Rock Canyon, TCA run to Polson Ranch team titles

Anna Swanson for the win

Just past one mile, Anna Swanson pulls up on the shoulder of Sawyer Wilson.

If you were looking for Anna Swanson early, you were probably disappointed. The cagey Grandview veteran was hiding well behind the lead pack, waiting her turn and biding her time.

For the time being, Swanson was more than content to let a pair of freshmen hammer a little on each other. And Jocelyn Millican and Sawyer Wilson did exactly that. Not more than a half-mile into the race, Millican backed off the gas, ceding the lead, and presumably the race, to Wilson.

Wilson maintained her lead, but Swanson began making her move. At one mile, Swanson was right off Wilson's shoulder. By 1.5 miles, Swanson had taken over the lead and the rest of the field would not hear from her again until some point beyond the finish line.

Swanson's 18:44 beat Wilson's 19:01 for first, and the pair finished more than 30 seconds ahead of anyone else. In fact, TCA's Kennedy McDonald was the only other finisher under 20 minutes. Once again, conditions were somewhat less than ideal for screaming times.

In any case, Swanson got a win and Wilson picked up a relatively inexpensive lesson in race savvy. Both left with something worth taking away from the day.

It wasn't just Wilson who went to school on a Saturday, though. 

Palmer Ridge's girls set the course on fire early in the race. If you'd done a team score at the end of the west loop behind the barn, Palmer Ridge would have been prohibitive victors. The Bears set out to deliver a message and they did--for roughly the first half of the race.

The deeper the race went, however, the more tenuous the Bears' lead became. The girls in navy blue dropped places here and there, slowly at first, then more rapidly later, as other competitors cashed in on worrisome moments of early patience on the course. The Polson Ranch course is deceptively difficult. Though flat, the sand, the turns, the rough patches, and the short hill you keep going up can mess with your rhythm in a serious way.

By the final mile, it became apparent that The Classical Academy would be the primary benefactor of mid and late race position changes. Wilson and McDonald held onto the #2 and 3 positions. The trio of Rebecca Thompson, Sophia Valentine, and Kotryna Obergfell moved up very nicely in the second mile and into the third mile.

At the finish line, Thompson went 5, Valentine 6, and Obergfell 10. That gave TCA the low team score of 26 points. Palmer Ridge, who had dominated top positions early, finished with Maren Busath and Millican in the top ten.

The Bears hung on for 49 points and second. Grandview was a distant third at 112 points. 

Next Page: Rock Canyon edges Castle View in the Douglas County duel