Photo by Kim Bullock

Ella Bullock and Violet Hill race to the finish of the Courser Lightning Invitational last Friday. Every Panther runner accomplished a lifetime personal record on the course.

Lake County High School’s cross-country teams traveled to Colorado Springs to compete in the Courser Lightning Invitational hosted by Vanguard School on Friday, Oct. 1. Reaping the benefits of a recovery week, low elevation, a fast course, quality competition and motivation to finish quickly and return to Leadville for the Homecoming Dance, every Panther runner accomplished a lifetime personal record (PR).

Adele Horning has been shooting for a time under 20 minutes for a couple years now. Her previous PR was 20 minutes, 25 seconds, and so far this season her best time was 21:08. On Friday, Horning went out with the leaders, setting herself up for a fast time. She ended up placing seventh and completed the 5K course in 20:00.08, missing her goal by nine-hundredths of a second. Still, this performance was a significant step toward reaching this milestone.    

Keira King cut 45 seconds off her PR on her way to an eighth place finish and an exciting time of 20:28.  After running behind her teammate throughout the race, Ella Bullock outkicked Violet Hill in the last 30 meters. They finished 23rd and 24th with times of 21:51 and 21:52.  Bullock’s time was a one minute and 51 second improvement, and Hill’s time was 46 seconds faster than her PR. Clara Kirr dropped 43 seconds off her PR to reach 23:09 and 35th place, and Brynna Lenhard slashed 1:06 off her previous best, finishing 37th in 23:18. Amara Olsen had the biggest improvement on the day; she ran a 24:04 minute race, 4:37 faster than ever before, and ended up in 44th. Close behind, Susie Bullock took 46th in 24:09, a drop of 3:18.  Grace Bunch reduced her PR by 1:26, placing 55th in 24:59.

As a team, the Lady Panthers finished third out of 12 schools, representing the 2A, 3A and 4A divisions.

In the men’s race, Jace Peters also had a fast lead pack to pace him to a new PR. His best time in 2020 was 17:55, and Peters has been focused this season on breaking through the 17 minute barrier. He accomplished this feat on Friday, placing seventh in 16:55. Matthew Wilson and Samuel Missey both cut over one minute off their PRs. Wilson took 75th in 22:28, and Missey was 92nd in 26:09. The Panther men did not have enough athletes to score as a team.

The high school harriers will have next week off from competition as they prepare for championship season — the last three weeks of October.

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