LAFAYETTE -- Chandler Reid had a simple goal for the Centaurus Invitational at Waneka Lake-- set the meet record.
The ace runner for Centaurus cross county missed the mark of 15:50 Saturday, but the senior was far from hanging his head after the race. While Reid might not have etched his name yet again into the Warriors' annals, he did move at an impressive pace in what turned out to be a testing field.
When all was said and done, Reid was satisfied with his finish in 16 minutes, 19.40 seconds. It might not have been a record, but it was a top-notch pace.
"It was a season PR and very close to a lifetime PR," he said. "I can't complain with a performance like this coming so early in the season."
Reid finished third and helped Centaurus boys to the same place in the team standings. But he was pushed to the limit in the Warriors' home race in a field that included some tough runners.
While Reid had never faced off against Cerake Geberkidane, he had heard about the blistering pace the Denver East runner was rumored to set. And the junior more than lived up to his billing, winning the race with a time of 15:39.00 for the new meet record. The East runner's finish came as little surprise to Reid.
"I heard he comes out and sets a pace no one can keep up with. And even if he's burned out at the end he's all by himself," Reid said. "I had an idea that was how he was going to run today."
The pace was challenging, but the Warriors ability to keep up with it individually and as a team more than heartened their runners. All four of the team's scoring runners produced season-best times in the race. Jake Link, who finished 12th Saturday with a time of 16:50.70, knew Centaurus had the pieces to defend its Class 4A state title. But the sophomore was a taken aback with how quickly they have fallen into place.
"I am a little surprised," he said. "I think I saw where we are ranked 10th in 4A, but I believe we're proving we're better than that."
The flat and fast course not only benefited the Warrior boys, but the girls, as well. The team churned out top times in the race, but it was Erin Twaddell and Kelsey Wood who found extra gears on the morning.
Twaddell has led the Warriors' pack for most of the season, but not at the pace she turned out Saturday. The senior finished ninth with a time of 20:07.10. Wood was hot on her heels, finishing 17th with a time of 20:22.20. In each runner's case, the times were season-bests by around 2 minutes apiece. And the top showing helped the team into third place.
Fast as the Warrior girls were, they were not the top local finishers. That honor went to Legacy's one-two punch of Emma Gee and Melanie Nun.
Neither girl could knock off Alaina Anderson, with 5A's 2011 fourth-place state finisher leading start to finish. But the Lightning teammates were not far off the Pomona runner's 18:35 pace. Gee came in second, recording a time of 18:59.6 and Nun was fourth with a time of 19:27.30 -- each was a season-best showing. For Gee, at least, coming so close to Anderson was a big step.
"(Alaina) is really fast," Gee said. "I raced her in cross country last year, but never saw her. She was that good."
The Legacy leaders pushed their team into the top 10, with the Lightning finishing seventh. And Nun is certain, with the competition up front, Legacy has only scratched the surface of its potential.
"I was a little tire for this race, because we've been training hard," the senior said. "But once I'm rested and have cut back on the training, it will be really good."
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At Waneka Lake
Team scores -- Pomona 72, Rampart 78, Centaurus 122, Poudre 139, Rock Canyon 142, Denver East 161, Loveland 236, Denver North 236, Rocky Mountain 255, Conifer 269, Littleeton 280, Arvada West 286, Elizabeth 361, Legacy 368, Golden 396, Ralston Valley 414, Brighton 422, Northglenn 535, Westminster 568, Prairie View 616, Skyview 640.
Top 10 individuals -- 1. Cerake Geberkidane, Denver East, 15:39.0; 2. Tucker Hamilton, Rampart, 16:07.8; 3. Chandler Reid, Centaurus, 16:19.4; 4. Connor Lockwood, Arvada West, 16:20.7; 5. John May, Pomona, 16:27.20; 6. Marcelo Laquera, Pomona, 16:28.2; 7. Andrew Wise, Denver East, 16:29.0; 8. Grant Fischer, Poudre, 16:30.3; 9. Ben Dingman, Rampart, 16:45.6; 10. Reid Bartels, Rampart, 16:46.2.
Other Centaurus results -- 12. Jake Link, 16:50.7; 22. Sam Patzer, 17:20.9; 38. Tyler Menger, 17:49.4; 47. J.R. Pyne, 17:53.1; 62. Scott Doyle, 18:19.5; 82. Ben Patzer, 19.02.3.
Legacy results -- 42. Daniel Diaz, 17:51.7; 44. Chris Carroll, 17:52.3; 73. Eddie Decrescenzo, 18:33.0; 97. Cory Van Dune, 19:23.3; 112. Dylan McLeod, 20:00.4; 114. Mitco Petrov, 20:04.6; 119. Nick Gonzales, 20:31.0Skyline results -- 96. Zach Winkler, 19:21.9; 130. Mike Vice, 22:57.5; 136. Sam Piltz, 24:15.7; 138. Damian Ayon, 24:23.3; 140. Leon Ott, 27:16.5.GIRLS
Team scores -- Loveland 106, Rocky Mountain 118, Centaurus 123, Ralston Valley 128, Rock Canyon 131, Poudre 175, Legacy 195, Rampart 220, Littleton 247, Arvada West 252, Golden 253, Pomona 269, Brighton 279, Denver East 292, Conifer 405, Prairie View 430, Skyview 542.
Top 10 individuals -- 1. Alaina Anderson, Pomona, 18:35.7; 2. Emma Gee, Legacy, 18:59.6; 3. Nicole Hahn, Ralston Valley, 19:18.8; 4. Melanie Nun, Legacy, 19:27.3; 5. Kacey Doner, Rocky Mountain, 19:44.4; 6. Kelsey Alexander, Rocky Mountain, 19:45.1; 7. Emily Dingman, Rampart, 19:54.0; 8. Kailie Hartman, Loveland, 19:57.5; 9. Erin Twaddell, Centaurus, 20:07.1; 10. Caitlin Hess, Ralston Valley, 20:12.9
Other Centaurus results -- 17. Kelsey Wood, 20:22.2; 25. Maggie Moline, 20:43.4; 29. Rachel Moline, 20:45.1; 43. Hannah Davinroy, 21:14.0; 51. Sady Swanson, 21:44.4; 53. Nicole Rosen, 21:44.6.
Other Legacy results -- 23. Devyn Palm-Trujillo, 20:34.6; 79. Kristyn Fudge, 22:55.6; 87. Anica Brewster, 23:13.8; 93. Logan Sandman, 23:53.6; 99. Peyton Smith, 24:18.2.
Skyline results -- 98. Crystal Perez, 24:18.1; 112. Shelby Drnovsak, 27:10.8; 114. Bahnay Watson, 29:01.8; 115. Taytiana M, 29:12.4; Cassio Hellige, 29:38.3; 119. Tiffany Shafer, 39:05.6.