Tigers freshman runner Ella Hagen races to 2nd on state-championship course
Summit junior Dom Remeikis bounces back for a fast 4th place in boys 5K
The Summit High School cross-country running team’s fabulous freshmen continued to race at an above-their-age level Friday, Sept. 3, at the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs.
On the same course as the end-of-season state championship, Tigers freshman Ella Hagen proved her win last week in her first high school race wasn’t a fluke. Hagen crossed the finish line of the difficult 5,000-meter course in 19 minutes and 24 seconds. Hagen’s pace was good enough for second place overall in a deep race regarded as the early-season warmup for the October state championship.
Hagen only placed behind meet winner Bethany Michalak, a sophomore from Air Academy High School who won the state championship last fall as a freshman.
Tigers head coach Mike Hagen — Ella’s father — said her ability to contend for a top place at a course less suited to her high-altitude, hill-running skills is a very encouraging sign this early into the season and her career.
“She was running with a pack of three chasing the leader, including one girl that was 15th at state last year and another freshman who won the middle school state championship last year,” the coach said. “She was running shoulder to shoulder with them for the first 2.5 miles, and the girl who won the middle school championship last year has a great kick, so I wasn’t overly optimistic. But when Ella came out of the woods and up into the stadium, she was ahead by 15 meters.”
Hagen’s pace combined with torrid times from a group of mostly freshmen Tigers girls to earn the team an eighth-place finish out of 20 teams at the high level meet that features two of the top three teams in the state: Air Academy and Battle Mountain.
Hagen was followed by Tigers sophomore Adeline Avery, who ran to a time of 22:24, 36th overall, which was an improvement on her time from the Battle Mountain Husky Invitational last week. Avery ran alongside her Tigers training mate Cece Miner, another freshman, who completed the course in 22:44 for 48th place.
The freshmen just kept coming for the Tigers girls, with Avery Eytel, 83rd at 24:19, and Olivia Lyman, 96th at 25:03. And in the junior varsity race, Kaslo Bockseh ran to 25:06 in her first meet after she joined the team to increase her fitness for the soccer season.
On the boys side, it was a strong, bounce-back race for Tigers junior Dom Remeikis. On a state-championship course he’s familiar with, Remeikis put forth the biggest improvement of any Tigers runner, finishing in fourth place with a fast time of 16:19 — just 18 seconds out of first place.
Remeikis was joined in the overall top 20 of the 160-plus runner race by Tigers freshman Jishua Shriver, who ran to 16th with a time of 17:21. Summit junior Zach McBride ran well right on Shriver’s heels, finishing in 22nd place with a time of 17:33 to help the Tigers have one of the strongest boys trios on the day.
Summit ultimately finished seventh as a team in the 21-school boys race, as junior Landon Cunningham took 50th in 18:19 and yet another freshman, Bryce Oppito, raced to 145th place in 22:39.
The Tigers are next scheduled to race Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Liberty Bell Invitational at Heritage High School in Littleton.
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