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BOULDER — Secrets are meant to be kept.

And for the majority of the 2017 season the Centaurus Warriors boys have gone about their business in relative anonymity.

Sure, they are coming off a top 10 finish at the Class 4A state meet last year and have posted quality results in the first month of the season. But in the past few weeks, coach Devin Rourke's team has performed at a level that has people buzzing around the state.

Last weekend in California, the Warriors — against an elite field of California's finest at the Woodbridge Classic — rolled to a team victory behind top five finishes from Cooper Brown and John O'Malley.

On Saturday morning at the Pat Patten Invite at Viele Lake Park, Centaurus went toe-to-toe with the best in Colorado and held their own, placing fourth behind 5A powerhouses Mountain Vista, Dakota Ridge and Monarch.

"We ran well and obviously we still have work to do and we knew that, but there was a lot of good competition here today," Rourke said. "It's a matter of putting your head down and putting the work in.

"It's easy to get distracted, but it is more important that we stay focused. There are a lot of really good teams that we need to be aware of and we are in a good spot right now and right where we need to be."


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O'Malley (8th in 16 minutes, 8 seconds) and Brown (9th in 16:22) again led the way for the Warriors on Saturday. Centaurus' 3-4-5 runners — Kyle Piper, Alex Hooten and Torey Puckett — all placed in the top 30 on what can be deemed one of the tougher courses the field will face before the state meet heads to Colorado Springs in October.

"It was a confidence builder for sure, and I think they were all a little bit more nervous about the change in course," said Rourke, who like many wondered if their would be any sort of hangover from their California performance. "California cross country is a lot different than Colorado cross country; all thing considered, I think we ran very well today."

With arguably the two best 5A teams on hand — Mountain Vista and Rock Canyon (although the Jaguars didn't have their full team) — it was also a big measuring stick day for Monarch.

The Coyotes, paced by another huge win from Charlie Perry (15:45) and a seventh place run from William Dixon (16:07), finished third with 98 points behind Mountain Vista (56) and Dakota Ridge (97).

"This is probably the biggest meet of the season for us so far and probably the biggest one we will have until state," said Perry, who was six seconds faster than Rock Canyon's Easton Allred. "It's a good mid-season check of where we are, because a lot of the guys on the team haven't been on varsity before so it is good to see where they are at.

"We really want to know how we match up with those other guys."

Niwot, another one of the most improved teams in the 4A ranks, finished fifth overall — just two points behind Centaurus — behind top 20 finishes from Oskar Wells Cruz Culpepper and Ares Reading.

On paper on the girls side, the field had three nationally ranked teams in Mountain Vista, Broomfield and Battle Mountain. In reality, the Eagles were minus two of their best, including Madison Mooney (college visit), but still found a way to hold their own against a top notch field.

Senior Ivy Gonzales was one of three Eagles, who lost to Mountain Vista at the Liberty Bell, to finish in the top 10, including Sydney Swanker and Katelyn Mitchem.

"I think we were a little closer to (Mountain Vista) than we were last week at Liberty Bell," said Gonzales, who also finished third at the Class 5A state meet last season. "We are just going to keep training hard ... we haven't done too many speed or hill workouts yet, we've kind of just been doing some long stuff, so we will get more of that in and be ready for state."

Niwot's Taylor James placed seventh on Saturday with an impressive run of 19:04.

Jon Yunt: yuntj@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/JonEYunt

PAT PATTEN INVITE

At Viele Lake Park

BOYS

Team scores — Mountain Vista 55, Dakota Ridge 97, Monarch 98, Centaurus 100, Niwot 102, Boulder 170, Rock Canyon 177, Fairview 223, Broomfield 260, Lyons 276, Standley Lake 294, Smoky Hill 320, Battle Mountain 353, Erie 403, Denver East 515, Frederick 522.

Top 10 individuals — 1. Charlie Perry, Monarch, 15 minutes, 45 seconds; 2. Easton Allred, Rock Canyon, 15:51; 3. Connor Ohlson, Dakota Ridge, 16:02; 4. Austin Vancil, Dakota Ridge, 16:03; 5. Michael Mooney, Broomfield, 16:05; 6. Carter Dillon, Mountain Vista, 16:05; 7. William Dixon, Monarch, 16:07; 8. John O'Malley, Centaurus, 16:08; 9. Cooper Brown, Centaurus, 16:22; 10. Shayan Zarrin, Mountain Vista, 16:26.

Other Monarch results — 17. Isaac Russo 16:35; 34. Paxton Hansburg 17:05; 39. Chris Lyders 17:14

Other Centaurus results — 25. Kyle Piper 16:51; 28. Alex Hooten 16:56; 30. Torey Puckett 17:02.

