Last year, Monarch broke Mountain Vista's four-year stranglehold on the 5A Boys state championship. Evidently that left a mark.
From the first day of this season forward, Mountain Vista has been untouchable. All season long, if Mountain Vista ran their top team of boys, there was nobody who could stay in the hunt with them. Even if they ran a B team of boys, there were precious few teams that could stay with them.
Yet State remained.
State remains no longer. Mountain Vista has finished the season of Colorado domination. "Bring it back," is no longer a catchphrase; it's a done deal.
The next stop is Casa Grande and a possible return trip to Portland for NXN. A little motivation can go a long way.
That's not to say there were no challenges at State. In fact, Rock Canyon kept it as close with Mountain Vista at State as anyone has kept it all season long. Mountain Vista's 53 was within shouting distance of Rock Canyon's 71, but just barely.
Vista Nation didn't do it with a dominating presence up front. They did it with a pack that stayed mostly out of the top 10 until late in the race. Carter Dillon, Shayan Zarrin, and Parker Mackay camped out in top 20 spots throughout the race. Caden Foster and Ethan Rouse joined them there for the finish. Dillon and Zarrin finished in the medals, but neither was ever a threat to win the individual title.
The domination was simple, effective, and thorough. Five in the top 20 is a tough lead to follow in a field this good.
Rock Canyon beat Mountain Vista through two finishers, as they have at other points in the season, but could not keep 3, 4, and 5 close enough to close the deal.
From a spectator standpoint, the individual race was a good deal more interesting.
What started a leadership by very large committee--there were 23 competitors within two seconds of the lead at one mile--morphed into a battle of attrition.
By two miles, those showing the strongest signs of life were Harrison Scudamore, Charlie Perry, Connor McCabe, and Chris Theodore. McCabe and Scudamore would fade a little over the last mile, leaving their places to Austin Vancil and Mason Brown, but neither would rise as far as to present any kind of threat to Perry or Theodore.
Theodore stayed close as long as he could muster the speed, but eventually Perry's long strides wore down Theodore's resistance. Perry would finish in 15:36 and Theodore in 15:42.