Kasey Klocek leaned over and wrapped her tan arms around Lily Mourer, who was on the ground searching for precious air after kicking in for a seventh-place finish. The Green Mountain senior pulled the Golden freshman up and back on her feet, then ran over to the water table to get her competitor some fluids. While the heat and wind had taken its toll on the field Thursday afternoon, Klocek was feeling the high of her dominating victory.
Barely a minute earlier she had fallen to her knees after crossing the finish line - like everyone else would after her. Still feeling the mixture of pain from the race and pride from the win, she looked up, and in seeing the camera lens and this writer behind it, calmly said "Oh, Hi Bobby." It was a moment as comical as the The Room's infamous "Oh Hi Mark" scene.
And several minutes before that she trounced the field at the Standley Lake Gator Invitational, running 19:21. Klocek surged hard, and surged early to telescope away for a big victory over a stellar field in the heat and the wind. The win made it a Green Mountain-sweep of the individual race.
Klocek's impressive performance on the course, along with the camaraderie she showed to her competition off it was a bright spot on the day, which saw harrowing winds swirl around the course sending the trees into a frenzy, storm clouds brewing in the distance, and searing heat that proved to be an additional challenge for every athlete on the course.
Despite the obstacles, it was business as usual.
Klocek's runaway victory led a string of competitors out in chase. Golden's Rachel Goodrich was Klocek's nearest chaser, as she hovered 50 meters back through most of the final mile, but the story would remain the same. Goodrich finished as the clear runner-up in 19:36. Behind her Shannon King led Faith Christian Academy in what proved to be a tight team race. King finished third in 19:51, just ahead of Leah Hill and Riley Buese, who both cracked 20.
The team race came down to double-digits with Faith Christian proving that their latest leap into the 3A rankings was no fluke. The No. 3 squad in 3A won the title with 92 points. Behind them was a team battle that went onwards to be decided by the sixth runner.
And as tight as the team race was for the runner-up spot, consider that 4A No. 10 Green Mountain was just one point back with 106 in fourth. 3A No. 1 D'Evelyn finished one spot back in fifth with 115 points, though they ran with an abbreviated squad.
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