Draper And Mucharsky Stun At Colorado State Championships

A year ago Will Brunner found himself on the Oh-So-Close side of a state title, finishing second in a wild kick inside Penrose. 

Saturday morning he found himself in a similar situation, only this time he was the one pouring fuel on the flames with a wild kick of his own. 

Literally - watch the finish above.

Brunner shifted into another gear to win the 4A Colorado State Championships

The Battle Mountain senior went stride-for-stride with a familiar foe - Mullen's Jacob Sushinsky over the final half-mile of Saturday's race. 

A week earlier the two battled at the Colorado 4A Region 1 Cross Country with Brunner taking the W by two-seconds over Sushinsky. 

Saturday's state race was a replay. 

Brunner captured his first cross country state title, clocking 15:19, while Sushinsky was once-again two-seconds back, running 15:21.

A familiar last name was the stunner in the field beyond the state title - Niwot sophomore Rocco Culpepper finished third in 15:27.

The result set the pencils tallying the team race, though Niwot made it easy - Cole Mazurana finished eighth, and Ryder Keeton was just outside the top-10, finishing 11th. They put their scoring-five inside the top-21, and seven inside the top-26 to run away with a 46-point victory, tallying 58-points.

Cheyenne Mountain took second with 104 points, while Thompson Valley finished third with 146, which was just ahead of Coronado's 151. 

Meanwhile, Addison Ritzenhein answered quite a few questions in the girl's race.

The Niwot sophomore torched the final mile to capture her first state cross country title, running the fastest time of the day - a 17:08 clocking, which was a 4A meet record.

The performance made her the third-fastest ever on the course. 

Summit's Ella Hagen sliced 10-seconds off her 2022 time, running 17:38 to finish second. 

And then the US No. 1 Niwot squad came storming into Penrose. 

Niwot's Olivia Alessandrini and Sarah Perkins finished 3-4, while Riverdale Ridge's Payton Meineke broke up the party,  finishing fifth. Niwot's Mia Prok finished sixth, and they closed up their scoring with Avalon Beltran, who finished eighth. Add that Anna Prok - who was running in her first race of the season - finished 10th to give Niwot six in the top-10.

Niwot tied their record-tally, scoring 20-points to win the 4A state title for the sixth-consecutive year.

Mirroring the boy's team race, Cheyenne Mountain finished second with 150 - which was earned by way the sixth runner. Northfield also scored 150-points, though Cheyenne Mountain took the runner-up spot with senior Carolyn Mason being the difference. 


Next Page: The 3A State Recap