As they had done all season long, Walter Schafer and Kelsey Lakowske dominated the 5A competition at the state meet. Photos by Mark Oveson and Alan Versaw.
Photos by Cliff Jurgens, Mark Oveson, Mark Weeks, Tim Jones, Jim Kientz, and Alan Versaw
Walter Schafer, Cherry Creek
A blistering early pace at state took its toll on everyone's times in the 5A boys race, but Walter Schafer still came out on top with a 15:50, finishing the year undefeated in 5A.
Connor Winter, Arapahoe
Although hampered a little by an injury at state, the Arapahoe junior finished a gutsy race in second with a 15:55. In his first season of cross country, Winter established himself as an early favorite for next year's state title.
Danny Nicolls, Regis Jesuit
Nicolls closed out his CHSAA career and the Nicolls era at Regis Jesuit with a 15:55 and third place at the state meet. Perhaps most importantly, he led his school to the ever-elusive 5A boys state championship.
John Coats, Fairview
Fairview's unexpected run to third place in 5A boys was very much propelled by a strong 15:59 finish from John Coats. Coats put together a nice string of finishes in the latter part of the season to lead the Knights.
Adam Sinda, Pomona
Sinda was an important factor in Pomona's rise to prominence as a team. Over the course of the season, he collected for meet titles and two seconds and finished fifth at the state meet in 16:09.
Alex Dillenbeck, Cherokee Trail
All season long, Cherokee Trail was making noise as a state title contender. The face of the franchise was senior Alex Dillenbeck, who would finish 6th at the state meet in 16:09 and lead his team to second overall in his senior season.
Dusty Solis, Coronado
Of all the hard-luck stories at state, Solis' may be the hardest. A senior who was dominant during the season and gave every indication of being primed to run for the individual title, injured his foot at the regional meet and could only run with pain over the next two weeks. Before the state meet, however, Solis collected four meet titles and a season-best time of 15:32.
Second Team: Keagan Vargo, Chaparral; Doug Brady, Cherry Creek; Andrew Goodman, Palmer; Brian Sokas, Regis Jesuit, William Kincaid, Columbine; Quin Erickson, Smoky Hill, Garret Lee, Heritage
Kelsey Lakowske, Boulder
Much as Allie McLaughlin did in 2008, Kelsey Lakowske answered every call throughout the season. Going undefeated through an entire season in Colorado is no small accomplishment. Nor was her 17:28 time at state.
Eleanor Fulton, Highlands Ranch
Fulton led a very good Highlands Ranch team through a solid season, finishing first for the Falcons in every meet of the season. Her 18:18 finish at state was fourth best among all classifications.
McLane Ritzel, Highlands Ranch
Probably the biggest factor in Highland Ranch's rise in fortunes this year over last was the phenomenal rise in Ritzel's race. Ritzel went from 20th last year to third this year, finishing in 18:26, better than a minute ahead of last year at state.
Sam Lewis, Boulder
Sam Lewis completed a sweep of the top four places for two schools--Boulder and Highlands Ranch. Although Lewis won only one race the entire season, she provided Boulder with plenty of firepower directly behind Lakowske.
Kailie Hartman, Loveland
A little bit of a surprise as a fifth-place finisher at the state meet, Hartman showed promise all season long. The state meet 18:32 was merely the best performance in a season of very solid performances overall for the Loveland freshman.
Heather Bates, Pine Creek
Another freshman earning all-state honors, Bates helped to transform Pine Creek from a solid team into a 5A power. Her season-best time of 18:21 came at the region meet.
Rikki Gonzales, Rangeview
Proving that even schools without a lot of cross country tradition can boast exceptional talent, the Rangeview sophomore was a force to be contended with in every race she entered this fall. Her season-best time of 18:43 came at the Continental League Championships.
Second Team: Rachel Viger, Fort Collins; Hannah Everson, Liberty; Kristen Kientz, Highlands Ranch, Kirsten Follett, Fort Collins; Erin Hooker, Fort Collins; Melissa Westhoff, Eaglecrest; Kristen Narum, Fairview