COLORADO SPRINGS — The Centaurus and Silver Creek boys teams were both in the conversation for a Class 4A boys title when they entered the 2017 cross country championships on at Norris-Penrose Event Center on Saturday.
Each team - Centaurus because of its depth and Silver Creek because of its one-two punch at the top - had shown why once the dust had settled on an unpredictable final 4A boys race of the season. But even then, it wasn't enough for either to score within 20 points of eventual champion Palmer Ridge.
The Centaurus Warriors finished runners-up with 100 team points and, just three points behind them, the Silver Creek Raptors ended the season in third place.
"I kind of thought it would go that way, with Cole (Sprout) going out in the front," Silver Creek senior Brock Dykema said. "I just wanted to stay composed in the first few minutes and see what he did. I thought we had a good shot at the team but at least we had the best one-two in the state. Individual placing wasn't really in the picture and we wanted that team title, and that's all we've been thinking about since last year at this time. We just weren't quite able to put it together."
In his final race for the Raptors, Dykema finished runner-up individually with a time of 15 minutes, 56.4 seconds, and was right with title-winner Cole Sprout from Valor Christian until the two-mile mark. Shortly after Dykema, Raptors senior James Lee finished fourth with a time of 15:58.9.
Centaurus senior John O'Malley was between sixth and seventh coming down the final stretch leading to the finishing area in the main stadium when he hit an unexpected snag that dropped him to 10th place and a time of 16:05.8.
"I was in really good position just before the stadium and I tripped up a little bit and lost a few places," said O'Malley, who placed 12th as a junior in 2016. "But it's an improvement from last year and I'm happy with it. Our team was really strong this whole year and I think we showed up today and we were in the running for a team title."
Finishing third in the team scoring, the Niwot Cougars were led by an 11th-place finish from junior Ares Reading, who finished in 16:14.9. Mead's Justin McDaniel placed 15th with a time of 16:26.1.