Skold, Sayler peaking at the right time

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Evergreen wins both boys, girls titles to sweep the field at 4A Region 1 championships

By Michael Hicks

LITTLETON — Not an altered Clement Park course or surgically-repaired leg from last season can challenge the mental strength that Sammy Skold is overflowing with right now.
The 4A Jeffco League champion Skold is peaking at the right time, winning for the second consecutive week. This time it was the 4A Region 1 championships on Oct. 18 in 18 minutes, 55 seconds. She beat out Golden’s Olivia Treitman by 18 seconds.
“I definitely am,” Skold said of peaking in time for the Oct. 27 4A state championships in Colorado Springs. “My coaches coordinated it so well this season that I only race specific events. I’ve overtrained myself since my freshman year. This year, I was like that’s not going to happen. I talked to my coach and we planned on a program that would have me peak next week hopefully. A top-10 finish is what I’m going for.”
The Lady Cougars certainly did that team-wise, winning the regional title with 52 points. D’Evelyn was second with 61.
“This year is just a build-up year since we lost two of our fastest runners from last year. (But) we’re doing awesome and having fun,” said sophomore Camille Morales, who came in sixth in 19:25.
She was one of three Evergreen females — Caitlin Schmitt was third in 19:14 — to place in the top six. All nine Lady Cougars, including Jane Jensen (20:12), Emily Schulz (21:11), Cat Moss (21:19), Annie Trimarco (21:29), Hannah Chamberlain (21:57) and Kenzie Skold (22:00), placed in the top 46 in a field of 104 runners.
Evergreen’s boys team wasn’t about to play second fiddle to anyone, either.
The Cougars, coming off a second-place finish in the 4A Jeffco League to rival Conifer, turned the tables with 69 points. The Lobos, led by Kevin Johnson’s fourth-place finish, had 82 points.
“This was our best performance this season,” Evergreen boys head coach Rob Wright said. “It takes away some of the bitterness of leagues a little bit. We came back with avengeance this week. All week long we were serious about it. We’re finally here and everybody has come together at the same time.”
Leading the charge was Jackson Sayler, who won his first regional championship in 15:59. He beat out his nearest competitor — Gus Terry of Elizabeth — by 30 seconds. And it wasn’t even that close.
“It’s definitely up there,” Sayler said of this being his best finish. “My time at Alamosa was a little bit faster, but, overall, I’m definitely very happy with my race.”
Teammate Sam Sahli was third in 16:30. Rounding out the field were Thomas Warren (17:18), Gage Larson (17:26), Matthew Kline (17:29), Andy Seracuse (17:48), Alex Aafedt (17:51), Daniel Holmes (17:53), and Nick Gilbert (18:00).