The Scoop: Athletes Are Off To A Flying Start In 2021

* Cheyenne Mountain's Kaden Levings won the Liberty Bell Invitational boys race in 15:00

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The first undeniable upset of the season went down at the Liberty Bell Invitational on Saturday in Heritage, Colorado. 

On a course that was as fast as a NASCAR series event, 24 athletes broke 16 minutes and the top seven all went under 15:20. 

And it was unranked Valor Christian (CO) -- one of Colorado's top teams -- that upended MileSplit50 No. 2 ranked Cheyenne Mountain, 53-57, using two finishers in the top five and all five of its scorers in the top 25. 

While Cheyenne Mountain's Kaden Levings scored the overall win in the Sweepstakes race, clocking a time of 15:00, and the Colorado Springs had its next three inside the top 10, its fifth runner struggled on the course. 

Valor Christian juniors Ty Garrett and Drew Costelow both put together impressive displaying, finishing second and fourth, respectively, with times of 15:01.40 and 15:14.30.

Cheyenne Mountain also looked very good, as seniors Enzo Knapp (15:24), Erik Le Roux (15:24.20) and Tyler Nord (15:28.50) went 8-9-10. 

Mountain View's Jackson Shorten, a preseason top 25 athlete, was seventh overall. 

No other boys team scored less than 100. 

The Cherokee Trail boys were third with 150 points, while Palmer Ridge was fourth with 154.

In the girls race, Air Academy's Bethany Michalak let it loose and ran the fifth-fastest time in meet history, logging a U.S. No. 1 time of 17:00.40. She's now one of six athletes to go under 17:10 all-time on the Heritage High School XC course. 

Michalak, however, wouldn't be the only one in the 17-minute range. A total of 10 girls went under that benchmark, with Emma Stutzman finished second overall in 17:24.60. 

Valor Christian's Brooke Wilson was third overall in 17:24.90.

The race for the girls title was an immensely-tight one, with Arapahoe needing every single placement to secure its 1-point victory over Cherry Creek in 96-97. 

Cherry Creek's Riley Stewart was battling with Michalak for much of the race but did not finish. 

Arapahoe's top four all finished next to one another in 32-33-34-35 and its top five was separated by just 7 seconds. 

Related Links: 

Liberty Bell Meet Page


Finish Line Video


Girls Team Scores

1Arapahoe High School964+5+28+29+30 (31+35)1:04 1-5 Split | 18:26 Avg
2Cherry Creek High School9712+13+17+22+33 (37)0:52 1-5 Split | 18:26 Avg
3Valor Christian High School1442+3+39+44+56 (85+89)2:10 1-5 Split | 18:36 Avg
4Mountain Vista High School16718+19+26+41+63 (98+123)1:27 1-5 Split | 18:55 Avg
5Fossil Ridge High School20320+36+47+49+51 (59+75)1:01 1-5 Split | 19:12 Avg