It was a four-team meet between Pine Creek, Centaurus, Frontier Academy, and The Classical Academy. Centaurus had a conflict with their top teams running the NCAC league meet across town at Island Grove, but the rest of the meet lived up to its billing.
And, if you're a Frontier Academy fan, maybe a little more where the boys were concerned.
The meet was supposed to be the first and only meeting between FA and TCA this season. But, a cancellation at Joe Vigil on September 12 brought the two 3A Boys powerhouses together at the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede.
The Classical Academy narrowly won that one. This one, then, became the rematch.
And Frontier Academy was definitely ready for the rematch. Before we get to that, though, there's the matter of Caleb Boutelle to attend to. Boutelle pounded the course, ran away from everyone, and finished in 15:41. That's fast. Never mind how warm it was; Boutelle was on a mission. He succeeded to the tune of winning by more than a minute.
Second and third place was one of the best races to the finish we've seen all season. Abuzaid Fanning of Frontier Academy and Chandler Wilburn of The Classical Academy went after it hammer and tongs. First Fanning would eke out an advantage, then Wilburn, then Fanning... At the finish line, it was Wilburn's turn. It's anyone's guess how many changes of position took place in the final 150 meters.
The battle of hairstyles was almost as epic.
TCA took a momentary lead in the team standings with rival Frontier Academy.
The first reinforcements to come, though, weren't Pine Creek or TCA. They were Sylas Chambers and Sebastian Groom of Frontier Academy. After them, Joshua Jester of Pine Creek slipped in, but it would be a while before the Eagles were heard from again.
TCA responded with Matthew Edwards and Ryan Flaherty. But Frontier Academy closed the door with Justin Quammen and Dylan Dieterle at 9 and 10. The Wolverines weren't about to be messed with on their home course. They would end up with a 31-43 advantage over TCA in the team scoring.
Figure on one more showdown between the two teams this season. It looks like a battle for best two out of three.
There was nothing similarly tight with the team battle on the girls side. After patiently waiting for opportunities to arise over the first 2.1 miles of the course, the TCA girls rolled up the field in the course. Sawyer Wilson, Kennedy McDonald, Cassidy McDonald, and Sophia Valentine nailed down the first four places.
Pine Creek nabbed the next three and five of the next six, but it was too little and too late. Lauren Boutelle, who had run with the lead pack through the first half of the race, led the Pine Creek charge.
But, when TCA's Kyra Shaner crossed in 11th and closed out the TCA scoring one place after Pine Creek had closed our their scoring, the final tally had TCA with 21 and Pine Creek with 37. Frontier Academy and Centaurus were well off the pace.