2019 has been perhaps the deepest year in recent history for girl's teams.
Throughout the season Mountain Vista, Cherry Creek, and Cherokee Trail (and 4A Niwot) surged in and around Top 25 national rankings, but one squad lingered behind them, waiting for that one shot, that one opportunity, to seize everything (they) ever wanted: A State Title.
Kicking off our Top 10 stories of 2019 has got to be the upset winners of the 5A state cross country championships: the Arapahoe girls.
Editor's Note: We'll be running one to two of these Top 10 stories now through December 31, where we'll reveal the No. 1 story of 2019.
The 2019 state championships could've gone a hundred different ways, but on this day, Arapahoe - the one squad almost everyone would've picked behind Mountain Vista, Cherry Creek, and Cherokee Trail - hit their perfect stride on the right day.
Their performance would land them No. 25 in the final MileSplit50 Rankings.
They were the the ultimate dark horse. And on this day, they took one giant step out of the shadows, and earned the most-talked about victory of the state meet. Arapahoe's upset state title is the No.10 story of 2019.
Excerpt from "All According To Scri- Arapahoe Stuns In 5A"
"The Arapahoe girls huddled tight, holding hands down by their sides, eyes closed in anticipation. It was a moment that reflected the one they had just endured on the starting line of the 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships less than an hour earlier, where they waited, and waited, and waited for that gun to go off, sending them out into that open field, a blank canvass, so they could paint their story.
And now the results were in.
It was already clear that they had downed US No. 12 Mountain Vista, and US No. 16 Cherokee Trail, but just 10 feet away the girls in blue, US No. 5 Cherry Creek, stood as well, waiting in similar amounts of anxiety for the announcement to be made.
While Cherry Creek entered the meet as one of three big-time favorites (it's not every day you have three nationally-ranked squads toe the line together), Arapahoe was the Underdog that threatened to steal the show if everyone else was looking the other way, and that's exactly what they did.
How did they do it? How did they upset three nationally-ranked squads on Colorado's biggest stage to claim the state title? Well, they did what they've done all season long - run hard.
Right there, Arapahoe was one of three squads to put two in the top-10 - the other two being Cherry Creek and Valor Christian.
After removing individuals out of the team score, Arapahoe had a 30-point victory over Cherry Creek, tallying 69 to Cherry Creek's 99.
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves here, but note that only one of their top-five is a senior...
Outside of the top-two title chase, Cherokee Trail took third with 157 points, just 10 ahead of Mountain Vista's 167, while Fairview took the fifth spot with 177, just five ahead of Broomfield's 182."