Sarah Allen glided over the uneven grassy terrain with her thoughts in front of her.
She wasn't thinking about who was chasing her, or how far back they were, she was focused on her own cadence.
"I've been trying not to worry about the other runners," she explained after the race. " (I'm trying to) just do what feels good to me."
And a mile into Thursday's Jeffco 4A League meet, she was feeling pretty good.
But for Allen, her lead would not be contested, not on this day. She floated off and away in dominating fashion to capture her seventh-consecutive victory of the season.
Allen ran 19:35 for a 15-second victory.
"The course is surprisingly hard," she said. "It was deceitful with how challenging it was."
The three-loop course measuring about a mile was a spectators dream, though the uneven grounding and tight turns proved to be an additional challenge for competitors on the course. Given the enduring aspect of the course, strategy was largely at play, and for Golden's Mourer, she timed her kick to capture second just right.
The Golden sophomore trailed Abernethy through much of the race. Through the middle mile the invisible tether that kept them together nearly broke as Abernethy pressed the pace and stretched her lead over Mourer to nearly 20 meters.
But Mourer tracked her and turned the tables in the final half mile.
The Golden sophomore kicked late, and stormed in for a runner-up finish in 19:50. Abernethy held on for third in 20:06.
Behind the top three a tight team race was brewing.
Golden, D'Evelyn, and Green Mountain looked strong throughout the race. It was evident early on that this would be likely down down to single-digits.
Golden put five in the top 16, though D'Evelyn put five in the top 15. What made the difference on this day was the Mourer-Overton 1-2 punch, which gave the Golden Girls the Jeffco 4A League title with 46 points - two ahead of D'Evelyn's 48.
Green Mountain took third with 68.
Next Page: Tuohy-Gaydos and Gacnik battle, Conifer repeats