2016 Colorado State XC 5A Boys: Mountain Vista's String Comes to an End

As the race descends into the creek crossing, Isaac Green holds a slim lead over Joshua Romine. Photo by Jeff McCoy.

There were times this season when it seemed a sure thing that Mountain Vista's string of state titles was stretching to five. But, the season is eleven weeks long. It turns out that's long enough for the tables to turn.

Chinks in the Mountain Vista armor began to show very early in October. A defeat at the Metro State Invitational at the hands of Palmer Ridge was the first big hint. Absences of key runners from meet results dropped more hints along the way.

Mountain Vista barely beat Rock Canyon at their regional. Yet, all around, folks seemed reluctant to let go of the notion of Mountain Vista as the 5A favorites. It's tough to break a four-year habit. And, it's not as if Mountain Vista had lost all semblance of a great team; it's just that the motor wasn't purring after the fashion we've all grown accustomed to.

As troubled as Mountain Vista's month of October had been, Monarch's had been perfect. The scoring five seemed to be made of steel and big win piled up after big win. Rock Canyon, too, seemed poised on the edge of a major upset.

And, so, the stage was set for the 5A Boys state title.

The heat had served its notice long before the 5A Boys race began, and so the race went out at a predictably conservative pace. It was a bad day to try out the role of sacrificial lamb.

Cherokee Trail's Rylan Wallace, a certified contender for the individual title, was at or near the lead through the first 80 percent of the race. But, when the field started moving in earnest, Wallace's legs wouldn't move with them. He would fall several places off of the lead group.

Making the late charge was a confederation of Isaac Green and Charlie Perry of Monarch, Connor McCabe of Rampart, Joshua Romine of Mountain Vista, Bailey Timmons of Rock Canyon, and Harrison Scudamore of Denver East. Wallace's lead was promptly an afterthought. The battle engaged in a serious way when the runners turned back east to head over the bridges through the wooded section of the course.

Through the trail through the woods the leaders barreled. When they emerged out the east end of the woods, there were only two left in contention for the title. One was the expected Isaac Green, the other was Joshua Romine, enjoying the redemption race of his season. 

It's an unfortunate thing being caught in a footrace with Isaac Green without a substantial lead, and Romine was already behind Green. Green would not be caught, building an advantage of seven seconds by the time he crossed the finish line. Romine finished a gutty second, far exceeding any finish he'd had all season long.

Charlie Perry crossed in third and Bailey Timmons in fourth. Four places across and the three teams with a reasonable hope of winning the title were the only teams represented.

Mountain Vista got another with Carter Dillon in ninth. Then the pause grew uncomfortably long. No Vista Nation. No Monarch. No Rock Canyon.

Rock Canyon sent Derek Fearon and Chris Theodore across in 19 and 22, momentarily elevating the hopes of the RCXC faithful. But, Zach Litoff and Isaac Russo answered for Monarch at 26 and 29. Then Caden Foster of Mountain Vista at 30th. The advantage was Monarch's but all three teams were still in the hunt. Mountain Vista got the first #5 across with Christopher Lovejoy in 36th, but William Dixon's 43rd came soon enough after that Monarch did not cede its overall advantage.

The final tally left Monarch with 88 to Mountain Vista's 97. Rock Canyon lagged at 4 and 5 and fell entirely out of contention, though not out of third place.

Isaac Green Interview

Charlie Perry Interview


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