Rising Summit youth runners win Summit Trail Running Series opener
Ella Hagen, Josh Shriver win on 4K course ahead of first year on Summit High team
A pair of up-and-coming runners who are about to join the Summit High School cross-country program won Wednesday, July 7 at the first Summit Trail Running Series event of the season.
Ella Hagen and Joshua Shriver, both 14 years old and from Breckenridge, respectively won the women’s and men’s divisions of the 4-kilometer short-course division at Wednesday’s Rec Center/Mountain Thunder event in Breckenridge.
Shriver won the men’s race with a time of 22 minutes and 26 seconds, a pace of 7:24 per mile. Hagen won the women’s race with a time of 24:33, a pace of 8:06 per mile.
The wins put the exclamation point on a year where Hagen and Shriver have led a fast freshman-class-to-be to state-level success at Summit Middle School. Their success this past year includes both breaking the middle school record in the mile run — Shriver at 4:56 and Hagen at 5:24 — at Summit’s high elevation.
“They have been pushing each other and running with each other a lot,” said Eva Hagen, Ella’s mother and co-head coach of the Summit Distance Project summer running program with husband Mike Hagen. “They both are leaders in the 1,500 (meters) in the state of Colorado in the middle school category on Mile Split. Josh, he’s really come along.”
Eva Hagen said Shriver’s growth as a runner in the past year has been remarkable. Shriver credited the Summit Distance Project last summer for helping him return to fitness after COVID-19 canceled the 2020 spring track season. This summer the Hagen-coached Summit Distance Project has operated three days a week since the end of school and will soon extend to five days a week of running camp. Shriver said he’s trained six days per week with the Hagens.
“(Summit Distance Project), it’s really been huge in my life — it’s kind of, like turned into my identity,” Shriver said. “Running is something I do a lot. It’s important to me, and (Summit Distance Project) does produce a ton of competitive athletes out of it.”
“I think that is the key,” Eva Hagen said, “having a group of kids train together versus just one child. It’s so much more fun for them to have somebody to run with, and they are more willing to push each other.”
Ella Hagen raced Wednesday after spending time since the end of the school year running in Austria. She said Wednesday’s course, though short, was challenging, namely the downhill on Shock Hill. Ella Hagen said her ability to push hard on the uphills and flats propelled her to the win.
Ella Hagen started of the race running with Shriver before dropping back a bit. Shriver led the men’s group from the start gun,
Ella Hagen said she and Shriver hope to contribute to the Tiger varsity cross-country running program beginning as freshman this fall.
“That’s definitely our goal,” she said. “We just want to race hard and contribute to the team in total. Our goal is to get to states in the end and, as a team, be progressively better throughout the years.”
Shriver was joined on the short-course men’s podium by 55-year-old Scott Siriano (24:41) and 12-year-old Jay McDonald (26:37), while Ella Hagen was joined on the women’s podium by 39-year-old Jenny Wong (27:11) and 13-year-old Darby Leffler (31:46).
In the 7-kilometer long-course race, the men’s podium consisted of 32-year-old race winner Jay Meservy, (33:18), 47-year old runner-up Mark Martin-Williams (34:37) and 23-year-old third-place finisher Keith Vermillion (35:34). In the women’s long-course race, Kacey Doner, 23, won in 36:00; followed by runner-up Susan Loken, 57, in 42:08; and third-place finisher Tracy Larson, 40, in 43:06.
The next race in the summer series is scheduled to be the French Gulch 5K/8K on July 21.
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