This past week was “State Week” for the Valor Boys and Girls XC teams and what a state week it was. The programs accomplished many “firsts” this past season, and Saturday at Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs was no different.
The girls team got things started running against the other Top 20 programs in the state. From the very beginning it was a crazy race that started off incredibly fast and broke apart any of the team packs that were trying to take shape. This year was quite possibly the strongest 4A field ever.
After a crazy start, the girls settled into their paces and began to work their race plans. Coming into the two-mile mark, the girls still had a lot of ground to make up with many teams still in the hunt for those Top 10 spots. Mile Three is where the group began to make up ground, which is what you hope for. After a strong showing over the last mile, it was time to wait for the team results. The girls ended up fifth in the state, which is an all-time program best! Their previous best was 11th overall. The girls were also the top team out of Jeffco League and the top team out of their Region. They ended up defeating three teams they’d lost to over the course of the year as well. The girls were led by Second Team All-State finisher, freshman Taylor Whitfield. Junior Keely Jones, and freshman Riley Irwin were the next two scorers. Freshman Kindyll Wetta, had a strong showing as well. However, the X-factor of the race was junior Hadley Jason, who had her best race of the season by far. Hadley set a season PR on a tough course and ended up being the difference in the race! Junior Emma Sees and sophomore Sophie Thomas finished out the day for the girls. It was an absolutely phenomenal season for the Valor girls.
The boys got things going next and it’s an honor to say that this year’s individual 4A state champion is Valor sophomore, Cole Sprout! Cole is the first individual champion in Valor’s young history as a XC program. Cole led what can only be described as an overachieving group of boys this season. Coming into the state meet, the boys were sitting at around 15th place in class 4A. They produced several upsets throughout the day, and finished at tenth place overall as a team. The boys were also the top team out the Jeffco League. After Cole crossed the finish line in first place, it was a wait and see as to what would take shape. The next four Valor boys had what was very much their strongest showing of the season. Senior Josh Thompson finished out a stellar Valor career as the second scorer. Junior Jack Ray had a fantastic day, and was followed by two more seniors, Matt Harrison and Mike McKee. The boys had such a great team effort in their scoring, producing some massive upsets on the day. The three seniors on this team have done such and incredible job of leading this team by example. Valor’s final two boys on the day were freshman Beau Thomason, and junior River Schreckengost.
Overall the awards and recognitions were plenty for the team this season. A state champion in Cole Sprout, a Top 5 finish for the Valor girls and a Top 10 finish for the Valor boys, finished out what will go down as the greatest season so far in Valor XC history.
Several of the runners will spend the next three weeks preparing for the Nike XC Regional Championship in Casa Grande, AZ. Be looking for more info to come as the kids look to finish the season well in the 5 State Southwest Region and as Cole Sprout looks to grab a National Qualifier spot.