Outstanding Colorado High School Distance Athlete Award
Riley Stewart – Cherry Creek HS
Riley is in constant motion! As a club volleyball player year-round through the 10th grade, an Elite Real Colorado soccer team member until 11th grade, and a nationally-ranked high-school runner for the past three years, Riley has blasted a path of athletic dominance in Colorado. She has won THREE Gatorade Colorado Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year Awards! She aspires to be an Olympian someday, but meanwhile Riley is doing the hard work to realize all her goals in sports and in life. Her leadership role extends beyond the team Riley leads at Cherry Creek—-she sets a high bar in the classroom and community as well. Riley is active as a Central City Flower Girl (promoting the arts, culture, and opera), serves at CCHS in Student Leadership, and is a 2022 Denver Debutante, performing various community service projects in that capacity. Riley is also on the CCHS Honor Roll.
Riley’s positive attitude is a pervasive element in her life, creating an aura of confidence and willingness to blast forward while inspiring others to do the same. She has earned a full scholarship to Stanford, adding huge talent to the stellar team there. Riley has finished first (or been the top CO finisher) in every XC race she’s run since her sophomore year.
PR’s: 800m 2:08.22 1600m 4:44.13 3200m 10:27.96 5k 16:28.38
High School Distance Runner Achievement Award Winners
Zane Bergen – Niwot HS
Zane is a team-first guy who is willing to sacrifice what he wants individually for the good of the group. He is all-in with the champion culture that has become the hallmark of Niwot High School’s running success. Zane was 4A State Track Champion in the 800m, 1600m, 3200m, and anchored Niwot’s winning 4X800m team, thus contributing a whopping 40 points to their score total at the meet. Zane also set a new course record on his way to becoming the 4A XC State Champion last fall. His distance-running dominance earned him the Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award for 2021. Zane is undoubtedly set to re-write his own records again this track season. He already set a new PR for the mile just last month!
Other loves for Zane are being in the mountains, whether to run or go fly-fishing (he ties his own flies!), volunteering with Healing Waters (a charity that takes veterans on fishing trips) and serving as a counselor with the Rocky Mountain Anglers, which holds a summer fishing camp for kids. He is a super tough, super smart and super fast young man with an extremely bright future in the sport. Zane will take his athletic and academic talents to Stanford University this fall, where more great things are sure to come his way.
PR’s: 400m 50.04 800m 1:51.26 mile 4:02.64 3200m 8:57.51 5k 14:09.91
Eva Klingbeil – Niwot HS
Running hasn’t always come so easy for Eva. She battled several injuries through her high school career, but with a tough and determined mindset, she has overcome the setbacks and emerged a champion. Eva won the 4A State XC Championship title last fall after placing 61st in 2018 and 41st in 2019. Her Coach Kelly Christensen at Niwot describes Eva as a gritty, hard-working competitor and a quality teammate who quietly tackles her challenges with resolve and maturity. In addition to her athletic talents, Eva has also been a notable artist since a very young age—she has donated 8 different oil original paintings to the Boulder County 4-H and the Wild Animal Sanctuary, which generated about $2000.00 for those charities. Her involvement with 4-H began about 8 years ago, when she started competing in the Visual Arts and Show Chicken categories, earning Eva 3 Grand Champion titles at 4-H competitions and multiple Champion awards from the Colorado Poultry Association. Up until just recently, Eva was active in breeding and raising her own Bantam Chickens for these competitions—-no small responsibility for someone whose schedule is already plenty full!
Eva will continue her athletic career at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill as a freshman this fall, and it’s clear the Niwot team (and her chickens!) will miss having her around.
PR’s: mile 4:49.34 3200m 10:17.82 5k 16:44.69
Land Lambert – Durango HS
A runner since the 5th grade (when he joined the Durango Trail Runners), Land has been a consistent and dedicated athlete and embraced the role of captain for his high school team. His coach Ken Flint reports that Land has never had an unexcused absence from practice! He loves the raw exertion of a tough workout, which has paid great dividends—Land holds the school record in the 5k, and has set his sights on the mile and 2-mile records as well. Beyond the track and trails, Land is a superstar academically, maintaining a 4.2 GPA . He has earned the rank of Eagle Scout, plays both the cello and the piano, is a member of the orchestra and the choir, and plays in ensembles for both community and church functions. Land is active in his church youth group, loves skiing, biking, and backpacking around Colorado, and has studied Chinese since age 13. He has been to Japan and China to learn of his heritage and the culture of those nations, and hopes to return again soon for more adventures! He is currently in decision-mode with regard to colleges.
4th place at Nike Regionals in 15:02, 6th at 4A CO State XC Championships, PR improvement from freshman to senior in the 5k is 2 1/2 minutes!
PR’s: 1600m 4:23.73 3200m 9:36.97 5k 14:50
Sullivan Middaugh – Battle Mountain HS
The sporting genes in the Middaugh family are deep and strong—so it’s no surprise that Sullivan and his younger siblings Porter and Larsen are such great athletes. They’ve had wonderful parents to emulate! Sullivan’s close family ties are forged in their multiple trips, activities, and experiences together. Sullivan is accomplished in so many disciplines and athletic pursuits! After a knee injury and IT band issues derailed his progress junior year, Sullivan worked hard to re-gain his traction with running, skiing, snowshoeing, and Xterra racing in 2021. Coach Parish at Battle Mountain describes Sullivan as an extremely hard worker who trusts the process and does all the supportive work necessary to be successful.
