COLORADO SPRINGS – Once again, Paul Roberts had no peers at the Class 2A state cross country meet.
The junior won his third title in a row with a dominating 16.131-second time, which also was a new 2A record at the 3.2-mile course at the Norris Penrose Event Center.
"There really wasn't any more pressure on me this year," Roberts said. "I've been here before and our team just needed to come out here and race well. We wanted to come out here and take care of business, that was our goal, and that’s what we did."
Lyons won the 2A team crown with 22 points. See complete results here.
Corey Lewenkamp of Custer County Central was second at 17:02.30.
"My coaches said to sit with the pack a little bit for the first mile and just make sure you get to the top of the hill feeling good,” Roberts said. “Then they said go as hard as I could that last half. I felt like everybody on our team went out and did that.”
Roberts' effort powered Lyons to its third state title in a row. Roberts’ teammate Matt Dillon was fifth.
Roberts acknowledged he has already been thinking about what it would mean to be a four-time Colorado state cross country champion.
“My goal since I was an eighth grader was to win four high school state championships,” Roberts said. “That’s a goal I want to reach.”
In the Class 4A race, Palmer Ridge also doubled its pleasure.
Eric Hamer, a senior, claimed his inaugural state title with a Class 4A record time of 16.17.7 seconds on the challenging course.
"It wasn't my plan, I just wanted to go out and run the best that I could," Hammer said about setting a new record. "This was about me doing my part and it feels great to help the team win. My coaches were yelling at me how much do you want second place to have to earn it. So, I just ran as fast as I could."
Cheyenne Mountain’s William Mayhew, a fellow senior, was second at 16:49.7.
Thanks to Hamer's victory the Bears won the team title with 94 points, this was their first state boys cross country title since the school opened six years ago. Niwot was second in the team race with 106 points.
"My coaches had a vision for me to win state and I accomplished this goal," said Hamer, who was sixth a year ago.
Like Hamer, SkyView Academy's Ben Butler also won the 3A race in a class record-breaking fashion with a 16.18.20-second performance.
"That's awesome," Butler said after he was informed he set a 3A record. "The preparation was there, but the difference was I came in here with the thought of winning in my mind. I wanted to stay humble, but at the same time I wanted to believe it was possible and it happened for me.”
Butler, a junior, finished fourth in the 2A state race last year. SkyView Academy is based in Highlands Ranch.
The 5A race didn’t see any records get broken, but that didn’t dampen the excitement of Pomona’s Marcelo Laguera.
The senior won his first state championship with a time of 16.19.40
"Last year my body broke down and I finished like 71st," Laguera said. "I just worked really hard to get back here and to win state means everything. All those days of training and hard work I put in paid off. It is an amazing feeling.”
Laguera said he took the lead for good in the race at the 2-mile mark. Thornton’s Joshua Joseph was second at 16:42.8 seconds.
“This course was brutal and all that mattered was who got to the line first,” Laguera said.
Mountain Vista won the 5A boys team title with 114 points, followed by Fort Collins at 156 points.