Haebe siblings pace Evergreen to victory

Story special to Colorado Track XC by Karen Birch. Thank you, Karen!!

Uplifting bagpipe music serenaded runners up several challenging hills and through a shallow, but wide, water crossing at ConiferHigh School’s 11th Annual Invitational at BearCreekLakePark on Tuesday, September 26th.  Paced by the Haebe Siblings, Bryn (So) and Ryan (Sr), the Varsity Boy’s and Girl’s Evergreen Cross Country Teams walked away as first-place trophy winners.


Predictably, Littleton’s Camille Logan (Sr, at left, photo by Della Moore) led the Girl’s Varsity Race from the first turn pass the mile in 6:05, fully 30 seconds in front of the chase pack made up of Lakewood’s Ola Czastkiewicz (Sr), Evergreen’s Haebe and teammate Tayler Warren (Jr).  Logan stretched her commanding lead to 50 seconds by the mile and a half mark over Czastkiewicz and Haebe and then to a full minute by the two mile mark, after which Haebe successfully challenged Czastkiewicz for the runner up slot.  Evergreen solidified their victory as Warren held on for fourth while teammates Genevieve London (5th), Chelsey Oeffler (7th) and Maura O’Brien (9) combined to score 27 points for the Cougars.  Rounding out the top 10:  Arvada West’s Erica Randle (Fr) 6th, Lakewood’s Sara Gilette 8th, and Littleton’s Courtney Berg 10th.

Littleton’s Logan, the race victor, remarked that she improved on this course by 30 seconds over last month’s scrimmage held here and stated that leading a race from beginning to end is more “a mental thing, not a physical thing.”  Training through many of her meets, Logan states that her goal is to peak for the Footlocker National meet with an overall goal of making the top 20.  Runner-up Haebe seemed pleased with her race, stating that after running the first two miles with Lakewood’s Czastkiewicz, felt like she had “a lot of energy for the last mile” and was able to improve upon her scrimmage performance here last month as well.

On the boy’s side, Evergreen’s Ryan Haebe (Sr) led a pack of four comprised of teammate Grant Hargrove, Conifer’s Aaron Fitzgerald (Sr) and Arvada West’s Drew Ryther (Jr), with another 4 member chase pack a mere 12 seconds behind.  Coming up the first challenging hill at the one and a half mile mark, Haebe had gapped Ryther by 13 seconds, who was closely followed by Hargrove and Fitzgerald.  By the two mile mark, Haebe extended his lead over Ryther to 25 seconds and Littleton’s Max Bush moved up to begin his assault on Ryther to eventually overtake the runner-up position on the beginning of the long final hill.  Hargrove hung on to 4th place to aid in the Cougar victory.  Rounding out the top 10 were:  ColoradoAcademy’s Michael Shube, Littleton’s Riley Mulhern, Lakewood’s Thomas Hill, Conifer’s Fitzgerald, Conifer’s Shane Niksic and Littleton’s John Dyer.

Of the conservative start of eventual Boy’s Varsity Race winner, Ryan Haebe explained that he was pacing his teammate through the first mile and stated that he “felt good and should probably have gone” a bit faster.  Overall, Haebe was excited to come off his 15:52 performance at Liberty Bell with a solid race and was even more excited that his team finished strong.  Upbeat runner-up Max Bush of Littleton commented that he was surprised at his second place finish explaining that, though he ran a mile in gym class earlier in the day for a time trial, he “felt good and had the fire” within.  Bush states that his performance was exactly what he wanted; as he sets his sights on the state meet at season’s end.

Of his teams’ victories, Evergreen Coach Rob Wright explained that the 97 member team is “working on pack running” and stated that this race was a “great test” as they learn to support each other as a team.  Primarily trail, the BearCreekLake course afforded the spectators unusual views as most parents perched themselves along the challenging hills where many exciting race moves occurred. Spectators could watch the race unfold from a ridge as racers navigated a loop bearing the one mile mark before returning back up hill to where the spectators watched before the runners disappeared onto another part of the trail only to emerge up the final, long hill to the finish.