The RMAC just wouldn't be the same without the classic Adams vs. Western matchups. All photos by Alan Versaw.
Cross country ruled this bright and sunny morning at Denver's Washington Park. Fans were loud, and fans were everywhere. High school cross country coaches from up and down the Front Range were spotted along the course--some cheering on former runners, some there just to see a great meet. College cross country just doesn't get much better than this.
It especially doesn't get much better if you happen to run for Adams State. The Adams State men and women were both dominant today. Not even a spirited pursuit from the Western State men nor a fierce battle from Mesa State's Alexis Skarda could slow down the Adams State juggernaut.
The women's race quickly developed into a showdown between Alexis Skarda of Mesa State and Kristen McGlynn of Adams State. On the first of three circuits, the two separated from the rest of the field. On the second circuit, they battled stride for stride, neither willing to cede so much as a half step to the other. Only on the last 800 meters of the third circuit did the decisive moment come. On the last long straight before the finish straight, Adams' Kristen McGlynn put the hammer down, just as she did so many times at Platte Canyon HS, and broke away, eventually extending her margin of victory to 13 seconds.
Behind the two leaders came a sea of white-shirted Grizzlies. Alicia Nelson followed in third, Addison LeMaster in fourth, and the rout was on. Western State would finish 49 points back of Adams State, with Mesa State another five points back. Mines and Metro State, both well back, rounded out the top five.
Three Western State runners get a little encouragement, Michel-style.
The picture at the front in the men's race was a bit more crowded in the early going. For the first of the four circuits, and well into the second, it looked as if New Mexico Highlands would keep a representative presence at the front of the race. Gradually, however, the relentless pace took a toll of attrition on the lead group. Gradually, all other colors faded away, leaving only the white singlets of Adams State and the red singlets of Western State.
Then, almost imperceptibly, the red mostly disappeared as well. Reuben Mwei, Aaron Braun, and Brian Medigovich pulled away from the rest of the field to finish 1-2-3 in the men's race. Tyler Pennel and Iain Donnan took fourth and fifth, respectively, for Western State, but the mass of white singlets resumed just behind them.
Although the 27-point margin over Western State was not as large as the women's margin, it was no less convincing. The main difference was the overall domination of the entire field by the Adams and Western men. Only one of the top 12 places did not belong to one of the two schools.
Colorado School of Mines, highly ranked coming into the meet, struggled on the day but did manage to hold off cross-town rival Metro State for third.
With the RMAC championship and several conference awards in the rear-view mirror, Adams State now sets its sights on the Central Region Championship on November 7. The Adams State men will be joined there by the rest of the Colorado Division II contingent.