The Valor XC Team had an excellent showing at the Liberty Bell Invitational this past Friday, Sept 8. Liberty Bell takes place around Heritage High school and is one of the largest and oldest XC meets in the country. It draws teams from several states each year. Over 80 teams competed at Liberty Bell on Friday.
The Boys team got things started on the day. They were led by senior Josh Thompson, who just cracked the 17:00 barrier with a 16:59. That’s the fastest Josh has ever run on Colorado soil. He was followed by junior runner, Jack Ray, and senior, Matt Harrison, both of who set significant personal best times on the day. Freshman, Beau Thomason, had a huge breakout performance running 18:38 and punching his ticket to the Nike XC Regional Meet in Casa Grande, AZ on November 18. All of Valor’s top six boys have now qualified for the meet in Arizona.
The big story individually was the performance of Valor sophomore, Cole Sprout, who was easily the fastest 4A boy of the meet in a school record time of 15:24, which also leads the state in 4A by 25 seconds. That was also a 41-second personal best for Cole.
With the continued improvement of several Valor freshman boys the future is bright for this team. The boys ended up with a fifth place 4A performance on the day.
The girls wasted no time in living up to their brand new #8 state ranking and took to the course and made some noise. It would be an understatement to say that it was just a “good day” for the girls. Keely Jones broke the 19 minute barrier and was followed closely by three freshmen girls, Riley Irwin, Kindyll Wetta and Taylor Whitfield, who all broke the 20 minute barrier. Junior, Emma Sees, wrapped up the scoring for Valor and at the end of the day Valor was the #2 4A team at Liberty Bell, upsetting several teams in the process.
The Valor girls also came out ahead of three of the top 10 5A programs in the state as well as a few 5A teams sitting just outside the top 10. It was single-handedly the most impressive team performance in Valor Girls XC history.
A couple of notes about the girls team right now: This is Valor’s highest ever ranking and the first time that four Valor girls have gone sub 20.
Possibly the most impressive thing about the girls team right now is that they currently have the #2 ranked freshman class in all of Colorado, all classifications.
This past weekend was a testament of the hard work that has taken place over the past several years in this program. Those that helped build this XC team from less than twenty members total to what it is today deserve as much of the credit as any current member of the team.
The Valor XC team will be in action again this coming Saturday morning at Rock Canyon High School. Please come and support the team if you have a chance!