Sullivan won his division at the prestigious XTerra Championships in Hawaii last December, and has won multiple snowshoe races, both the 2020 and 2021 national HS Trail Championships, and the 2021 Region 1 4A XC title. Last year he made 1st Team All-State in Cross Country, All-State for Skiing (2nd place in Nordic, 3rd place in classic), and placed 20th at the Mountain Bike National Championships.
Sullivan also shines in the academic realm, achieving a 4.26 GPA. He volunteered as a youth mentor/coach at summer mountain bike camp during high school, and served as captain of his team at Battle Mountain. His next challenge will be a fun one—he has signed on with the Olympic developmental team Project Podium at Arizona State University to continues his career as a versatile multisport athlete and a fine scholar. It’s a family tradition!
PR’s: 300m hurdles (!!) 46.45 1600m 4:27.04 3200m 9:39.53 5k 15:26.30
Jackson Shorten – Mountain View HS
Coach Whitney Hornung from Mountain View HS in Loveland describes Jackson as a humble student of his sport, and a tireless fan of his fellow competitors. Jackson has been a runner since childhood, and now helps his younger sister Keira as she begins her own running career. He has also been a member of the school band, balancing the demands of both music and sport while maintaining a 4.0 GPA in the classroom! Jackson trains very hard and is a self-motivated runner who pushes his limits whether surrounded by strong competition or not. His talents at both academics and athletics have opened the doors of Princeton University to him, where no doubt he will shine in both arenas, and hopefully play in the band too!
4A Region 4 Champion 2021 (19 seconds ahead of 2nd place) 15:41
5th place at 2021 State XC Championships (15:44)
PR’s: 400m 51.55 1600m 4:11.77 3200m 9:15.99 5k 14:36.83
Cheyenne Mountain Boys’ Cross Country Team – Stan Lambros, coach
This team has accomplished what no other team in Colorado HS XC ever has—posting the lowest team score at the State Championships with a 26.
Their average finish time was the fastest ever at 15:47. Colorado boasts 4 of the top teams in the entire nation, so this was an amazing feat. Five weeks after the 2021 State Meet, the team traveled to Huntsville Alabama for the Garmin RunningLane National meet, where they placed 2nd to a team from Newbury Park California which had been called the best HS XC team of all time. Cheyenne Mountain Boys lowered their average time to 14:49 at the Huntsville meet. In any other year besides 2021, they would have won the national title hands-down. These young men boast the 7 fastest 5k times in CMHS history, have been an interchangeable line-up all year, and are each heading for college programs on athletic scholarships
The senior boys who make up the team are as follows:
CEDAR COLLINS— Will be attending the Masters University in Santa Clarita, CA. As a freshman he posted a PR of 20:11, and as a senior had lowered it to 15:21. He won the National HS Snowshoeing Championship in Leadville earlier this year,
JACK WARMACK— Will join Cedar at the Masters University in Santa Clarita, CA. Lowered his XC 5k PR from freshman to senior year by nearly 6 minutes (21:12 to 15:27). Leader in his church and worked as a lifeguard at the high school pool. Described as the “quarterback” of his XC team.
KNOX EXTON—- Heading to the University of Alabama in the fall. Placed 4th overall at the 2021 State XC Championships, and 23rd overall at the Garmin RunningLane National meet. Consummate leader of his team with a sense of calm despite the pressures of big races. 14:37 5k PR.
ERIK LE ROUX— Joining the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks this coming fall. Has a team-centered mindset and a selfless attitude that puts the overall goal of the group ahead of his own personal aspirations. Won the 2018 & 2019 Junior Olympic XC Nationals, was the runner-up at the 2021 Colorado State XC Championships, and has a PR of 14:42.47 from the Garmin RunningLane National meet.
TYLER NORD— Signed with Western State University in Gunnison to study sports medicine. His mom was a long-time track coach, and his consistency was a key element to Cheyenne Mountain’s success this past year. Was 8th at the CO State XC Championships, and ran 14:55 at the Garmin RunningLane Nationals. Great teammate and rises to the challenge when the pressure is on.
ENZO KNAPP— Consistency and dependability were key to the team’s successes, and his no-nonsense approach to training and racing paid giant dividends over the season. Never finished more than 41 seconds behind the top runner of his CMHS team, and ended his HS cross-country career with a strong 15:12.80 PR at the Garmin RunningLane National meet. He will be running for the University of Wyoming Cowboys this fall.
COACH STAN LAMBROS will be accepting the Team Award. He has been the Head Coach at CMHS for over 20 years, and his teams have won 3 XC State Championships. He was recently named the National Boys’ Cross Country Coach of the Year by the US Track & Field & Cross-Country Coaches Association. He is a USATF Level I Certified Coach, and a decorated triathlete in his own right. He will be retiring at the end of the current school year after a storied career of coaching and counseling countless students.