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2A Vanguard girls continue progression, finish second to 4A Woodland Park at Fountain
Vanguard's Mayhew wins boys' race
FOUNTAIN • Perhaps the time has come for runners at The Vanguard School to realize they’re no longer the underdog from the tiny school no one knows about. Saturday’s performances at the Fountain-Fort Carson Invite announced the Coursers’ continued progression into being considered one of the state’s top Class 2A programs.
Even if some aren’t quite ready for that step yet.
“I think I’m still the underdog,” said senior Jessy Sweet, last year’s regional champion who dominated the girls’ race in 19 minutes, 41 seconds. “We’re from such a small school. I didn’t think I had a chance in this race, but coach (Steve Read) told me I could do it and that I could take the challenge.”
Last year, the Vanguard girls won their first regional title and soared all the way to a runner-up finish at the 2A state meet, falling to Nederland by only six points. With just one senior lost to graduation, the Coursers expect to improve and challenge for a state title.
“I’m pretty pleased with how the girls have worked and what they’ve accomplished,” Read said. “We’re right where we want to be at this point of the season. At our level, when you score only the top three runners, one person can make a big difference.”
Sweet finished the 5K with a 20-second advantage over Fountain-Fort Carson’s Jordan Freeman after the two were practically neck and neck after the first mile.
“There was one big hill, and I caught her there,” Sweet said. “I thought she’d catch back up. I’ve never been the leader before, so I’m taking the transition in bits and pieces. But finishing first, I could get used to that.”
Overall, only 4A Woodland Park fared better than Vanguard, scoring a team-best 42 points, nine better than the Coursers. Both schools had three top-10 finishers.
“We really believe in running in a pack,” Woodland Park coach Ron Payton said. “This is the first trophy (for winning a team title) we’ve won this year. Maybe we can work that to our advantage.”
Vanguard sophomore William Mayhew also claimed his first trophy Saturday, dominating the boys’ race in 16:57, 19 seconds better than his closest competitor.
Mayhew, who is home-schooled and considers the 800 meters his best event, has an interesting way of gauging his success during a race.
“I know I’m doing well when I’m really hurting,” said Mayhew, whose older brother, Nolan, is a 2011 Cheyenne Mountain graduate and freshman at the Air Force Academy. “I’m happy with my time here and happy with how I’m doing in my first season. I do like track more, but I’m on a really awesome team here.”
Falcon, which placed all its runners in the first 13 finishers, claimed the boys’ team trophy with 47 points.