Fleet-heeled members of Lake City Community Schools’ Cross Country Team — Jake Murphy and Members of HS Girls’ Team — are Headed to State Meet Yet Again…
Thanks to perseverance and raw talent, Lake City Community School’s annual fall trek to the Cross Country State Meet is once again on proverbial track.
A near-annual occurrence since Lake City’s boys and girls’ cross country teams began regional competitions several years ago, this year’s season-end state meet is historic in that marks the first year the local school’s entire girls’ team will compete individually and collectively at the meet.
Lake City Community School athletes, the entire girls’ team and high school senior Jake Murphy competing individually on behalf of the school’s boys’ team, will run the 3.1-mile, 5K race route among similarly top-ranked 1A and 2A cross country teams from throughout the state this Saturday, October 29.
The state-wide competition will be held at the Norris-Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs in the midst of top high school athletes who have qualified ranging from Colorado’s smallest 1A/2A schools up to and including the state’s largest 5A schools.
The local cheering squad, which was prolific during Lake City School’s return visit to the state meet this time last year, will this year include the local teams’ three cross country coaches, Richard
Moore, Dan Scroggins, and Martha Levine, together with school staff including Rebecca Hall and Leslie Nichols, and a cavalcade of parents and local well wishers.
Representing the schools’ boys’ cross country team will be Lake City Community School Senior Jake Murphy who qualified to compete in the state meet after finishing the 5K run in last Thursday’s regionals in overall sixth place with a lightning fast time of 18 minutes, 14 seconds.
Murphy, no novice to the state track meet, competed in last year’s season-ender, finishing as fifth-fastest cross country runner in the state.
Outstanding qualifying times were also recorded in the 5K run among Lake City Community School’s high school girls’ cross country runners during last Thursday’s regional competition in Fountain, Colorado. Cumulative finish time for the school’s seven-member girls’ team was a phenomenal 20 minutes, 31 seconds, with two members of the fleet-of-foot team, Megan Levine and Miranda Hall, respectively finishing third and ninth fastest among all 1A/2A girl runners.
Representing Lake City Community School’s girls’ team at the state meet on Saturday will be Megan Levine, Miranda Hall, Mariah McClung, Jacee Lawrence, Kayla Chambers, Autumn Baker, and Meredith Ogden.
Individual and collective fine showings at last week’s regional cross country finals and anticipated stellar showings at this Saturday’s state meet in Colorado Springs is the culmination of hard work and determination, not only this seasons but for several years in advance. For the girls’ team, Coach Richard Moore says that they have been discouraged at times in past seasons when they narrowly missed qualifying to compete in the state meet.
“This year,” however, he says, “they burst the bubble.”
Coach Moore is uniformly high in his praise for all of Lake City’s cross country athletes, predicting in advance of Saturday’s state meet performance that the girls’ team will finish in the top 10, while both Megan Levine and Jake Murphy will be among the top 10 speediest individual runners among 1A/2A schools in the state meet.
In addition to Murphy, he speaks in glowing terms of fellow Lake City Community School cross country runner Chris Athey, who is also a senior at the school this year, describing Athey as a “strong runner” and “great athlete.”
Moore also praises two upcoming Lake City boy runners, sophomore Alec Boyce and freshman Gabe Murphy, both of whom had a “great inaugural year” on the Lake City team, he says, and are already showing running prowess for next year’s cross country season.
Moore adds that Gabe Murphy set a personal record in the 5K, his fastest finish time being 17 minutes, 50 seconds.
Lake City School’s fall cross country season began in August, with Lake City athletes traveling to their first meet just after the start of school in early September. In the interim between then and this weekend’s state meet, the Lake City boys and girls’ teams have travelled over 1,500 miles to a total of 10 meets. The closest meet in which they competed, according to Moore, was in Monte Vista, Colorado, and the greatest distance was to take part in last week’s regionals at Fountain, Colorado.
While breathing a sigh of relief that the extensive driving between Lake City and far-flung cross country meets is now ending, Coach Moore nevertheless is a bit melancholy as the fall season already winds down.
“I’m not ready for it to end,” he says, “and I’m going to especially miss this year’s seniors.”
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As this fall’s cross country season ends, Lake City Community School is already gearing up for the start of this winter’s basketball season.
Middle school boys are already in practice, while the school’s middle school girls’ basketball, and boys and girls’ high school basketball, gets underway in December.
Asked for his view on this year’s basketball play, Moore says “it’s too early to tell… although one thing I can tell you this far in advance, they’ll be awesome.”