COLORADO SPRINGS – The Lyons cross country team has won plenty of state titles in its long and successful run among the elite Class 2A programs in Colorado.
But the Lions had never won all the state titles available until Saturday.
At the 2019 state championships, the Lyons boys and girls dominated the action all over the course at Norris Penrose Event Center. They won both the boys and girls team titles, and senior Isaac Roberts and sophomore Quin Gregg took home the individual titles to make it a day to remember even for a program that has grown so accustomed to victory.
“I’m just so proud of everybody out there but we wrestled through some adversity this year,” Lions head coach Mark Roberts said. “It’s always nice to stand on the top of the mountain but it was a journey that, behind the scenes, people don’t always realize. We had to live through some challenges. Boys and girls, that group of seniors that have been together for so long, I’m ear-to-ear grinning. That’s who I am today.”
Lyons won three out of four state titles in both 2013 and 2014. The last time a single program claimed all four state titles – boys individual, girls individual, boys team and girls team – at the same state meet was when Estes Park (3A) did it in 1995.
In this fall’s four-for-four sweep, the Lions girls defended their 2018 team and individual titles. Only this time is was with Gregg, who was runner-up to teammate Katie Fankhouser last season, crossing the finish line first in a winning 19 minutes, 24.9 seconds.
Lyons freshman Jamieson Legh placed third in 19:58.4 and Fankhouser, who discovered she had mononucleosis at the end of September and wasn’t guaranteed to compete at state, placed fifth in 20:00.8. With three of the top five finishers and a single-digit team score of nine, the Lions girls easily won the team trophy by 52 points ahead of Buena Vista.
“I was just trying to live in the moment as much as I could because I don’t know what’s going to happen next year,” Gregg said. “Katie, she’s been with me every race of this season and I don’t know if I’m ready to say goodbye to my season with her yet. The boys did really well and we were really good, and I knew we were going to go out and do our part and give all we had so we could ensure the titles.”
In the 2A boys race, Isaac Roberts became the fourth of his siblings to win an individual title when he crossed the finish line in 16:19.6. Simon Stone was fifth in 16:54.9 and Jordan Shackelford was ninth in 17:20.0.
“I’ve been trying the last two years after I got seventh place my freshman year,” Isaac Roberts said. “I got second my sophomore year so I was so close and then last year, I kind of fell apart and got third. So I wanted to come back and get some redemption this year and I’m definitely happy to get the win. We were trying to get three in the top 10 so that was definitely our goal and that’s what we did so I’m super pumped about that.”
Also in the 2A girls race, Nederland senior Helen Cross closed out her prep career with a runner-up finish. Cross, who won the 2A state title as a sophomore in 2017, crossed the finish line in 19:34.5.
“It was a good race and the first two miles were really fun because we were in a big pack and that’s always fun to run with,” Cross said. “It was great having Quin in front of me to push me to go faster. It got really hot about halfway through and I wasn’t expecting that but, overall, it was a solid last race.”