Centaurus came away with the upset 31-28 victory over Niwot to claim the Region title.
From the start the scene was somewhat familiar.
It was Niwot's Cruz Culpepper and Ares Reading far and away, off to run their own race with each other. It felt inevitable that the duo would run away with three points between the two of them. But what was going on behind them is where the race for Region 3, and potentially the state, was happening.
A pack of five in royal blue singlets and bright red shorts hovered. While Niwot had a clear 1-2, and potentially a 3 with Benjamin Bi, Centaurus was cruising around the course with the next five spots, making for easily the tightest pack in the field.
It was clear this would be a team battle that would down to single digits.
The No. 1 team in the state, Niwot, was battling the No. 5 team in the state, Centaurus, though with regionals, and State now on the line, it was clear the rankings were out the window.
On the insanely spectator-friendly course in Lyons, coaches and fans sprinted from one spot to the next to capture this epic battle between two schools separated by 11 miles. Pens and pencils where out, scribbling on wrinkled paper, tallying points as the race unfolded. All the while race-director Mark Roberts was hosting a NCAA Championship-caliber meet with in-race team scoring over the intercom.
Culpepper and Reading were running according to script, easily running away with three points. Culpepper nabbed his fourth win of the season with a 15:56 victory, while Reading took third runner-up finish in 16:16 in the 95-runner field.