A hot early pace. Multiple moves. And a wild bell-lap kick.
The 1,600 field at Liberty Bell was a meal of a variety of ingredients - all of which add varying degrees of spiciness.
So we've got ground beef - 15 who had already run under 5:30 this season. We've got fire roasted diced tomatoes - that hot early pace mentioned above. Chili beans - multiple moves over the last half-mile. A dash of siracha - a third-lap surge. And finally: sprinkles of cayenne red pepper and jalapeños - a bell-lap kick.
In other words: it was a race of high quality, and quantity. And one delicious bowl of chili...
Emily Lamontagne led a massive pack of nearly a dozen through the opening lap, which was run around 74 seconds.
The race appeared still up for grabs as the Arapahoe junior led the dozen through the halfway point, while Keeghan Edwards clung tightly to Lamontagne's right hip.
The Valor Christian freshman added a little siracaha to the race over the third lap. While Edwards' move was spicy and decisive, Lamontagne was able to handle the heat, as the two separated from the pack.
But the (Liberty) Bell lap belonged to the Arapahoe junior.
Lamontagne threw in a few sliced jalapeño peppers of her own to put this race away.
She entered the final straightaway having shed the freshmen-phenom from her shadow. Lamontagne crossed the finish line in a personal best and 5A No. 3 of 4:58.37, while Edwards held off the massive pack to finish second in 5:02.31.
And then the pack came roaring in in one giant kick.
Madelyn Blazo ran to the outside of Lane 2 - The Lane Of High Hopes - to finish third in 5:08.36, while Elizabeth Jenulis took fourth from Lane 1 in 5:08.76, which was just one-hundredth-of-a-second ahead of Ava Escorcia's 5:08.77. Arapahoe teammate Ava Mitchell finished sixth in 5:09.91 to be Arapahoe's third runner inside the Top-six.