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State cross country: Fairview’s Browning, Boulder’s Burgess excel

Fairview's Maya Browning (right) and Boulder's Claudia Burgess surge toward the finish line at the 5A state cross country finals. Browning finished second and Burgess placed third.
David R. Jennings / Daily Camera
Fairview’s Maya Browning (right) and Boulder’s Claudia Burgess surge toward the finish line at the 5A state cross country finals. Browning finished second and Burgess placed third.

COLORADO SPRINGS — Unless there is an unforeseen mass exodus of transfers, the city of Boulder should be well represented in the state’s girls cross country circuit for quite some time.

Youngsters Maya Browning of Fairview and Claudia Burgess of Boulder were front and center in the Class 5A race, placing at No. 2 and 3, respectively.

Browning finished fourth last season as a freshman, and despite running about 17 seconds slower Saturday at the Norris-Penrose Event Center, was able to leapfrog two places.

That was due to times being down across the board with temperatures approaching 80, and Browning was perfectly content with being the next to finish after runaway winner Lauren Gregory of Fort Collins.

“Our team has really been good and they really help push me in workouts,” Browning said. “And I was kind of sick for awhile but I got better.”

Co-sophs Katia Beggan (38th) and Sarah King (41st) helped propel coach Joshua Glaab’s Knights to a fifth-place finish in the team standings.

Browning was amongst a trio of girls who simultaneously arrived down the stretch. She was able to edge Burgess by one-tenth of a second and Monarch’s Holly Bent by 1.7 seconds.

“We all just pushed each other and they were amazing,” Browning said. “I guess I just gave it my all at the end and got there.”

For Burgess, perhaps the next star pupil in a fine line of Boulder runners, third place at her initial state meet left her beaming.

“It’s more than I can ask for,” she said. “I was aiming for a top 10 and never thought I’d get third. It’s really exciting.”

Asked if she has designs on someday winning the state meet after such a promising showing as a freshman, Burgess said: “Not quite yet. But a little bit.”

Burgess’ classmate Lauren Neugeboren finished 47th and senior Ali O’Donnell 67th for Boulder, as Mark Muggleton’s Panthers finished eighth.

The boys side was a bit the opposite for the two schools, as they finished high in the team standings but without the individual prowess. Fairview placed third and Boulder fourth.

For Fairview, senior Adam Lund finished 18th in 17:30.2 with teammate Preston Cates three spots behind. Freshman Omar Ridinger’s 45th-place effort helped keep the Knights in the thick of things.

Sophomore Sean Riedel was Boulder’s top finisher at 41st, but the Panthers largely finished in a pack with all five of their scorers placing in the top 65 (the top 54 for team-score purposes). Tristan Santos (46th) was Boulder’s second finisher.

Of note for the Panthers, David Reider, the top returning state placer, wasn’t among Boulder’s top five and finished 107th.

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