Valor Christian’s cross country teams spent a good portion of the day on Oct. 29 celebrating at the Class 5A state cross country championships. It was a pleasant, sunny day at the Norris Penrose …
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Valor Christian’s cross country teams spent a good portion of the day on Oct. 29 celebrating at the Class 5A state cross country championships.
It was a pleasant, sunny day at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs and Valor runners performed like champions.
The Eagles boys team, paced by Drew Costello, Dane Eike and Kaeden Dendorfer — who all finished in the top 10 — won the Class 5A team title.
And Valor senior Brooke Wilson set a new course record in winning the 5A girls individual state title.
Valor’s boys finished with 155 points to outdistance second-place Centaurus with 170 points. Defending champion Mountain Vista was fourth (187), Rock Canyon fifth (189), Castle View seventh (208) and Chaparral 10th (251).
In the individual boys race, Christian Groendyke was first with Costello coming in second with a 15:28.3 time.
Mountain Vista’s Tyler Downs was third at 15:24.5 with Eike coming in as the fourth-place finisher at 15:40.10.
Rounding out the top 10 were ThunderRidge’s Evan Charkot in fifth, Cherry Creek’s Daniel Hruska sixth, defending champion Tanner Brown of Chaparral eighth, Dendorfer ninth and Owen Casselman of ThunderRidge tenth.
“It feels amazing to win the state title,” said Valor coach Jeffrey Cook. “We knew something special had to happen. It took everybody. It took a whole team effort.”
Wilson’s time of 16:59.20 in the 5A girls race broke the previous course record of 17:07.83. Her teammate Keeghan Edwards was third in 17:32.50, followed by Arapahoe’s Ava Mitchell in fourth place.
Peyton Adams of Mountain Vista was seventh. Emily Lamontagne of Arapahoe was ninth and Emily Cohen of Cherry Creek was 10th.
Air Academy won the 5A girls team title with 63 points while Mountain Vista was second with 126. Cherry Creek and Valor tied for third with 133 points and defending state champ Arapahoe came in fifth with 138 points.
Costello, who was fourth last season, stopped trying to figure out the Norris Penrose course.
“I took it out the same as I did last year,” said Costello. “I started kind of behind because I wanted to save it for the last mile. What I found there is really no way to race this race smart. This course is so tough there is really no smart move. The team did really well today. We’ve been focusing on this all season. We set that goal early.”
Wilson set her sights on winning the state championship now that three-time defending champion Riley Stewart of Cherry Creek had graduated.
“This is my year,” said Wilson who will be heading to Wake Forest next season. “Riley is gone. I just needed to go. It is such an incredible feeling knowing I was finally able to do it. I did everything I needed to do.”
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