Madison and Michael Mooney enter the state meet No. 1 in two events each.
Madison Mooney took short but quick strides along the turf field at Broomfield High. Her brown curly hair bounced with each step and she squinted her eyes in the warm Colorado sun. Her arms moved in a consistent cadence, matching her strides as she bounded off her toes. She oozed effortless speed, even at this more casual pace.
When the run was complete she relaxed her shoulders and her arms dangled by her side. She stood trackside and spoke meticulously of the days ahead. She exuded the knowledge of a runner who very well knows the track by the inches.
And she likely does. Madison has been leading races and turning left since her freshmen year.
She's been here before. She knows the drill. She knows what needs to get done. There aren't many questions, because over her four-year high school career, she's nearly answered all of them, except one.
Can she win a state title? Can she win two? 800? 1,600?
It's something that has eluded the Broomfield senior throughout her career, but now with the state championships directly in her future, she looks primed to finally take that final step up to the top of the podium.
And she won't be alone.
Her twin brother, Michael Mooney will be there every step of the way, figuratively, that is.
He'll likely be warming up for his own races.
While state loomed just two days away, Madison and Michael spoke calmly of their paths, their aspirations, and each other.
It's a big week for the Mooney household, as the two graduate from high school, and are set to compete at the state championships as favorites in their events. It's true, actually - Madison enters the meet No. 1 in the 800, and the 1,600, while Michael is No. 1 in the 1,600 and the 3,200.
The two, however, are coming to the line as favorites from entirely different paths, and approaches.
Madison has likely got her race plan, as well as everyone else's, memorized. She'll toe the line this week as the veteran.
On the other hand, Michael's simplistic approach contrasted his sister's analytical one. He spoke like a man who knows exactly what he wants, and how to get there. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, because he's got his plan, and that's the only one that matters. Michael will toe the line as the maverick.
Both approaches have proven successful for the Mooney's this season. Now, the week of finals, graduation, and state is upon them. And while stressful, they know this is their time.
Or as Madison put it: It's now, or never.