By the final stages of the race, the only thing left chasing Savanna Dalton was the sunlight. Photo by Alan Versaw.
The Castle View Sabercat Invitational might well become the next trendy meet in Colorado, but for this weekend, it had a distinctly Douglas County kind of feeling. A little better than half the field called Douglas County home, and the locals put on a good show.
Savanna Dalton opened the day's festivities with a strong win in the girls varsity race. Dalton's time of 19:13 ran 23 seconds ahead of second place, CeAnn Udovich of Lyons. For a while, Dalton and teammate Calysta McKinney seemed to have a 1-2 finish locked up for the Sabercats, but Udovich's pace was relentless and she had second place all to herself by about the midway point of the race.
Moving up late in the race, TCA's Megan Percy took third, followed by the first two breakers of a Rock Canyon wave machine, Emily Kaukol and Allison Janedis in fourth and fifth. A 4-5-13-14-21 score was enough to push Rock Canyon 14 points ahead of Castle View for team honors. TCA claimed third.
Up front, the boys race held even less mystery that the girls race. Paul Roberts toyed with the field for about half a mile before dropping them in summary fashion. And, it was a field that boasted names of some quality runners, as well.
Appearing to break neither stride nor sweat (though the latter might have had more to do with how dry the air was), Roberts completed his tour of the Castle View course in 15:18, more than a minute ahead of Castle View's Forrest Barton in second. Barton finished barely ahead of Ponderosa's Phillip Reid, followed, in turn, by Tanner Norman of TCA and Dylan Day of Fountain-Fort Carson.
By three-quarters of a mile, Paul Roberts had already established a prohibitive gap on the field. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Roberts' time should leave a few heads shaking. While conditions were utterly calm for the boys varsity race, the temperature had climbed at least to the high 60s by the hour of the varsity boys race and barometric pressure was trending low. The course stubbornly resists all attempts at classification as a fast track. Though mostly level, it is an overwhelmingly soft course, uneven in multiple spots, and not at all like running on a track. There is no credible way to write Roberts' run off to conditions; it was simply an exceptional performance.
We've seen that before from Roberts.
Boys team scoring made up for some of the lack of drama of the individual race. The top three teams of Chaparral (down Dominic Compoz, who was on-site but sporting a boot), The Classical Academy, and Rock Canyon ended up separated by only three points. The meet title tilted Chaparral's direction by virtue of the tie-breaker with The Classical Academy. Castle View and Ponderosa ran a distant fourth and fifth, respectively.
The meet was a nicely contested affair all around. Of the large schools in attendance, only Legend was clearly resting their regular varsity. The meet was about evenly divided between 4A and 5A programs, with Lutheran and Lyons representing the state's smaller schools.