LYONS, Colo. — A picturesque town with sweeping mountain views, it's hard to imagine a better place to go for a run.
"We definitely feel a sense of responsibility in this community," said Lyons High School cross country coach Mark Roberts.
A responsibility for cross-country greatness.
"We talk about being small and mighty and a community of Lions."
The small and mighty community of Lyons swept the Class 2A state cross country championships for the first time in school history in 2019.
"Everything worked perfectly," recalled junior Quin Gregg, who was the 2A girls individual champion as a sophomore. "Everything went well. Isaac (Roberts, 2A boys individual champion) had a good race, I had a good race. We were just super proud of ourselves because we knew that we were capable of something like that."
But for head coach Mark Roberts... he got to see his sixth of 10 children grab an individual title.
"You're kind of at a loss of words when something like that happens," he said. "You kind of have to pinch yourself after a day like that."
This pride of Lions is tight, like a family. But Gregg knows there's a different dynamic with a few of the cubs.
"You can see the different dynamics between the actual Roberts children and the rest of us," she said.
Mark's daughter, Katie, said: "You can't keep anything from him because he knows everything."
To which Mark added: "I hear some coaches talk about how they're just their coach at practice and they won't talk about it at home, and that would not be me."
Roberts has two of his children currently on his high school team. Katie, a junior, is only recently discovering her birthright.
"She definitely has a little more fire in her belly this year and that's been good to see," Mark said.
"I used to be less competitive," Katie said. "I used to just want to sit there and read all of the time, but I got more competitive."
At the end of the day, running, like most things in life, comes down to patience.
"It's the theme of life, right? Pace yourself, pace yourself," Mark said. "How many of us get off too fast in a lot of things in life? So we talked about how it carries over into a lot of other areas, as well."
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