Niwot results — 11. Oskar Wells 16:26; 15. Cruz Culpepper 16:33; 20. Ares Reading 16:45; 24. Ethan Steiner 16:48; 32. Benjamin Bi 17:03.

Boulder results — 27. Caleb Hardy 16:54; 29. Orion Pipersky 17:00; 33. Ben Santos 17:03; 40. Samsom Tewelde 17:14; 41. Lukas Haug 17:15.

Fairview results — 21. John Parker 16:45; 37. Henry Murphy 17:08; 48. Jonathan Wang 17:23; 54. Zach Klaus 17:35; 68. Anders Cote 17:59.

Other Broomfield results — 22. Joseph Carwin 16:47; 73. Hayden Van de Pol 18:05; 89. Grant Smith 18:25; 91. Bradley Morgan 18:28.

Lyons results — 18. Isaac Roberts 16:44; 56. Field Soosloff 17:43; 62. Simon Stone 17:51; 75. Colton Jonjak-Plahn 18:05; 78, Landon Milbrath, 18:07.

Erie results — 42. Jamison Cartwright 17:15; 99. Tyler Larson 18:53; 100. Timothy Fritsche 18:56; 102. Alexander Walker 18:58; 105. Elias Hinojosa 19:02.

Frederick results — 114. Riley McNeill 19:25; 123. Christopher Haley 20:25; 124. Alexander Workman 20:27; 126. Doyle Schroth 20:46; 131. Cody Couser 20:58.

Shining Mountain results — 50. Max Saliman 17:30; 128. Ben Carano 20:47; 136. Marcus Zeender 22:21.

GIRLS

Team scores — Mountain Vista 34, Battle Mountain 65, Broomfield 65, Niwot 136, Fairview 155, Monarch 158, Centaurus 205, Boulder 220, Rock Canyon 244, Dakota Ridge 268, Standley Lake 307, Erie 320, Lyons 368, Shining Mountain 397, Smoky Hill 428, Denver East 479.

Top 10 individuals — 1. Jenna Fitzsimmons, Mountain Vista, 18 minutes, 17 seconds; 2. Sarah O'Sullivan, Mountain Vista, 18:27; 3. Ivy Gonzales, Broomfield, 18:32; 4. Caroline Eck, Mountain Vista, 18:39; 5. Elizabeth Constien, Battle Mountain, 18:41; 6. Madison Reed, Mountain Vista, 19:01; 7. Taylor James, Niwot, 19:04; 8. Sydney Swanker, Broomfield, 19:05; 9. Katelyn Mitchem, Broomfield, 19:07; 10. Lizzy Harding, Battle Mountain, 19:10.

Other Broomfield results — 22. Laura Thompson 19:41; 23. Vanessa Kort 19:43.

Other Niwot results — 24. Joelle McDonald 19:48; 29. Annabelle Huddle 20:02; 32. Maggie Smith 20:09; 44. Jeri Wilcox 20:33.

Fairview results — 11. Isabella Bowland 19:12; 26. Lauren McKenna 19:55; 33. Marlena Preigh 20:10; 42. Kinsey Hall 20:29; 43. Aloha Churchill 20:31.

Monarch results — 16. Liz Hogan 19:26; 31. Abby Hein 20:07; 36. Chloe Smith 20:21; 37. Brooke Forsythe 20:23; 38. Elizabeth Moore 20:23.

Centaurus results — 15. Riley Geldean 19:22; 20. Katie Hooten 19:37; 55. Brooke Calvo 20:58; 56. Molly Maskin 20:59; 67. Grace Armstrong 21:18.

Boulder results — 12. Claudia Burgess 19:12; 18. Lauren Neugeboren 19:31; 46. Kate Zacharias 20:36; 70. Makenna Hobson 21:30; 87. Shelby Glenn 22:08.

Erie results — 27. Emily Condon 19:56; 62. Emma Osborn 21:03; 78. Cassidy True 21:48; 82. Audrey Joseph 21:58; 96. Alia Brand 22:28.

Lyons results — 53. Georgia Barone 20:47; 73. Katie Fankhouser 21:33; 84. Madeline Watts 22:01; 88. Kylee Udovich 22:14; 105. Alora Cross 22:53.

Shining Mountain results — 35. Emma Schaefer 20:19; 72. Abby Leuchten 21:31; 98. Tess Leuchten 22:37; 114. Sofia Harrelson 23:39; 127. Lola Skye Conaway 26:26.

Frederick result — 117. Casey Elnicki 23:43.