What can be said about Clear Creek that has not been said about it before? "It's tough. Killer. Brutal." It is all so true. This course is downright the hardest course I have ever seen. It is rumored it is probably in the top 2 or 3 toughest course in the state of Colorado. What could make it worse?
While it did not rain on the athletes during race time, it rained just enough before the race to dampen the grass, socks and shoes. This did not create any issues for the Panthers and if anything, created a bit of excitement on the course for both teams. There was a long delay before the Boys race, as a East Grand Middle School runner fell, and badly injuring his arm. Best of luck to him on healing up and running/skiing soon.
The Boys squad had two objectives in this midsized meet: get out to a good start in the opening flat sections and to move up/maintain in the race packs throughout the race. Mission accomplished. All top 7 runners today got out of the gate and raced bravely in the opening 400m. As oppose to the nearly poor start in St Vrain, the Clear Creek start went well for the Panthers and put them into position to race in the correct packs in the rest of the race. Ty Scholl went on to win the race, fending off a couple of top-notch runners from DSST. Brevik Petersen came in 6th overall and Henry Hoyhtya came in 9th. Mark Knight rounded out the scoring for the Panthers with Dylan Cormican and Ben Johnson in tow. The Boys placed second behind DSST 16 to 29. Come league, this will be a matchup to watch, but for now, the Panthers play underdog.
The Lady Panthers had similar goals. They executed them to near perfection level. Missing Sierra Smith for the afternoon was unfortunate, but the Panthers still got off to a great start, putting several runners in the top 15 going into the 400m mark. At the 2000m checkpoint, the Lady Panthers had slipped into second place and were looking at a 29 to 32 deficit. This all changed as the Ladys marched down the fast middle mile of the course, pulling ahead by narrow margins at the 4000m point. Hayley Friesen, Haley Weimer and Johanna Schneider charged up the pack, gaining several points. In the front, Lizzy Barker led the way, placing third with Alyssa Petersen coming in at 5th as part of the same chase pack. The Ladys did end up winning 30 to 46 (Clear Creek) to 44 (Platte Canyon).
WK3 Part II is this weekend. Home meet on Saturday. Several rematches from Clear Creek and many new schools to face. Should be a great race.