By Renée Haip
In their quest for a third repeat of double gold, the Lyons Lions traveled to the Colorado State Track and Field Championships where the Lady Lions were expected to have a legitimate battle with Paonia and 2A-newcomer Hotchkiss, as well as their usual worthy eastern plains’ competitor, Akron. Senior Nola Basey led the charge with her superior jumping abilities by taking the high jump win on day one with 5’4”. Basey unleashed a personal record breaking leap of 17’-7.5” in the long jump to take the win by more than a foot on day two. Had the
jump been wind legal, it would have been a match to Rachel Hinker’s 2011 school record. On day three, Basey—the 2A record holder in triple jump—nailed that event with 37’0.5” to complete her sweep of the jumps and make an astonishing thirty individual point contribution to the team score. The triple jump head official was so impressed with Nola that he introduced her to his fellow officials as the girl who won all the jumps and made a point to express to Coach Dolezal that “she is a sweetheart, so polite, saying thank you at every opportunity.” Congratulations and best wishes to Nola Basey, who takes her jumping skills and pleasant demeanor to the University of Denver’s volleyball program.
Junior Miriam Roberts finished a phenomenal season with two second-place finishes in both the 1600M with a near PR match and the 3200M with a PR of 11:28.11, a time which breaks her own school record set earlier this season. In the hunt for points, Roberts additionally ran the 800M to take seventh place with 2:22.42. Talented sophomore, Jenna Anderson, also ran the 800M, finishing sixth with a PR of 2:21.77, while freshman Sierra Tucker rounded out a nice debut season with a ninth place finish in the 1600M with a PR of 5:41.05. Senior Kelsey Miner closed her high school running career with a nice PR of 12:35.33 in the 3200M for ninth and a SB of 5:45.82 in the 1600M for eleventh. Best wishes to Miner, who has been a valuable and dedicated member of Lyons’ distance program and will continue her running career at Wartburg College in Iowa.
In pole vault, seniors Austen Fankhouser placed sixth with a PR of 8’2” and Brittany King placed seventh with a SB of 8’2”. In the relays, the 4x800 crew of Tucker, senior Olivia Raspotnik, Anderson, and Roberts placed third and broke the school record with an excellent time of 9:44.66 in an extremely fast and competitive race. The 4x400M crew of sophomore Anna Sundrud, Basey, Raspotnik, and Anderson ran a SB of 4:10.99 for sixth; the 4x100M crew of freshman Jessica Boxrud, senior Amber Boyington, junior Maddie Keen, and senior
Dana Arling ran a SB of 52.28 for seventh, and the 4x200M crew of Sundrud, Boyington, Keen, and Arling ran 1:52.00 for eighth. Faith Myers (3200), Sammy Bashor (100 hurdles), and
Lauren Simms (300 hurdles) gained valuable experience and look to move up in the rankings next year.
The young men of Lyons were heavily favored to bring home a third consecutive state team title and further had a team goal of accumulating a lofty, but entirely possible 150 points.
With a trio of extremely talented seniors—Ryan Boucher, Justin Boldt, Matt Radich—at the helm, the Lyons’ boys dominated by winning a full half of the eighteen possible state titles.
Ryan Boucher’s last days as a prep high school track and field star ended with stellar performances in the 200M and 400M dashes. After running the fastest 200M in the preliminary with a personal record (PR) of 22.39, Boucher ran 22.61 for the win in the finals. In his signature event, Boucher successfully defended his 400M title with 49.09, breaking the thirty year old state record set by Kevin Young—now a coach at Heritage High School, who was there to witness the race and congratulate his successor.
Justin Boldt out-jumped his closest competitor by eight inches in the long jump to win his first-ever individual state championship. His winning 21’10.5” jump was a PR by seven inches. Boldt unleashed yet another PR in the finals of the 300M hurdles with a lightning fast time of 39.69 to take yet a second state title. Fellow hurdler, Matt Radich, successfully defended his 110M hurdle title from last year with an excellent time of 14.91 (a second ahead of 2nd place), and additionally joined Boldt in the 300M hurdle finals, placing fourth with 41.90.
