With 1,000 meters to go Ella Johns and Tatum Berg were burning on all eight cylinders.
From the side of the dirt path you could feel the intensity brewing between the two as they stormed through the final mile of the Rocky Mountain Lobo Invitational Saturday morning.
Johns and Berg were running stride for stride, with neither having the edge over the other.
It was the defending champ verses the freshman upstart.
For Johns, it was just eight short weeks following her 13th-place finish in the Colorado State Track & Field Championships, 3,200. The Fort Collins junior pumped her arms like a prizefighter while racing in trainers over the dirt.
For Berg, it was her first high school cross country race. The Fossil Ridge freshman gave away nothing as she glided besides Johns.
It would be a battle that would go down to the final strides.
While Johns and Berg raced on toward the finish line, the chase pack of green and black were over a half-a-minute back.
The two remained inseparable as they ate up precious ground. With 200 meters to go Johns and Berg appeared in full-sprint, but it would be the Fossil Ridge freshman who would shift into another gear, and roll.
Berg kicked hard, and late, and captured her first high school cross country race, running 19:14. Johns was a clear runner-up, finishing in 19:18.
Behind the two, Monica Jarosz led a trio of Fossil Ridge runners.
Fossil Ridge took the 2-5 spots, with Jarosz finishing third in 19:59. Delaney Voronin finished fourth in 20:12, and Mia Williams finished fifth in 20:17.
Camille Long-Shore was just two-seconds back in 20:19 to break up the Fossil Ridge party, though it was clear who would take the team title.
Fossil Ridge closed out their scoring as Alaire Serell finished ninth in 20:33.
Fossil Ridge tallied 21 points to claim the overall team title. Rocky Mountain took second with 64 points, which was just ahead of Fort Collins, who tallied 69.
RESULTS | PHOTOS
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