Monday Morning Recap: Bethany Michalak Comes Out Swinging

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.

Madison Shults and Eva Klingbeil also cracked 11, both running 10:47.

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.

For the boy's Zane Bergen led Colorado, and the defending state champs, running 9:15. The time was just ahead of James Overberg's 9:16, and Lukas Haug's 9:17.

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.


Music City Distance Carnival

David Lipscomb High SchoolNashville, TN
Aug 15, 2020
50 Total Performances (10 CO)

Photo Albums (1)

Articles (19)

Elite Performances

Girls (4)
3200mF13rd10:20.18Mia ProkUnattached - CO
3200mF14th10:20.48Lucca FulkersonUnattached - CO
3200mF19th10:47.32Madison ShultsUnattached - CO
3200mF110th10:47.76Eva KlingbeilUnattached - CO
Boys (6)
3200mF14th9:15.78Zane BergenUnattached - CO
3200mF15th9:16.07James OverbergUnattached - CO
3200mF16th9:17.11Lukas HaugUnattached - CO
3200mF114th9:28.00Joquin HerreraUnattached - CO
3200mF115th9:28.18Curtis VolfUnattached - CO
3200mF116th9:28.85Grady RaubaUnattached - CO

Doherty Early Bird Open

Monument Valley Park XC CourseColorado Springs, CO
Aug 15, 2020
78 Total Performances

Elite Performances

Girls (1)
5000mF11st17:36.24Bethany MichalakAir Academy High School
Boys (3)
5000mF11st16:07.50Scott PrievePalmer High School
5000mF12nd16:21.90Zinabu EngstromCoronado High School
5000mF13rd16:27.30Alex MalineAir Academy High School

Rick & Roll 3200m Time Trial

Cheyenne Mountain HS TrackColorado Springs, CO
Aug 14, 2020
56 Total Performances

Elite Performances

Girls (1)
2MileF11st12:00.30Hope StarkCheyenne Mountain High School
Boys (1)
2MileF11st10:07.00Erik Le RouxCheyenne Mountain High School

ATB Churchyard Pole Vault Meet #7

Boulder Valley Christian ChurchBoulder, CO
Aug 15, 2020
16 Total Performances (15 CO)

Elite Performances

Boys (2)
PVF12nd14-2Will ChiangAbove the Bar Track Club
PVF11st15-2Hunter PotrykusAbove the Bar Track Club
National Gold Elite
National Silver Elite