It's finally here.
The Big Dance.
The Big Show.
Whatever you want to call it.
The 2021 5A Colorado State Cross Country Championships are just days away!
The best athletes in the state - and the country - will toe the line and battle to be crowned State Champion.
Oh yeah, we'll live streaming the finish line LIVE! Sign Up To WATCH
Let's get into it, here's the 5A state preview...
For the first time in a few years, the individual race appears up for grabs.
On paper, it looks like the title could be going back to Valor Christian - teammates Ty Garrett and Drew Costelow head to Colorado Springs as the two fastest in 5A this season, with 15:01 and 15:15 personal bests.
Garrett has led the duo most of the season - four out of five times, though Costelow recently won the 5A Region 2 title in 15:26, while Garrett was second. Costelow is the only 5A runner to finish in front of Garrett this season.
With two individuals from the same team in a likely position to claim the individual title, we could see some team strategy come into play this Saturday - a double-team situation for a 1-2 finish.
Dalton Kaines is another runner to keep an eye on. The Rocky Mountain senior is coming off a 15:42 5A Region 4 title over Christian Groendyk. Kaines owns a PR of 15:16 from Liberty Bell, where he finished sixth behind Garrett and Costelow.
And then there's the Mountain Vista duo of Tyler Downs and Jayden Nats. Like Garrett and Costelow, having a teammate in the mix up front could help. And while Downs and Nats haven't taken down the Valor duo once this season, State is a time for wild things to happen.
A wildcard in the mix is Fairview's Eric Sankey. He hasn't raced since Liberty Bell, though he ran 15:15 there - that's the third-fastest time in 5A this year.