5A cross country: Wolfe sets course record; Cherry Creek and Mountain Vista claim titles

COLORADO SPRINGS — Rather than jumping at the chance to run the state course over a month ago, Cherry Creek’s Parker Wolfe opted to set a record and earn the fastest cross country time in the state.

When he finally got to the Norris Penrose Event Center for the state meet, another record became his. Wolfe claimed the individual Class 5A state title with a time of 15 minutes, 10.4 seconds, about two seconds faster than Valor Christian’s Cole Sprout ran the race a year ago.

And as soon as he was getting the opportunity, Wolfe had a very specific text message he was planning on sending to Sprout.

“Your course record is gone,” he said with a laugh.

Wolfe has overcome a lot in just this year alone. Before the season he battled through COVID-19, the very virus that gave state cross country and much different feel this year.

As the season he approached, he couldn’t help but feel the anxiety that was coming along with it.

“I didn’t know how it affect my lungs and all that,” Wolfe said. “Coming into the season my goal was to get to that Liberty Bell and get that time and make sure my lungs were still there.”

Wolfe actually lost his footing at the start of the 5A boys race but recovered quickly and put a lot of distance between himself and the field.

The other part of his goal beyond breaking Sprout’s record was to go sub-15. While he didn’t quite do it, he was still pleased with how the race turned out.

“I really wanted to get that sub-15 mark on this course because no one has done it,” Wolfe said. “I went out a little hard and it kicked me in the butt but overall I’m happy.”

It was just the start of a banner day for Cherry Creek.

Wolfe’s performance was backed up on the girls side by Riley Stewart who won the race at 17:33.8. Like Wolfe, she put plenty of distance between her and the rest of the field to get a decisive win.

“Two Creek kids in one day is pretty phenomenal,” she said.

Riley Stewart Cherry Creek girls cross country

More photos from the race. (Steve Abeyta/steveabeytaphotography.com)

Her win had a bit more luster as the Bruins also claimed the girls team title. As much as Stewart wanted to get that individual win, being able to share a championship with her team was an even better feeling.

“We were runners-up two years in a row,” Stewart said. “To finish first this year and to finally get it is amazing.”

Centennial League rival Arapahoe came in second.

The boys championship once again fell into the hands of Mountain Vista.

“It means everything,” junior Jayden Nats said. “All the workouts that we’ve had and training together like we have, it means the world to feed off each other.”

Nats led was the top finisher - and only top-10 finisher - for the boys, coming in 10th place at a time of 16:11.0

This is the second team title in a row for the Mountain Vista boys and the sixth title overall.

More photos from the race. (Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)

More photos from the race. (Dan Mohrmann/CHSAANow.com)