By Coach Mark Roberts & McCourt Thomas
After many months and many miles, the Lyons Lions boys’ and girls’ cross country teams are headed to the state meet. Both teams earned their spots at the Regional Meet last Thursday hosted in Lyons. The girls placed first overall and the boys came in second place to secure their chance on the state course.

The girls’ team was led by the dynamic duo of junior Katie Fankhouser and freshman Quin Gregg who finished in third (20:45) and fourth place (20:46), respectively.  Also working in tandem in a controlled effort were senior Kylee Udovich and sophomore Hannah Thomas who crossed the finish line at 22:29 in 10th and 11th places.

Lending to the championship efforts for the Lyons girls were junior Alora Cross at 16th place with a 22.58 and senior Jewel Thomas in 22nd place at 23:43. Freshman Katie Roberts ran her season best time at 25:21 followed by senior Laura Hickey coming in at 26:03.

In the boys’ race, junior Isaac Roberts once again led his team placing in second overall with a 16:43. Senior Colton Jonjak-Plahn came in strong in 8th place at 18:16, followed by juniors Nick Boggess (18:49) in 16th place and Jordan Shackelford (19:04) in 21st place. Junior Harrison Abernathy and sophomore Charlie Gau both hit season’s best times to finish in 27th and 28th place with 19:20 and 19:31, respectively.

Following the Regional meet, on Friday, the Lyons Lions JV team gathered for their annual last-chance meet and one final opportunity to improve their times on their home course. Teammates worked together to challenge each other to finish the season on a positive note with pacing help from coaches and the varsity runners. For the boys, a number of young men achieved season bests (SB). Freshman Arjen Wyjna led the pack with a time of 20:08. He was followed by junior Holden Soosloff in 20:36 (SB), sophomore Nick Parker ran 20:46 (SB), freshman Grant Gau in 21:39, junior Cormac Osborne in 21:46 (SB), sophomore Evan Moore in 21:49 (SB), sophomore Peter Brent in 21:57 (SB), and sophomore Zack Carlstrom in 22:22 (SB). Junior Felix Skyes (23:41) turned some bad luck with a cramp into an opportunity to help sophomore Hunter Honemann take almost three minutes off his previous best with a finish of 23:44 (SB), freshman Erik Lunzer broke 30 minutes with his 29:45 (SB), and sophomore Jordan Valente dropped a minute off his previous best with his 30:28 (SB). For the girls, Catherine Darrow broke 26 minutes and ran 25:54, just four seconds off her season best, and Chloe ran 26:24, very close to her season best of 26:03.

The varsity teams will depart for Colorado Springs on Friday morning at 10:40 with a big sendoff from the school and community. If you’d like to be part of the sendoff, join us in front of the school at 10:30. On Saturday, Catherine Darrow will run in the unified 3K at 11:40, the girls’ varsity races at 12:20, and the boys compete at 1:40.

The team appreciates all the support they’ve received from the Lyons’ community this season and hope to return with a couple of state trophies!

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