Summit High School runners win inaugural hilly, home meet at Copper Mountain Resort
Freshman Hagen wins by nearly 3 minutes; junior Remeikis leads Tigers boys team in victory
Moments before the Summit High School girls cross-country running teamed toed the line at the home race Saturday, Oct. 2, Breckenridge local Eva Hagen sprinted from the start line to the team tent.
The mother of Tigers freshman Ella Hagen, and wife of Summit head coach Mike Hagen, dashed to the tent to scrounge up Ella Hagen’s Adidas running shoes after the young star realized her super-light “waffle” running shoes wouldn’t be sturdy enough for the hardiest 5,000-meter course of the season.
“The waffles — they are a very light shoe with, like almost no cushion,” Ella Hagen said. “They are made to be as fast as possible. But when I was doing strides warming up before the race, it hurt so bad. So I was like, ‘I cannot race in these. Can you please go get my other shoes?’”
After mom found her daughter’s best shoes for the hilly ski-area course, Ella Hagen ran away from the rest of the field with a winning time of 21 minutes and 13 seconds — 2:42 faster than any other racer in the 65-runner field.
“A course like this, to go out and have that big of a lead is super impressive,” said Tiger junior runner Dom Remeikis, who himself won the boys race in 18:51 — eight seconds ahead of runner-up Bowden Tumminello of Steamboat Springs.
“She’s only a freshman, which makes it even crazier,” Remeikis continued.
“No words,” added Tigers junior Landon Cunningham, who raced to a fifth-place finish of 19:55.
“Absolutely speechless,” added another phenomenal Tiger freshman, Josh Shriver, who ran to third place in the boys race at 19:23.
Tigers sophomore Adaline Avery, who joined Ella in the top three with a third-place time of 24:04, said Ella Hagen’s ever-present pursuit of the best pushes Avery to go further than she thinks. Ella Hagen said Avery is not only an amazing young athlete, but teammate.
“It wouldn’t be the same running on this team without her,” Ella Hagen said. “She’s special, and she has such drive and determination. She keeps me wanting to work as hard as I can because I see her working as hard as she can.”
Ella Hagen and Avery were joined by Summit teammates Avery Eytel (ninth, 25:27), Cece Miner (11th, 25:51) and Logan Reid (12th, 26:06) for a second-place girls team finish.
In the boys race, Remeikis, Shriver and Cunningham were joined by Roan Varble (10th, 21:27) and Bryce Oppito (32nd, 26:03) for a first-place finish in the team event. Summit was without top varsity runner Zach McBride, who was unable to race due to injury.
Remeikis said the course near 10,000 feet in elevation consisted of one of the hardest hills he’s ever seen in a running race — a 22-degree grade up a portion of the Copper Creek Golf Course that humbled many a racer.
“My strategy was just to maintain a solid lead and make sure I attacked the hill, because everything else would take care of itself,” Remeikis said.
Cunningham said he and the other Tigers runners came into the race with an aggressive mentality to attack the course with the confidence they were more suited for the elevation of any team there.
Shriver added that they have been doing courses like Saturday’s all summer with the Breckenridge Summit Trail Running Series, and he trusted his hill training.
“I just attacked the hill and tried to not let people get away,” Shriver said. “You just have to beat that hill three times and the rest takes care of itself.”
Summit will next run at 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 8, for the Pat Amato Classic at Northglenn High School in Northglenn.
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