If You Liked 4A State...

With just under a mile to go, Zane Bergen made his break from the field.

If you liked 4A state, you probably loved the Kokopelli Invitational. There was a remarkable similarity in the cast of characters in top positions.

On the girls side, Bethany Michalak found a way to dominate, followed by--you guessed it--Mia Prok. On the boys side, it was Zane Bergen taking the win.

Sound familiar? It should. At least that far, the placings were a carbon copy of the placings at 4A state three weeks ago. And, although REAL Training won the team titles, it may as well have been Niwot High School.

Only the times weren't as familiar. And that brings us to the topic--one that should probably be explored further on these pages at some point--of the difference between a wheel-measured course and a GPS-measured course.

The short of it is that a GPS-measured course is invariably shorter than a wheel-measured course, though how much shorter depends a little on a few different factors, perhaps especially how many turns a course has.

So, if there are folks looking for some consolation that their times aren't what they expected them to be, I have two thoughts for you. One, this one is a wheel-measured course. Two, cross country is now, and will be for the foreseeable future, about place and not about time. If you've processed those two things, then you should be able to negotiate a peace with the times posted today.

You'll probably also enjoy cross country a lot more.

Time is a cruel master but a useful servant.

For those looking to make sense of the teams today, Mountain Vista, Castle View, and The Classical Academy were still running more or less regular teams today (though by different names--this isn't the CHSAA-sanctioned season any longer). Otherwise, it was club teams dominating the scene--clubs like REAL Training, Kokopelli, and Peak Performance. Plus, there was a substantial handful of out-of-state entries to be found.

Dominating the club scene was REAL Training. The REAL crew was prevented from a perfect score in the boys race only by Rendon Kuykendall of Hope Christian out of Albuquerque. Otherwise, following Bergen--in order--were Grayden Rauba, Curtis Volf, Joaquin Herrera, and Joey Hendershot. And, yes, those are each Niwot High School types. All were at 16:23 or faster on a course that doesn't easily yield fast times.

For the girls there was nothing approaching a perfect score, but Prok, Lucca Fulkerson, and Madison Shults did go 2-3-4. Sawyer Wilson and Shayda Zarrin also turned out sub-19 efforts on the day.