Basalt's Sierra Bower ran away with the 3A state title, and the fastest time of the day.
Sierra Bower leaned forward down the long gradual hill.
There were no cheers, no echoes of heavy breathing over her shoulder, only the sounds of her light footsteps down the dirt trail.
That silent crunch of tiny rocks beneath her feet were a familiar sound for the Basalt junior, who spent many miles over the summers on the trails on Colorado's western slope.
Bower, like most distance runners, clearly found comfort in grinding along the trail alone, as she made no contest of the 3A individual state title.
"I tried my best to just focus on myself," she explained after the race. "That's just the way I race best, just worrying about what I'm doing, and not others."
The simplified approach definitely worked for Bower, who not only scorched the field early, but she ran a 3A course record of 18:00. The mark would hold as the fastest time of the day among all classifications.
Bower entered Penrose Stadium clear of the field - 44 seconds to be exact - to capture her first state title in dominating fashion.
It was perhaps the only time of the day that any state champion owned Penrose Stadium entirely for themselves, except for the boy's 3A race, but we'll come back to that...
While Bower blitzed the field, the question quickly turned to who would take second.
And the honor went to Sawyer Wilson. The Classical Academy freshmen charged late to scoop of Lilly Lavier, who gave chase to Bower early. Wilson surged into the runner-up position near the two-mile mark and never looked back. She took the runner-up spot in 18:44, just six seconds ahead of Lavier, who finished third in 18:50.
While the individual race was decided early, the team race appeared a little closer, at least early on...
Next Page: The Classical Academy Defends Their Title...