Draper And Mucharsky Stun At Colorado State Championships

There was a theme in the 5A Colorado State Championships

And that's Upset City. 

Both individual races saw big-time stunners. 

And in both races, I was happy to be wrong in my previews, because Chaparral's Brennan Draper and Denver East's Rosie Mucharsky were more-than worthy victors.

Draper has been spent the entirety of his high school career always on the cusp of that One Big Race. 

And in Saturday's finale - the final race of the day - the Chaparral senior finally made The Jump. 

Draper kicked to win this the boy's race in epic-fashion, running the fastest time of the day - a 15:14 clocking, which made him the fourth-fastest ever on the course. 

Draper's victory came after a illustrious high school career that saw him finish 21st at State as a freshman, 40th as a sophomore, and 25th as a junior. 

And to go further back in time... 

In 2019 he won the Colorado Middle School State Cross Country Championship.

Saturday he finally got to add the 5A Colorado State Championships to his resume. 

Benjamin Anderson definitely made it a race, however. The Mountain Vista junior and Draper were stride-for-stride 300 meters out from the finish up The Wall. The kick between Anderson and Draper was one of two on the day that were decided inside Penrose Stadium. 

Anderson finished in 15:19. 

Likewise, the girl's 5A race was decided in the final 500-meters, with Dark Horse Mucharsky turning on the jets to win her first cross country state title. 

A huge credit goes to Bethany Michalak for setting a hot early pace - the Air Academy senior came out swinging and led perhaps 4700-meters of the race before getting caught by Mucharsky at the creek-crossing on the bottom of the double-hill before Penrose. 

Mucharsky - who is the defending 800 state champ - used her signature kick up the hills and into Penrose, shocking nearly everyone inside the stadium. 

The Denver East junior clocked a personal best of 17:20 - a rarity for any Colorado runner (running a PR at Penrose.)

A week earlier Mucharsky won the Colorado 5A Region 3 with long, drawn out kick, and mentioned afterwards that it was the first race she had felt good - she had battled through illness most of the season. 

Ironically enough the result would be just a hint of what the state would see Saturday afternoon. 

US No. 2 Air Academy put two inside the top-three, led by Tessa Walter, who finished second in 17:46, and freshman Mariah Hook, who finished third in17:50.

The girl's team race was entirely status-quo- at least in terms of the victors - Air Academy tallied a staggering 26-points. They put their entire top-five inside the top-eight, with Bethany MichalakChamorra Cooper, and Emily Beers finishing 6-7-8. 

Fossil Ridge was the stunner in the race for second - they tallied 120-points - and they weren't the only ones with a big day out. Chaparral took third with 126. 

As predicted, the boy's team race was tight.

Nine-points separated first from second, and 26-points separated first from fourth. 

Rock Canyon emerged victorious here, tallying 96 points. Mountain Vista was a close runner-up with 105, while Fairview took third with 118, and Valor Christian was fourth with 123. 


Next Page: The 4A State Recap