Cool and overcast conditions were the backdrop today for the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference Championship, being held at the USAFA, and as expected, a preview of potential state championship teams were competing against one another. Light drizzle throughout much of the day did little to take the heat off the competition.
Palmer Ridge, who showed today why they are a favorite later this month to win the state championship, was led by Ryan Matson (16:43), who placed second individually. The remaining scoring team members all finished in the top 13, wrapping up the conference title with Max Herebic's 17:30. Cheyenne Mountain was led by the individual PPAC League champion, Thomas Chaston (16:38), with three runners placing in the top 15. Air Academy was lead by Cal Banta (16:51), and the Kadets placed two runners in the top seven.
The two-loop course provided plenty of visibility, cheering, and support from the spectators. Chaston took the lead late in the race, and looked in control over the final stretch, holding off both Matson and Banta.
On the girls side, state contenders Palmer Ridge, Discovery Canyon and Air Academy, were the top team finishers today, with all three teams placing their scoring runners in the top 22.
Palmer Ridge had the most runners in top positions, led by Isabella Prosceno (19:19) who placed second. The remaining scorers all finished in the top 12. Discovery Canyon showed why they are a contender, as they were led by third-place finisher, Liberty Ricca (19:39), and placed three runners in the top nine.
Air Academy retained some bragging rights of their own today, as sophomore Tatum Miller is the PPAC champion, finishing with a time of 18:58.
Miller took the lead around the 1-mile mark today and continued to build on it thereafter, winning by 21 seconds. Prosceno and Ricca maintained their positions after the mile mark, and were not challenged through the remainder of the race.