Short trip to Loyds Lake Classic for San Juan XC team
by Jessica Walker
Following a mechanical difficulty that prevented the San Juan High School cross country team from participating in a race at South Sevier, the Broncos were more than ready to run in the annual Loyds Lake Classic in Monticello on Friday, September 2.
The temperature was well into the 90s, significantly hotter than the previous year, and the teams present included 1A to 4A schools, giving the athletes plenty of competition.
Leading the girls team was Saylor Perkins, who crossed the finish line in 26th place with a respectable time of 26:45. Perkins’s time was nearly two minutes faster than her time a few weeks previous in Dolores.
She was followed by cross country newcomer Leah Castellon who showed no signs of nervousness in the first race of her career. She ran skillfully, ultimately finishing 33rd with a time of 29:37.
Close behind Castellon was Rose Kartchner in 35th with a time of 31:06. Kartchner had a breakthrough race and set a new personal record.
Next came Olivia Weeks in 37th with a time of 32:50 and Megan Black in 42nd with a time of 35:41. Both Weeks and Black made impressive passes in the last 50 meters to beat competitors by mere seconds. Black’s time was nearly six minutes faster than her season best.
Rounding out the varsity team for the lady Broncos was freshman Jessie Black in 45th with a time of 38:13.
Edward Lyman crossed the finish line first for the 1A/2A schools and fifth overall with his time of 18:07. Lyman’s finish allowed him to medal in the boys varsity division, an honor only two other 1A/2A athletes claimed.
Ryan McCullough just missed a medal spot, finishing 16th with a time of 19:31. McCullough’s performance showed the cumulative effects of a strong summer of training and gave him a new season best.
McCullough was followed by Abe Lyman in 26th with a time of 20:08. The next three Broncos finished within seconds of each other. In 30th, 31st, and 32nd were Logan Keith, Noah Begay, and Toby Ward with times of 20:44, 20:59, and 21:00.
Rounding out the Broncos’ performance in the varsity division and coming in less than 30 seconds later was Tayden Bitsoie in 37th with a time of 21:21. The varsity boys finished in fifth place at the event while the girls came home seventh.
Other notable performances included Dakota Long’s fifth-place finish in the JV division in 20:50 (which earned him a medal and a spot on the varsity team) and ARL’s middle school team and individual performances.
In the middle school division, Albert R. Lyman cleaned house with first-place finishes for the girls and boys.
Top-ten finishers in the girls race include Brittany Jensen (2nd, 10:59), Eliza Johnson (4th, 11:24), Charlotte Kowallis (6th, 11:55), and Taverie Johnson (9th, 12:14).
For the boys, top-ten finishers include Platte Lyman (1st, 9:55), Peter Lyman (3rd, 10:16), and Cannon Kartchner (5th, 10:19).
The Broncos will next travel across state lines to compete at the Tiger Invitational in Grand Junction, CO on Saturday, September 10.