Cross Country

Another fantastic year of prep sports took place around Aurora in 2017, which was highlighted by a sweep of the Class 5A boys and girls state basketball championships. Here are some of the finest moments from the first half of a year that saw a combined 18 state championships plus 28 runner-up finishes for Aurora prep teams and individuals:

COLORADO SPRINGS | During his fantastic 2017 season, Eaglecrest’s Mason Brown revised his goals several times. He came into his senior season aiming for a top-five spot at the Class 5A boys state cross country race, then a number of eye-raising results got him shooting to win a state championship. Brown fell short of his new goal, but accomplished his original one Saturday at the Norris Penrose Equestrian Center with a fourth-place finish that stands as the best boys state result in Eaglecrest history.

COLORADO SPRINGS | Regis Jesuit’s Isalina Colsman learned lessons about running in the Class 5A girls state cross country race last season that she put into practice Saturday in her return. The Raiders’ sophomore got off to a comfortable — but not crazy fast — start at the Norris Penrose Equestrian Center, maintained her position and finished strong in a well-executed run that earned her All-State first team honors and a spot in the program recordbooks.

The biggest wild card in the Class 5A state cross country meet comes from the most unlikely of sources. From a Gateway program that has had only one other state qualifier at least the last 15 years, junior Yonas Mogos Mogos arrived in Colorado less than a year ago, but is already making a name for himself going into the Oct. 28 state meet at the Norris Penrose Events Center.

BOULDER | Rangeview’s Luke Sundberg earned his first trip to the Class 5A state cross country meet with his performance in Thursday’s Region 3 boys race. The sophomore standout — who helped the Raiders win the EMAC boys team championship a week earlier — navigated the course at Viele Lake in 16 minutes, 42 seconds, which brought him across the finish line sixth overall in a race dominated by powerhouse Monarch.

NORTHGLENN | Aurora runners starred in the Class 5A Region 2 boys and girls races Thursday at Northwest Open Spaces Park with sweeps of both individual and team championships. Gateway junior Yonas Mogos won the boys race and Regis Jesuit sophomore Isalina Colsman cruised to the girls title, while the Cherokee Trail girls and Grandview boys won team crowns, respectively, to enhance expectations for all going into the Oct. 28 5A state meet at the Norris Penrose Equestrian Center.

NORTHGLENN | Three individuals from local teams emerged with berths in the Class 5A state cross country meet from Thursday’s Region 1 races. Eaglecrest seniors Mason Brown and Gavin Morgenegg on the boys side and Smoky Hill junior Amelia Johannes on the girls side worked their way into the top 15 runners across the finish line in races at Northwest Open Spaces Park to extend their season for another week.