COLORADO SPRINGS – They had to do it together.
There’s no way they would have separated.
A win without the other wouldn’t have meant anything.
Heritage Christian’s Rachel and Rebekah Rairdon wanted to finish their cross-country careers the same way so many races before had gone, with the duo in the top two spots.
And so it was, with Rachel taking first at Saturday’s Class 2A state cross-country championship at Norris-Penrose Event Center in 19:55.8.
Finishing second at 20:05.31 was her sister Rebekah after a late surge.
“It was great to look back and see that Rebekah was in second,” Rachel said.Honestly being first wouldn’t have been very exciting if she had gotten third. I would have been sad.”
The Rairdon’s goal was to finish 1-2, but in a show of team spirit they were as disappointed no teammates were able to join them on the podium.
The Eagles finished second as a team, three points behind Telluride. Heritage Christian finished second as a team last year as well.
Leeann Wagner finished 19th, Olivia Couch was 20th, Megan Wagner was 46th and Lizzy Gueck was 58th.
While they hoped to pull off the team win, it was a special way to finish the high school cross-country career for the Rairdon’s.
“There was relief when I crossed that line and didn’t have to worry about it anymore,” Rebekah said. “It’s really satisfying. It’s a great way to end it.
Other 2A results — Elsewhere in the 2A girls race, Resurrection Christian’s Kyra Hanson finished fifth and the Cougars placed sixth as a team.
In the boys 2A race, Heritage Christian’s Luke Gilliland was the top local finisher in 14th place. Resurrection Christian’s top finisher was Christian Fagerlin in 24th. Heritage Christian was eighth as a team and Resurrection Christian was 12th.
Other small-school locals — The lone boys runner in 4A from Windsor was Cale Englert, who finished 22nd. Windsor’s lone girl runner was Tori Thomas, who placed 131st.
In 3A, Liberty Common’s Nathan Dowdy was 62nd and Christopher Martinez was 67th.
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle and at facebook.com/KevinSLytle.