The Colorado High School State Cross Country Championships are on tap tomorrow in Colorado Springs’ very own Bear Creek Park. With exceptionally talent-laden fields, there is bound to be outstanding excitement on both the boys’ and girls’ sides in all classes.
One of the most highly anticipated duels may be between returning 4A State Champion Elise Cranny out of Niwot, and runner-up Katie Rainsberger from Colorado Springs’ Air Academy. It came down to a kick over the last 50 meters last year, with Cranny just nipping Rainsberger at the finish, and both girls have continued to build momentum throughout both of their very strong seasons this year. Don’t count either one out as they will both be forces to be reckoned with.
Both Cranny and Rainsberger’s teams could easily be in the running for a team victory, as they are both ranked among the top-10 teams, with Colorado Springs’ own Classical Academy, a perennial favorite, in the hunt to win the girls team title.
The 5A girls will be no less intense with Fort Collins’ freshman phenom Lauren Gregory looking to battle it out with Cherry Creek’s stellar sophomore Jordan Colter, to name but two. Gregory’s team, the Fort Collins Lambkins, are favored to win the team title, but will have their work cut out for them with the Monarch High School girls team having had an outstanding season, and only being ranked behind Fort Collins by the slimmest of margins.
On the 5A boys side, one to watch will be Denver East’s Cerake Geberkidane, who has run to solo victories in most races this year, often winning by 2-3 minute margins.
The Mountain Vista boys will go into State in the hopes of making good on their #1 ranking, but they’ll be in close contention with the likes of Boulder and Fort Collins.
In 4A, Coronado’s Bailey Roth will run in front of his home crowd, not only hoping to bring home an individual title, but also to help the favored Coronado High School boys team to take home the team title for the second year in a row. The Coronado boys will have a target on their backs, and battling it out with the Cougars for the team title is likely to be Pueblo West and Classical Academy.
The depth will be no less in the 2A and 3A classes, and Bear Creek Park will be the place to be tomorrow for the best racing action in Colorado. Furthermore, rankings are, well, rankings. And that’s why we run the races.
The action gets rolling at 9:20 a.m., with the schedule as follows:
2A Girls: 9:20 a.m.
3A Boys: 10:00 a.m.
4A Boys: 10:30 a.m.
5A Girls: 11:00 a.m.
2A Boys: 11:30 a.m.
3A Girls: 12:00 p.m.
4A Girls: 12:30 p.m.
5A Boys: 1:00 p.m.
To get to the venue coming either north or south on I25, take the Cimmaron Exit, turn left at the bottom of the ramp, continue west on Hwy. 24, turn left on 21st Street and proceed over the hill to turn left on Rio Grande Street, the park will be on your right.