What a year to be a girl's team in Colorado.
Finishing second, or third, or even fourth at the state meet still warranted a national ranking - that's how good Colorado's squads were this year.
It was a year without Team Nationals, and it's crazy to think what could have been, because the girl's team landscape in the state this year was simply incredible.
There were four squads ranked in the top-12 nationally.
Two were ranked in the Top-5.
And leading them all was Cherry Creek.
Not only did they capture the 5A state in dominating fashion - by putting all five scoring runners in the top-18 - but they captured the XC Town USA Meet of Champions over a stellar field that included a few other nationally-ranked squads, like Valor Christian.
Cherry Creek dropped the fastest 1-5 team average from the state meet in years - clocking 18:30.
For historical comparison - last year's Niwot squad, who finished third at NXN, averaged 18:47 (without Lucca Fulkerson, who would run on their nationals squad.) Battle Mountain's 2017 squad, who finished third at NXN, averaged 18:46 at State that year, and Mountain Vista's 2017 squad ,that finished sixth at NXN, averaged 18:41.
Another thing that makes Cherry Creek's season even more impressive is that they return everyone from their state champion squad next year...
For their efforts, Cherry Creek capped off the 2020 season ranked No. 1 in the US.
Having a team ranked No. 1 in the country is already incredible enough. But it doesn't end there.
Valor Christian ended the season ranked No. 5 after their runner-up to Cherry Creek at the XC Town USA Meet of Champions, Mountain Vista came in ranked No. 9 after winning the RunningLane XC title, and Niwot came in ranked No. 12 after claiming the 4A state title.
It doesn't take took long of a look to see how absurdly competitive the state of Colorado was this year on the national stage.
The girl's team landscape in Colorado has definitely soared to new heights in 2020. And for that, collectively, Cherry Creek, Valor Christian, Mountain Vista, and Niwot are the No. 2 story of 2020.