Behind shades, but in front of the pack, Tyler Scholl was the picture of relaxation at the Colorado Middle School State Championships. Photo by Alan Versaw.
This year's Middle School State Championship was less interesting, in at least one respect, than last year's for Tyler Scholl, but there is a satisfaction in winning that second place never knows.
Last year, Westview's Andrew King went stride for stride with Scholl for the better part of two miles before finally pulling away for the win. This year, the only company Scholl knew was the company of the spectators lining the course for the entire second half of the race.
Behind sunglasses, it was difficult to tell if Scholl was straining, but his posture and arm carriage showed nothing strain and little of fatigue. Regardless, his efforts carried him to a 13-second win over Littleton Academy's Griffin Hampton. Most of that space was already established by the midway point.
Late in the race, Hampton had a lot more in the way of immediate motivation than did Scholl. Dogging Hampton's every step over the last 1000 meters was Cody Danley of Rocky Ford. Danley's won a lot of races this fall, but found himself in the unfamiliar position of chasing this time around, but he adapted well to the change. And you can be sure Ron Shepherd was smiling. Rocky Ford just might be on the cusp of returning to a little of their former supremacy in 2A cross country.
Following Danley was a substantial gap until Logan Simington of Loveland's Walt Clark Middle School. Close on Simington's heels was a familiar name of years gone by--Jacob Robirds of Sargent Middle School. Those of you who've been around Colorado cross country for a while should be able to put the pieces together.
Team scoring was much more interesting than in the girls race. There was no wave of a single color and design of singlet at the front of the boys race. Amazingly, the first team with two runners across was Sargent Middle School, assuredly one of the smallest schools in the entire meet. Second across for the Farmers was Ethan Reschke. The connection here is a little more difficult than the Robirds connection, but if you dig back in the annals of Monte Vista cross country, you'll find a couple of Reschkes who were pretty decent cross country runners.
Funny how cross country names tend to resurface, no?
But, Sargent did not have the troops to finish the job that Robirds and Reschke started. That honor would go to Westview Middle School of Longmont, making Westview the first repeat state champion in Colorado Middle School State history. Andrew King is now at Silver Creek, but the legacy was carried on by the scoring four of Brock Dykema (eighth, scoring four points), Jack Moroney, Joe Creighton, and Leon Engle.
Mountain Ridge, who also took second in the girls race, claimed second place among the boys teams. In third? Well, that would be Rocky Ford, easily the highest finish of any of the small school boys teams entered in the meet.