Seismic equipment probably registered the event as the feet of Elizabeth athletes and hundreds of other runners pounded the ground Oct. 27 at the state cross country meet held on the course at …
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Seismic equipment probably registered the event as the feet of Elizabeth athletes and hundreds of other runners pounded the ground Oct. 27 at the state cross country meet held on the course at Penrose Stadium in Colorado Springs.
The Cardinal girls finished fourth and the boys finished 15th in the Class 3A division that included teams from 20 schools.
Cross country is both a team and an individual sport. As athletes vie for top individual spots in the field, they also earn team points based on how they finished in the field. The first runner across the line earns one team point and the 10th runner 10 team points.
Elizabeth's girls team was led by Ashten Loeks, who finished seventh in a field of about 150 runners. The first Cardinal runner across the finish line for the boys team was John Flipse, who finished 58th with a time of 18:09. There were also about 150 runners competing in the boys division.
Elizabeth's girls team was unique this season with three sets of sisters on the team — Ashten Loeks and her freshman sister Masen, seniors Alaina and Brenna Jones, and senior Elle Benkendorf and her sophomore sister Carla.
Ashten Loeks said it was an exciting race.
“This was not my best race but I stayed mentally positive, but it was a rough race,” she said. “It was a tough race because there were so many runners and they were all so good. I felt I did well but, of course, I wish I could have finished higher, but I feel I ran a good race and I feel it is a good way to close out my final high school cross country season.”
She said she is looking forward to competing in track this spring as she wraps up her high school career and then continuing to compete in college.
She smiled when asked about the three sets of sisters on the team. Sister or not, every runner pushed hard to finish first for the team. But after a race everyone was very close friends
As a senior, Loeks looked to the spring track season and to the future after graduation.
“I really like to have the opportunity to continue to run in college. I have visited some colleges and plan additional visits,” she said. “I also plan to run track this season. I just love track.”
She said she got started running to keep in shape for basketball.
“I started running and I found I loved it,” she said. “Eventually I realized I loved running more than I like playing basketball, so I gave up basketball and focused on competing in cross country and track.”
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