Mason Norman defended his state title, and ran a new 3A course record of 15:33.
Mason Norman took quick, business-like strides. His ran with a smooth, efficient cadence that oozed confidence. The Classical Academy junior was already running clear of the field, and he hadn't hit the mile marker yet.
It was evident early on that Norman had more than winning - or defending - a state title on his mind. He was out to put his stamp on the race in an all-out assault on his brother's 3A course record of 15:44.
He was in attack mode, even if he didn't have chasers shadowing him, he was racing his brother, Tanner Norman, and he was racing himself.
Norman blitzed the opening mile just under five minutes, and kept the up-tempo rhythm rolling despite the terrain.
Behind him a battle was brewing for second that would have implications in the team race. Salida's Camden Gillis and Peak to Peak's William Ledden were battling for position, knowing that the team competition could go down to just a few points.
But that was all behind a high-flying Norman, who had his sights set in front of him. The TCA junior entered Norris Penrose Center clear of the field, 45 seconds in fact. The crowd cheered on the Colorado Springs-local as he kicked in, his stride barely changing from the opening mile to the finish. He ran on with that efficient clip that no one could keep pace with.
While the clock ticked on it was clear that he would take down his brother's record. Norman cruised through the finishing shoot in 15:33.4 to defend his state title without competition.
The time was not only a 3A course record, but an all-classification record, surpassing the 15:33.7 that Paul Roberts ran just three years ago.
But unfortunately for Mason, he'd only hold the all-classification record for a mere two hours, as Cole Sprout would push the record down to 15:16 in the 5A race.
Regardless, Norman's time dominated the 3A field, and would be the second-fastest of the day among all classifications.
While Mason was busy in a title-defense, and record-setting run, the race for second was heating up.