Bethany Michalak opened her high school career with a jaw-dropping 17:36 victory at the Doherty Early Bird Open.
Cross country is BACK!
And if you can't read the excitement in those words, even with the capital letters, it's clear that everyone else is excited - because in the few races that did take place this weekend, there were some stellar performances...
Let's start in Colorado Springs...
Bethany Michalak wasted absolutely no time turning heads - The Air Academy freshman came out of the gates swinging.
Added emphasis there with the italics because Michalak dropped Colorado's first Sub-18 of the season on the very first day a meet could be run.
She ran 17:36 at the Doherty Early Bird Open, which was run at the Monument Valley Park XC course. We'll have to double-check the following statement, but our records indicate that her time is the third-fastest ever run on that course. The time is only behind Katie Rainsbeger's 17:05, and Allie McLaughlin's 17:25.
To add a few additional notes to express how impressive of a run this was, only four have broken 18 minutes on that course, Michalak won by nearly two minutes over her teammate Ella Chura, and she would've placed ninth in the boy's race.
And she wasn't the only one who dropped a big result - the Air Academy girls were one point away from the most coveted of team tallies in cross country - 15 points. They swept the top four spots in the race, and scored 16 points.
On the boy's side of the Doherty Early Bird Open Scott Prieve picked up right where he left off. A year ago he ran 16:04 and 16:06 (finishing ninth at State) in the final two races of his season in Colorado. Saturday the Palmer senior ran away with the victory, running 16:07 - a 14 second victory over Zinabu Engstrom.
The Air Academy boys made it a team sweep, winning the boy's title by packing their entire top-five into the top-10, tallying 36 points, which was just ahead of Palmer's 44.
And as we scan down the results from the weekend, it's clear that we've some epic battles ahead of us... Because there was a bit of a theme with the whole "come out swinging" - and that was with the girl's class of 2024.
While Michalak was turning heads in Colorado, Niwot freshman Mia Prok did that on the track, halfway across the country at the Music City Distance Carnival.
Niwot sent a squad to Nashville to hit the track to open their cross country season, and they made the most of the trip.
Prok led last year's third-place Team Nationals finisher with a thrilling 10:20.18 3,200. The time was just three tenths-of-a-second ahead of her teammate - Lucca Fulkerson, who ran 10:20.48.
If you haven't connect these dots yet - Air Academy and Niwot are both 4A, meaning Michalak and Prok and Fulkerson will toe the same line at State.
Back in Colorado, I'll admit to being Rick Rolled at least once. Ok maybe twice. Ok, three times, but that was it.
The Rick & Roll 3200 Time Trial was just that - a time trial, but even then, Cheyenne Mountain's Hope Stark and Erik Le Roux showed some solid early fitness. Stark led the girl's race with a 12:00 clocking, while Le Roux led the boy's race 10:07.
For more on the time trial - Rick & Roll 3200 Time Trial.
Photo Albums (1)
- Music City Race Report By Faith Duncan
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- Braddock Wins 3200m at MCDC in NJ No. 10 All-Time 8:54.02
|3200m||F13rd||10:20.18||Mia Prok||Unattached - CO|
|3200m||F14th||10:20.48||Lucca Fulkerson||Unattached - CO|
|3200m||F19th||10:47.32||Madison Shults||Unattached - CO|
|3200m||F110th||10:47.76||Eva Klingbeil||Unattached - CO|
|3200m||F14th||9:15.78||Zane Bergen||Unattached - CO|
|3200m||F15th||9:16.07||James Overberg||Unattached - CO|
|3200m||F16th||9:17.11||Lukas Haug||Unattached - CO|
|3200m||F114th||9:28.00||Joquin Herrera||Unattached - CO|
|3200m||F115th||9:28.18||Curtis Volf||Unattached - CO|
|3200m||F116th||9:28.85||Grady Rauba||Unattached - CO|
|5000m||F11st||17:36.24||Bethany Michalak||Air Academy High School|
|5000m||F11st||16:07.50||Scott Prieve||Palmer High School|
|5000m||F12nd||16:21.90||Zinabu Engstrom||Coronado High School|
|5000m||F13rd||16:27.30||Alex Maline||Air Academy High School|
|2Mile||F11st||12:00.30||Hope Stark||Cheyenne Mountain High School|
|2Mile||F11st||10:07.00||Erik Le Roux||Cheyenne Mountain High School|
|PV||F12nd||14-2||Will Chiang||Above the Bar Track Club|
|PV||F11st||15-2||Hunter Potrykus||Above the Bar Track Club|