COLORADO SPRINGS — A four-time Bolder Boulder age group champion, Riley Geldean has run in more than her share of big-time distance races.
But as a freshman at Centaurus, Geldean had never before competed in a high school cross country state championship meet until Saturday. If you were watching, you wouldn't have been able to tell.
In her state championship debut, Geldean placed eighth with a time of 19 minutes, 31 seconds.
"I didn't really have any expectations," Geldean said. "This is my first state meet and I was just going to kind of go out and see what I could do. I was working to stick with everyone and second mile was really tough so I lost a few girls but I was able to pull one back at the end."
With Geldean leading the way, the young Centaurus Warriors finished fifth in the team competition, scoring 198 team points.
Warriors sophomore Brooke Calvo placed 43rd with a time of 20:38.3 and fellow sophomore Kira Biener placed 56th in 21:00.2. Freshman Katie Hooten finished 63rd in 21:09.1 and sophomore Helen Glover finished 69th in 21:24.1 to round out the Warriors' team score.
"I was really impressed with my season and I think I did really well," Geldean said. "Our whole team, we all went in confident and we did really well."
Trailing just behind Geldean, Mead junior Sophia Maeda placed ninth in 19:32.2. She finished nearly 30 seconds faster than she did during last year's state meet, at which she placed 19th.
Junior Lauren Zoe Baker, who claimed 24th place in 20:10.7, was the top finisher for the Silver Creek girls. The Raptors were 17th in the team scoring.
Led by senior Jenna McCaffrey, the Niwot girls placed eighth. McCaffrey was 29th with a time of 20:14.6 while freshman teammate Joelle McDonald was 31st with a time of 20:19.2.
In Class 2A, the Lyons girls placed second in the team scoring with a team score of 39. The Lions girls, who have not finished worse than third in the past five seasons, were led by senior CeAnn Udovich who returned from a knee injury this season and finished 13th with a time of 21:09.42 on Saturday.
"We can't complain," Lyons head coach Mark Roberts said. "Our girls had a great race and at the end of the day when we saw the margin, it really wasn't even that close so I was proud of them. CeAnn has been our consistent senior leader and it was great to be able to get second place for her."
Nederland took third, led by a 10th-place finish from junior Sarah Davidson in 20:44.11 and an 11th-place Helen Cross in 20:46.23.
Sophomore Emma Schaefer placed ninth in 20:43.85 to lead Shining Mountain.
Alexander Dawson senior Maggie Berry placed 16th with a time of 21:24.60.