Some meets feel more mysterious than others. At the St. Vrain Invitational at Lyons High School on Saturday, items were weirdly disappearing from athletes midrace. East Angel runners lost a shoe, a hat, a pair of prescription glasses, and at least a couple hair ties. Maybe it was the dust and wind. Maybe it was just Boulder County.
What was less mysterious was the excellent racing that happened there. St. Vrain tends to be as competitive as the Liberty Bell Invitational the week prior, even as it is run over a much different course – loose dirt and grass and a few modest hills. With two nationally ranked teams in both the Girls and Boys races (Niwot and Mountain Vista) plus all of East’s relevant regional competitors, this race at the midpoint of the season was going to be a meaningful challenge.
The Colorado #8 ranked Angel Girls raced first. One of the cool features of this meet is that there are timing mats near the 1 and 2 mile marks allowing someone online to follow how the race develops or to look back on how well an athlete moved up during the race. Angels’ lead runner sophomore Rosie Mucharsky moved up superbly from 24th to 12th to a final finish of 9th place in 19:06. Junior Grace Todd raced similarly smartly, going from 53rd to 33rd to 29th in 20:03, while junior Sophia Shiroff moved up to 35th at the two mile mark from 56th before finishing 37th. Ninth grader Scout Chomas (20:38) moved up steadily from 59th to 50th to 46th at the finish. Junior Sasha Bull finished 79th in 21:15, while ninth grader Julieta Ochoa moved all the way from 110th to 87th to a 82nd place finish in 21:18, with classmate Kairine Brown holding on for a 102nd place finish in 21:40.. Teams at St. Vrain get to race 10 in the varsity race. The balance of East’s varsity squad crossing the line included sophomore Lila Cypers (22:10) moving up to 117th from 139th; Anna Rothman-Haji (22:19) holding on for 122nd; and senior Helen Miller (22:28) moving up to 131st from 145th. Denver East had what was probably the best finish ever for the team at this meet, placing 5th of 28 teams, behind only nationally ranked Niwot (42 points), Mountain Vista (53 points) , state ranked Fossil Ridge 149 points , and Fairview High School (153 points).
The Angel Boys, also ranked #8 in Colorado 5A, also demonstrated some smart running. Senior Corbin Hobert led the way again for East, in a race in which he moved up from 16th place at the mile to 8th at two-miles to an impressive 7th place finish in 16:00. Sophomore Jonas Scudamore (16:51) ran from 58th place to 33rd to 32nd at the finish, while senior Ian Logan held on for a 51st place finish in 17:16. Freshman Henry Bennett (17:19) had one of the more impressive progressions going from 78th to 67th to 53rd, while senior Henry Hittle (17:38) went out in 76th place and held on for 77th. Junior Connor Beardsley (17:58) raced from 95th to 91st while classmate Kai Luna (18:16) held on for 112th. The East Boys bonus varsity runners were Ben Hopper (18:20, 117th), Tobias Penner (18:28) moving up to 125th from 148th; and Ben Brown (19:50, 199th). The Angel Boys finished 7th of 34 teams with 206 points – a very strong finish all considered. Perhaps eye-opening for our ambitions for championship season, Angels finished behind regional rivals Fairview (3rd with 113) and Erie (6th with 202) both finishing ahead.
The Girls JV team showed some muscle, with the team packing in runners in places 8, 9, 10 and 11. Senior Evelyn Higgins (22:05) went through the mile in 14th place before establishing herself in 8th by 2 miles and holding on to that through the finish. Senior Bri O’Meara (22:17) ran a similar strategy, going from 15th to 9th by the finish, while junior Avery Ash (22:18) moved up 10th from 20th and ninth grader Mary Clare Nussbaum (22:21) moved up to 11th all the way from 36th. Senior Eleanor Goldstein rounded out the scoring for the team with her 49th place finish in 24:17. The JV Girls finished 3rd of 14 scored teams with 84 points, behind just Mountain Visit with 82 and Fairview with 46.
Senior Garrett Johnson led the JV Boys, moving up from 54th place at the mile to finish 31st in 19:07, followed closely by sophomore Finley Steed (19:09, 33rd). Senior Charlie Keglovitz moved up from 55th to 41st in 19:25. Freshman Abraham Morginsky (19:50) raced his way to 59th place overall, having been 74th at the mile mark, with junior Finn Egan following closely in 60th in 19:59. The JV boys finished 6th of 22 teams.
The Angels head to three meets this coming week. On Tuesday, East Cross Country travels to the Case Willis golf course for the North Viking Invitational – all but Varsity will likely race at this meet. Then this weekend the Varsity and JV1 teams head to Lawrence Kansas for the Rim Rock Invitational with the JV1 race on Friday and the Varsity on Saturday. The rest of the team will race in the Northfield Nighthawk Invitational at Central Park where some JV runners will have the opportunity to step up to varsity racing.