TABERNASH – The Middle Park Panthers hosted their lone home cross-country meet of the season on Saturday morning, Sept. 21, at Snow Mountain Ranch.
The excitement for the meet was with the high school boys and girls 5-kilometer race.
Teams participating included: Lake County, Summit, Pikes Peak Christian, Denver School of Science & Technology, Holy Family and the Denver Eagles Home School.
Panthers cross country coach Scott Hicks said before the high school boys race, “I would like to see Steve Simmons at fifth.” His expectation was met and surpassed.
Runners were already drenched in sweat before the gun even sounded due to warming temperatures. The gun thumped the air and in the pack, Steve Simmons, Logan Miyuachi and Noah Daniel started near the front of the field.
The first runner to round the bend to the finish was Holy Family’s Erich Hixson, who finished with a time of 17 minutes, 43 seconds. Another Holy Family runner, Aaron Hillman, took second with a time of 17:55. Cheers erupted from the Middle Park supporters when Simmons appeared in the homestretch to take third.
Coach Hicks couldn’t be happier, he said, with Simmons’s third-place finish of 18:50. The next Middle Park finisher was Miyuachi in ninth place. Mark Simmons took 15th for the Panthers.
Overall the meet went well for the Panthers boys with a second place finish in the team competition with 41 points.
Coach Hicks’ prediction about the Lady Panthers was “Tabor Scholl with a ‘w,’” — a prediction somewhat hopeful, but mostly confident.
Scholl, a junior at West Grand High running for Middle Park, did not disappoint.
She started in first, and Sophie Larson — also a Middle Park Panther — was hot on her heels in second. Middle Park Panther Lauren Rimmer also had a strong start.
After almost 18 minutes, Scholl came within view alone, way ahead of the rest of the field. She finished with a dominating time of 19 minutes, 1 second, setting the bar high for the whole season. Katie Chavez of Holy Family came in second at 21:33.
Sophie Larson was the next finisher for Middle Park in 22nd with a time of 26:08. Jenna Curran was right on Larson’s heels in 23rd place with a time of 26:14.
The Middle Park girls placed third as a team with 59 points.