In the late 1990s, a pair of Round Valley High School graduates dominated on a national level in collegiate distance running.
After successful careers as Lady Elks, Kimberly Bosen and Sarah Parkey set records and won multiple national championships during Hall of Fame careers at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo. They went to ASC shortly after it had become a national contender in NCAA Division II athletics and helped it become the second-winningest school, in terms of national titles, in D2 sports history.
The peak of their careers came a little more than 20 years ago after the pair led the Grizzlies to the 1999 national championship in women’s cross country. Parkey tacked on national titles in the year 2000 and both runners claimed multiple Athlete of the Meet and Athlete of the Year honors that year.
The Adams State women’s cross country team set a record for low points in a national meet (23) on Nov. 20, 1999, at the National Championships in Joplin. Mo. Bosen, who was second at the finals, and Parkey, who was fourth, teamed with Melissa Bouren, Cory Chastain, Esther Hartsky, Jinny Mortensen and Ganado freshman Alvina Begay to claim the Grizzlies’ ninth straight national title.
That team was honored at the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Awards Banquet in Denver on Feb. 29, 2000. Parkey received a special citation for her national championship in the outdoor 1,500-meter race in Emporia, Kan. in ’99.
Also in February, 2000, Bosen and Parkey each won two individual events to lead the Adams State women’s indoor track and field team to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference title at the conference championship meet.
The Grizzlies won every running event en route to a meet record 200 points, easily outdistancing the host team, Nebraska-Kearney, by 89 points, another RMAC record.
Bosen claimed the Women’s Athlete of the Meet award after winning both the 3,000- and 5,000-meter races. Parkey won the 800-meter and mile events, setting NCAA Division II provisional qualifying marks in each. Parkey also anchored the winning 4x400-meter relay team.
Bosen was among 16 Grizzlies to receive the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference/Phillips 66 Academic Award in February of 2000. To be eligible, a student-athlete must maintain at least a 3.2 GPA and be a starter or key reserve for his or her team, as well as be enrolled at the institution for at least two consecutive semesters. Bosen was named ASC’s 1999 Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Parkey claimed the national championship in the women’s mile run at the D2 Indoor Track and Field National Championship at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, Mass. on March 11, 2000.
Later in the spring of 2000, Parkey was selected as the Track and Field Nominee for the Honda Awards Division II Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Award for the 1999-2000 academic year nationally.
Parkey was also the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships Female Athlete of the Meet that year.
Parkey, a 1996 Round Valley graduate, went on to win six national championships at ASC. She was named the National Cross Country Athlete of the Year in 2000, and was named Colorado’s NCAA Woman of the Year in 2001. An assistant coach at ASC in 2001 and ’02, she became the first athlete from ASC to be inducted in the NCAA Division II Track and Field Hall of Fame in May of 2006.
Bosen, who competed at ASC from 1997 to 2002, won three individual national titles, all in 1999, and 10 individual RMAC championships. Her outdoor 5K record time of 17:03.9 at the ’99 RMAC Championships still stands.
Parkey was inducted into the Adams State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. Bosen was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
Kim Bosen and triplet sisters Madlyn and Tonya, graduated from RVHS in 1997. Madlyn and Tonya were also distance runners in college.