DENVER – Eagle Ridge Academy’s first cross country meet turned out to be more special than just the beginning of a new sport at the Brighton charter school.
Megan Derby won the girls' race in the Fusion Invitational at Devner's Parkfield Lake Park. Her time was 22.08.6, a course record. Danielle Nikolai finished in a time of 22:27.9, and Madilynn Dilorenzo finished in a time of 28:35.1. The girls' team won the title.
The top finisher on the boys' team was Henry Silosky, who finished in a time of 22:27.2 and placed fifth. Jon Hillyard ran the 5k race in a time of 28:53.8, and Jarlin Candela finished in a time of 30:24.2.
The boys' squad didn’t field a full team of five runners, so the Warriors weren’t eligible for a team score.
Derby posted a seventh-place finish at the Severance Silver Knights Invite Aug. 27. She posted a season-best time of 21:58.1. Danielle Nikolai (22:43, season best, 13th place), Amanda Nikolao (17th, 23:45.1, season-best), DiLorenzo (27:49.5, season best, 32nd place) and Mackenzie Melies (46th place, 30:25,9, season best) helped ERA to a sixth-place finish in the team stadndings.
Three members of the boys team ran, and two (Silosky, who finished 35th in a time of 22:07.2, and Candela, who took 48th in a time of 25;48.2) set season-est times. Jon Hillyard finished 51st in a time of 29:03.3,
A total of 19 athletes (11 girls and eight boys) are on the Warriors’ teams, so Eagle Ridge has the chance to field full teams at its meets this season.
“Turnout was actually better than I anticipated,” said ERA coach Damien Halverson. “No real surprises on either side yet. We will be focusing on racing technique some, going forward. But mostly, it’s just aerobic base and finishing speed workouts in the near future.”
The Warriors head for a meet at Johnstown Reservoir Friday, Sept. 2. The next area meet for ERA is at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at Riverdale Regional Park, East 124th Avenue and Brighton Road.
“The goal is still the same .. send both teams to state (Oct. 29 in Colorado Springs),” Halverson said. “A few girls have more specific goals, and we are working on what they need to do to achieve those.”