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Runners carve out top times

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By Brian Forbes

DENVER — It’s easy to get lost at an event the size of the Mullen Runners Roost.

The Cougars did their best to stand out.

Amongst a field that boasted more than 1,000 athletes from more than 60 schools of all classifications, the Cougars gave it a run April 12 and managed to score one high finish and several worthy moments.

Kyla Berendzen clocked the best finish for the Cougars as she placed fourth in the elite “invitational” heat of 3,200-meter race with a time of 11 minutes, 48.44 seconds. Berendzen’s time was the best for a Class 4A runner as she was beaten by three 5A runners, including first-place finished Eleanor Fulton of Highlands Ranch, who ran an 11:20.51.

Teammate Brynn Haebe ran the 3,200 in 11:50 to pre-qualify for the state meet. Coach Rob Wright said in a voicemail that Haebe is the first freshman he can remember accomplishing that feat.

Ryan Haebe set a new personal record in the 3,000 with a time of 10:01.9.

Evergreen’s girls ran a strong 4x800 relay, although the 4x400 did not run as some athletes were gone due to club soccer commitments.

Keith Bestall ran a 53.09 in the 400.

“He’s doing well,” Cougars sprint coach Greg Cooper said of Bestall. “He’s only three seconds off qualifying. He’s getting better every year.”

Another finish worth noting was Anna Campbell running the 100 in 13.3 seconds.

The star at Brother Bernard Kinneavy De La Salle Stadium did come from the mountains, albeit a little to the south.

Conifer phenom Emily Blok won the 400, 200 and placed second in the 100. Blok ran the 400 in 57.08 seconds and finished the 200 in 24.80. Blok won silver by an eyelash in the 100 as her 11.98 was not good enough to beat Montbello’s Kayla Fisher-Taylor, who ran it in 11.97.

Blok also took sixth in the invitational heat of the long jump with a distance of 16 feet, 1 inches.