The Buena Vista girls cross country squad posted a Top 15 team finish at the 2A Colorado State Cross Country Championships race Saturday at Norris Penrose Event Center - New Course in Colorado Springs.

“This team worked harder than any group I’ve ever coached. They showed up to each practice, ready to throw down some fast times and always so encouraging of their fellow teammates,” BVHS coach Mallory Brooks said. “This team went to state because of the whole team’s efforts. We had six seniors this year, with team captains Sam Dylan and Ella Coates, so the leadership was strong.”

Coates led the Lady Demons to a 13th place team finish with 237 points. Lake County girls posted their second straight team title with 34 points after posting 7th, 11th, 12th and 15th place finishes.

Vanguard School sophomore Nadhia Campos won her second championship, finishing the course in 18 minutes, 37.10 seconds.

Coates finished 44th of the 127 runners with 22:26.10. Justus Adams was 67th in 23:49.20, Katie Estes 74th in 24:02.00, Elli Brooker 83rd in 24.50.80, Erin Bigley was 95th in 25:36.70 and Scarlet Smith 111th with 26:46.50

Sam Dylan, the lone Demon representative, closed out the 136 runner field with a Herculean effort to finish the course in 24:55.40.

“The girls team placed 13th overall, which may or may not be impressive to someone that hears that, depending on how much they know about the caliber of runners that were lined up at that race,” Brooks said. “It’s more important to me that each person on the team grew as an individual and that each one ended the season feeling stronger and faster. Each of the girls ran significantly faster at state than they did at the pre-state meet.”

Brooks detailed the pain Dylan overcame to finish the race.

“Sam, unfortunately, had been dealing with a hamstring issue. We were hopeful that it was resolved, since he had shown that he could run a fast 5k without pain, but halfway through the state championship, he tore his hamstring,” Brooks said. “He had every reason to walk off that course and not finish, but being the extremely focused and determined athlete that he is, he chose to finish it, even if it meant dropping from the front half of the field to the very last. He was in so much pain, but he just kept going. Again, the results aren’t a great reflection of just what an amazing runner Sam really is.”

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