By Sam Wexler
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.