Sophomore Zach Christiansen placed 8th in the 110M hurdles, and along with junior Chris Lennard who qualified in both hurdle events, looks to continue the Lyons’ hurdle legacy with the departure of Boldt and Radich.
Junior Marcel Such won his first-ever state title with a big PR in the 3200M run of 9:45.72, edging out Paul Roberts for the win by a mere .20 seconds. Roberts, one of the fastest freshmen in the nation, came back the next day to take the 1600M title in 4:28.76, while Such finished seventh in 4:35.89. Capping an excellent sophomore year, Tullef Rudlong placed second in the 100M and third in the 200M dashes with 11.35 and 22.96 after running PR’s of 11.34 and 22.91 respectively in the preliminaries. Seniors James Hinker and Kelten Tschanz represented Lyons well in the pole vault with Hinker taking fourth with a PR of twelve feet and Tschanz tying for fifth with a PR match of 11’6”.
In the relays, seniors Jacob Anderson and Zach Tucker along with sophomores Matt Dillon and Brian Flynn placed 12th in the 3200 relay. The 4x100M crew of seniors Clint Hirschfeld, Matt Radich, Zach Tucker, and sophomore Tullef Rudlong took second place with a season best (SB) of 44.54, while the 4x200M crew of Hinker, Boldt, Boucher, and Radich outran all the competition for the title with 1:31.16. In the last event of the meet, the 4x400M relay provided the usual excitement with Tucker, Boldt, Roberts, and Boucher posting a SB of 3:26.59 to take an amazing ninth state title for Lyons. The sole graduating male athlete from Lyons to take their track and field craft to the collegiate level, Boucher impressed the crowd with a blistering personal record anchor leg of 48.5 to close the curtain on the 2013 season. Best wishes to this young man as he continues to compete at Metropolitan State University.
At the team level, the young men of Lyons scored 142.50 points over next place Telluride’s sixty points to take their third consecutive state team title. The Lady Lions placed fourth behind Hotchkiss by a mere point in a tight race with only nine points separating first and fourth places. The girls most notable misfortune was number three-ranked pole vaulter, senior Amber Boyington, rolling an ankle during warm ups and as a result not clearing a height, and for the boys, it was a series of unfortunate incidents that negatively effected the races of freshman distance standout Joel Such and dashed Lyons’ dream of going 1-2-3 in the 3200M and cut short their quest for 150 points. However, according to Coach Roberts, “both athletes (Boyington and Such) responded with great courage after the adversity,” and thankfully, here at Lyons, coaches value character over winning.
Lyons track and field (and cross country) is known for teamwork, sportsmanship, self-care, and respect and love for others (both teammates and competitors) and this is clearly visible to others on and off the field. As the boys climbed the podium to accept the team championship trophy, Jenn Roberts-Uhlig, the CHSAA commissioner for track, approached the team and told them that she had received several comments from officials about the great sportsmanship the young men (and ladies) of Lyons had displayed over the course of the meet.
Coach Roberts emphasized that “this is something the coaching staff is most proud of.”
Congratulations to all the athlete and coaches of Lyons Track and Field and best wishes to all those graduating on their journey ahead.. You make the whole Lyons community proud!
Editor's Note: The following was left by a T-C line caller:
Dear Lyons Track Team,
As a part time school bus driver I get to meet and interact with a lot of fine young people in our schools. This weekend I was given the privilege of driving the Lyons track team to the state meet, as I have done a number of times before. Each time I am impressed with their class, respect, and discipline. This is all a reflection of their coaches. They were champions on the track and they will be champions in life because someone has taken the time and made the effort to show them how it's done. God bless you Coach Roberts, we need a lot more like you.