Lake Count High School’s cross-country team competed in the Mountaineer Cowboy Invitational in Gunnison on Saturday, Sept. 18. Ten other schools were there, representing the 2A, 3A and 4A divisions. The 5K course consisted primarily of flat dirt trails. Although the Panthers raced in the heat of the day, most of them ran times faster than they had ever run before.
Abel Gonzales finished first for the Lake County men. His time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds was a personal record (PR) by 32 seconds. Gonzales placed 44th in the field of competitors. Matthew Wilson ran in spikes for the first time and accomplished the greatest time drop of any Lake County athlete. He cut almost 3 minutes off his previous PR to reach 23:39 and 70th place. Samuel Missey improved his PR by 2:14, finishing 82nd in 27:16. Desmond Sandoval was 83rd in 28:31. The Panthers were short one runner to score as a team.
Adele Horning led the Lady Panther squad with a season best time. Horning took eighth in 21:08. Improving her PR by 32 seconds, Keira King finished ninth in 21:13. Violet Hill ran a strong second half of the race, completing the course in 22:38, a 15-second PR, and claiming 16th place. Ella Bullock finished 29th in 23:42, a PR improvement of 1:06. Clara Kirr and Brynna Lenhard had set their previous PRs on this course in 2020. On Saturday, they both successfully set new PRs of 23:52 and 24:24 respectively, placing 34th and 40th. Indigo Olsen’s new PR of 26:17 was 1:24 faster, earning her 53rd place. Grace Bunch slashed 2:27 off her previous PR to reach 26:25 and 54th place. Susie Bullock was 61st with a time of 27:27, a 37-second improvement. Morgan Holm ran a season best time of 27:34 on her way to 62nd place. Running 1:33 faster, Amara Olsen took 66th in 28:41. Tal Sheleg finished 70th in 29:18, a 42-second breakthrough.
In the team scoring, the Lady Panthers took third behind Northfield (a 4A school) and Salida (a 3A school).
The Lake County cross-country teams will compete next at the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) Open on Sept. 25, a meet here in Leadville hosted by the local CMC cross-country team. Middle school boys will race at 8:30 a.m., middle school girls at 9:00 a.m., high school boys at 9:45 a.m. and high school girls at 10:30 a.m. College races will follow, and all races will start and finish at the field on the southwest side of the CMC campus.