Valor Christian’s Cole Sprout aims high in championship win

Cole Sprout isn’t one to set low expectations. Coming into Saturday’s state cross country meet, he only had a few things in mind that he was hoping to accomplish.

“Coming into the race, my goal was to win and maybe break the course record of 15:33,” he said.

The 4A mark coming into the event was 15:50.4, set by TCA’s Tanner Norman in 2015. Sprout cleared it by eight seconds as he claimed the win for the 4A boys. Sprout went into the race with a simple plan that would keep him at the head of the pack and give him a chance to break away when he needed to.

“My goal was to go the first mile with the top guys and feel out that pace,” Sprout said. “I had to save myself for that second mile and that’s where I kicked it up.”

Sprout’s win gives Valor Christian its state cross country title for either a team or an individual. The team overall finished 10th and it was Palmer Ridge who was eventually awarded the big trophy.

Ryan Matson finished fifth overall, the highest finisher of the day for the Bears. Kieran Nay, Maxwell Herebic and Jonathan Wolf all finished within four spots of each and in the top 20.

It is the second consecutive team title for Palmer Ridge and its third overall as a program.