then proceeded to wind on the grass through the Monarch K-8 football fields and then back behind the tennis courts. This lap was repeated another time, and on the third time around, rather than continue into the big field behind the school, turned into the finishing chute next to the tennis courts.

The overall champion was Tyler Scholl, a friend of Monarch from Kremmling, CO. He bested the field, running 17:38 for 5k. The top male coyotes all ran in a pack until the last straightaway, in which

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Zach Litoff upset Isaac Green, who, as well as Ben Hogan, ran 18:05 for the 5k. Following these boys was Greg Hibl, Charlie Perry, Will Dixon, Riley Sorbo, and David Litoff (yes you read that correctly, it’s Zach’s dad). Rounding out the top twelve for the guys was Brandon Wallace, Max Ruth, Isaac Russo, Declan Stone Murphy, and Mitchell Waters.

The top female coyotes started as a pack, however they spread out more over the course of 3.1 miles than the boys did. The undisputed winner was Holly Bent in 20:45 (no sprinting here), followed by Daisy Fuchs in 21:18, and Liz Hogan in 21:38. Following them was Audrey Lookner and Hailey Leader,

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finishing within one second of one another, Alden Gruidel, Emily Hoffmann and Sam Wexler. Rounding out the top twelve for the girls was Brooke Forsythe, Abby Hein, Maddie Johnson, and Libby Moore.

This years Coyote Chase was harder than some of the runners expected when looking at the relative flatness of the course, however the smoke from the wild fires, combined with differing footing conditions, heat, sun, and the fact that it was a time trial made the times a little slower and the effort harder. It was a successful first race and brought in money for the program as well as setting varsity for the next week.

High Altitude Camp

By Sam Wexler

This year’s High Altitude Cross Country camp  was one for the books. From crazy costumes to sting pong to climbing Elbert, every day was a new adventure. Of course, there was a lot of running involved. Two runs on Tuesday and Wednesday as well as the long run on Thursday made my mileage for the week higher than any week prior. The running was very challenging because of the elevation. Luckily, because of the altitude, the weather was fantastic. It got up to a high of about 70 during the day, the sun was shining most days, and there was a cool breeze as well.

Every day at camp brought fun experiences for all. Monday night, we played a heated game of capture the flag. Juniors were paired with freshman, and sophomores were with seniors. The junior team wIMG_4808 (1)on, and everyone was totally exhausted (there are a lot of hills in the forest!) Tuesday we had time to walk into town after an interesting talk with two time Olympian Alan Culpepper. Tuesday afternoon was the famed costume relay. Audrey, Liz, Zach, and Greg went all in with their Grease costume complete with candy cigarettes and a boom box. There were numerous other winners, but after the initial pictures, all the costumes came off for the relay. Each leg was around 900 meters, and it was a mix of flat surfaces and hills. Everyone was wiped
after the relay but mustered up the strength to play Sting Pong, and a select few played some intense Mario Kart.

Wednesday was recovery day and it was fantastic. After an interesting talk about recruiting from Billy Nelson, an Olympian and coach who is in charge of recruiting for CU, we headed over to Turquoise Lake. Our recovery run was around the lake; it was really rocky but supe2015-07-29 13.07.05 (1)r pretty. The lake was gorgeous, really clear and our driver said it was insanely clean (cleaner than the water from the faucets at camp). After dinner was the talent show. 12 of us Monarch girls did a “dance through the ages” routine. For having an hour to put it together, we actually did pretty well. Greg, Declan, Riley, Jack, and Zach did a skit entitled “runners read mean tweets” and it was totally hilarious and incorporated many others on the team, even Coach. Isaac repeatedly slapped Ben in their skit, to the point where Ben looked pretty shaken up afterwards. There were a lot of funny acts in the show, I really wish we captured some of them on video.

Thursday we got the morning run off because of the long run, so we got to sleep in until 7:30! Micheal Aish, an Olympian from New Zealand, came and talked to us. He told us funny stories of his time at the Olympic Games as well as his life growing up.  The long run took place on the Leadville Loop: you could run 5, 7, 9, or all 11 miles (It was really 11.5 because of getting to/from the trail). There were coaches with water at each of those mile markers which was terrific considering the challenge and the heat. The Sting Pong championships occurred in the evening, it was very heated and a variety of alliances were in play. Will Dixon came out as the overall champion, and his alliance, Death Row (Will, Zach, Declan, Greg and Jack), was very rowdy in support.

Friday was the final and exhausting day. I got on the early bus to Elbert, so I had to get up at 4 am to start climbing. Mt. Elbert was my first 14er ever and my first real hike. That said, it was interesting. It took so long to get to the summit, every peak I thought was the top, but it was actually a false summit. It was so cool (literally and metaphorically) on the top, you could see forever and ever. We were all quite literally on top of the world (on top of Colorado that is) and the view was 360 degrees of mountains, lakes, and towns. Coming down from the summit could be considered harder than going up for some. The gravel was really loose, so at some points, you basically had to slide down the side of the mountain. After the hike, we ate pizza and then headed home after a full week of fun and training in Leadville.

Overall, camp was such a great experience that I wish I could have gone prior to this year. I had so much fun both running and bonding with my teammates. The training that we did up there made me stronger as a person and as an athlete. Many of the activities and runs we did at camp tested you physically and mentally. I will use all of the things that I learned from the Olympians and counselors, the challenging runs, and other fun activities throughout this season.