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Castle Pines represented at Junior Olympics Cross Country Nationals

The Parker Panthers ‘A’ team brought their A game and pulled out a championship (pictured from left to right) Evan Armstrong, Chase Cartwright, and Jackson Parrill.

RHMS student and Parker Panther runner Carter Brand pictured with the McFarland coaches David Diaz (left) and Thomas Valles (right) who were two of the original runners that the “McFarland USA” movie was based on.

The first place Parker Panthers ‘A’ team pictured left to right:  Jackson Parrill, Gavin Crowley, Ben Hicks, Chase Cartwright (CP), Evan Armstrong, Joey Garafalo, Shawn Campion, and Connor Campion.  Not pictured is Shawn Woodall. 


By Kathy Fallert; photos courtesy of Jennifer Cartwright, Monica Harmon, and Mira Brand

December 12 was a cold and gloomy day, but that didn’t stop Castle Pines (CP) residents from showing up and taking home accolades at the 2015 Junior Olympic Cross Country Nationals in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Eight Castle Pines (CP) residents brought their best game and hit the courses hard with some impressive finishes against teams from all over the country including Alaska and McFarland, California (yes, as in the 2014 movie “McFarland USA”).

CP resident and Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) student Emily Glynn of the Parker Panthers took 4th place in the girls 11-12 group earning Glynn the title of All American. Those who finish in the top 25 of their age group earn that rank.  In addition, Glynn and her team took 1st place as well making them the National Champions.  RHMS student, CP resident and Parker Panther runner Kyle Harmon finished 13th out of 312 in the boys 11-12 group giving him the title of All American as well.  

The Parker Panthers boys 9-10 group took first place as national champions on their ‘A’ team which includes CP resident Chase Cartwright from Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE).  The panthers 9-10 ‘B’ team also included BRE fifth graders Carter McDonald, Justin Laity, and Erik Matoush.

CP resident and Parker Panther runner Carter Brand finished 173 out of 345 entrants.  From Buffalo Ridge Elementary (BRE) fourth grader Jackson West finished 81st out of 306 in the boys 9-10 group, and CP resident Jessica Derickson finished 74th out of 294 in the girls 9-10 group.  Both West and Derickson run for Kokopelli Racing Team out of Castle Rock.  

Chase Cartwright, part of the first place Parker Panthers team remarked, “I’ve never been colder in my life!  The weather and conditions made the course very difficult, but it was the best thing ever to win nationals with my team!”

To learn more about the Parker Panthers, visit and to learn more about the Kokopelli running team visit

Castle Pines residents Emily Glynn (left) and Kyle Harmon (right) put their feet to the ground as Glynn took 4th place for the girls 11-12 group at nationals and Harmon took 14th for the boys 11-12 group.



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