Colorado State Cross 2017: Mountain Vista Keeps Broomfield At Arm's Length

Hannah Brown's late-race fatigue wasn't enough to keep her from nailing down a team title for Mountain Vista.

You know the story of the season. Mountain Vista has kept all challengers, including the most proximate threat from Broomfield, at arm's length all season long.

They did it again on Saturday, and that despite a spirited challenge from Broomfield's Eagles.

It's easy to look at the trio of Jenna Fitzsimmons, Caroline Eck, and Sarah O'Sullivan so visibly at the front of things for Mountain Vista and think therein lies the story, not only of the season but of the state meet as well, but there is more to it than that.

Certainly, Fitzsimmons, Eck, and O'Sullivan did their part--and did it admirably. When you score 1-2-6, you set the wheels in motion for a lot of good things to happen.

But, Broomfield fired their salvos as well. 

Katelyn Mitchem, who has had a sensational last month, was up with the leaders early on, giving Broomfield a toehold in the Fitzsimmons/Eck/O'Sullivan wall. Later, it would by Ivy Gonzales who would hammer a crack in the wall with a fourth-place finish of her own.

But at no point in the race, whether early or late, could the entire Broomfield team wrest control from the hands of a determined Mountain Vista bunch.

Determined would be the operative word here.

After the big three, Madison Reed put in her appearance in 13th place. To the casual observer, it started to look like just another Mountain Vista rout.

But then you have to account for the absence of white singlets with green-and-gold trim until place 56 where Hannah Brown took her place in the Mountain Vista scoring order. If you've been following Vista Nation this season, you know that's not the usual order of things. 

Makenna Anderson, injured the week before, wasn't part of Mountain Vista's State team. That means that when Broomfield was making their plays to overcome Mountain Vista, there was more than the usual collection of reasons to hold out hope. Vista Nation was down a key member of their usual scoring order.

On this day, though, Brown's finish would be adequate to preserve Mountain Vista's advantage. And if her effort hadn't been enough, Rebecca Walton's effort would have done just fine, too.

Mountain Vista left no quarter to the opportunism of other teams. Their victory was what the season said was the established order of things.

Individually, the race blew wide open when Legacy sophomore Brynn Siles didn't make an appearance on the starting line (actually, as Legacy had only six finishers, Siles may--as far as I know--have started the race, but her chip never registered at the first mile. 

Thornton's Stephanie Carrasco went hard to the front in Siles' absence. And well she might have. Carrasco has enjoyed a very nice run of results of late, and the opportunity presented itself for the taking.

Through two miles, and even a little beyond, Carrasco was in complete control. Her lead at two miles was a considerable one of nine seconds.

In the end, though, the urgency of the Mountain Vista mission sent first Fitzsimmons and then Eck in front of Carrasco. Eventually, Carrasco would be passed by Claudia Burgess and Gonzales as well before settling for fifth place. Eck would hold off a furious late challenge from Burgess inside the stadium to preserve her second-place finish.

Fitzsimmons' winning time of 18:10 registered as the second-fastest effort of the day, regardless of classification.

Jenna Fitzsimmons Interview

Caroline Eck and Sarah O'Sullivan Interview

5A Girls in-race standings