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.

2015 Early Season Reminders

Official Practices Begin
As of Monday, August 17th, we transition from “Summer Running” to “Official Practices”. As of Monday, practices will no longer be voluntary…but mandatory. Please make sure that you are registered for XC by this Friday! Anyone not registered by this Friday will not be allowed to practice with the team until they have a current physical and registration on file with the athletic office. Many of you have registered but have not provided proof of a physical to the athletic office, which will not allow you to practice with the team.

Coyote Chase Fundraiser
Make sure you have at least 4 people signed up for the Coyote Chase (besides yourself), so that we can raise as much money for our programs as possible! The race takes place at Monarch, Saturday, August 22nd @ 8:00. You can sign up on-line at , just search for “Coyote Chase”. The athlete who signs up the most people gets a free pair of shoes from Runners Roost, so make sure we know who you are registering!

2014 State Cross Country Championships


Atop “Big Willis Hill” looking northwest.

The state meet will be held this Saturday, October 25th at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs. The MoHi girls are the three time defending 5A State Champions and the boys are looking to improve upon last year’s 7th place finish. Hopes and expectations are high on both teams!

Meet information and a few links…

What the Denver Post has to say

Click on the course information link and you will find detailed information about the venue, best places to view the race, parking, etc. This site was created and is maintained by Cheyenne Mountain High School, the meet host. It’s a great source of information. If you see a lot of reference to the “Stampede”, it is a meet that is also run on this course and serves as the “Prestate” meet at the beginning of the season.  Course Information

MileSplit’s State Meet home page offers a lot of information specific to participants and results.  As always, some of their content is viewable without a subscription, while specific articles will be subscriber only. It’s a great source either way.  Meet Information

Lastly, directions to the venue. This is MoHi’s fourth visit to this course since August of 2012, so many of you know the drill. ARRIVE EARLY! Last year, 1245 runners finished the State races. There will be plenty of traffic! If this is your first time watching a meet at this course, allow yourself enough time to familiarize yourself with the course. It is a beautiful setting for a race!

Fortunately, there is no Air Force Football Game this Saturday so the drive home should be a little less congested than the past two years.  Driving Directions

Division Time
2A Girls 9:20 a.m.
3A Boys 10:00 a.m.
4A Boys 10:30 a.m.
5A Girls 11:00 a.m.
2A Boys 11:30 a.m.
3A Girls Noon
4A Girls 12:30 p.m.
5A Boys 1:00 p.m.

MoHi XC/Track Fundraiser

Thanks so much to the Bent family and Papa Murphy’s for hosting a fundraiser for the team at their new location, 765 S. Boulder Road by Alfalfa’s. A special thanks to all of you that ate Pizza Wednesday night. As a result, the event netted the team $250.

League Meet

Wednesday’s League Meet will be held at Broomfield Commons Park. Directions to the meet can be found by clicking on the schedule tab and then the link for the League Meet. The meet schedule is:

Open Girls 3:00 pm
Open Boys 3:45 pm
Varsity Girls 4:15 Pm
Varsity Boys 4:45 pm

Please check with your athlete to see which race they will be running in. Buses will leave at 1:15 and kids will be dismissed at 1:00. Weather shows a nice day in the 70’s, so make sure all athletes bring a full water bottle and are prepared for any weather we may have. This will be the last meet for the majority of our team so I hope to see everyone there!


League Meet Pasta Dinner

The LAST pasta dinner of the season will be tomorrow night, Tuesday 10/7, hosted by The Bernat family, from 6:30 to roughly 8:00. A map to the dinner can be found by clicking on the Pasta Dinner tab and then clicking on the link. Food assignments are listed below.

A-B  Desert
C-E  Healthy Snack for Race Day
F-Pa  Pasta or Pizza
Pe-S  Salad, Veggies or Fruit
T-Z   Desert

Bring enough food for 8 people and please make sure you bring serving utensils and label them along with any bowls or dishes you bring.