Grandview’s Anna Swanson begins the second loop on the course at Cherokee Trail High School on her way to a runner-up finish in the Centennial League Championships girls cross country race on Oct. 12, 2019. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Sentinel Colorado)

AURORA | Anna Swanson didn’t exactly enjoy the hills she encountered at Cherokee Trail High School, but one of them helped her to a career-best finish at the Centennial League Championship cross country meet.

The Grandview senior went into Saturday’s race — a reschedule from Thursday, when the meet was scrubbed by snow — with a goal of beating Arapahoe’s Ava Mitchell and used the hill to make that happen on her way to a runner-up finish.

Swanson crossed the finish line of the rare on campus course (an alternative to the originally scheduled Aurora Sports Park venue) in 19 minutes, 4 seconds, a good 16 seconds in front of Mitchell and just nine behind winner Ava Escorcia of Arapahoe to lead the way among Aurora runners in the race.

With regional qualifying coming up on Oct. 17, the rescheduling of the race threw off the training plans of many teams, which saw different lineups and race strategies employed.

Cherokee Trail chose to use the league race as a training run instead of full competition, running together as a pack at a prescribed pace until the final mile when sophomore Cameron McConnell and freshman McKenna Mazeski kicked to the finish to take 13th and 14th, respectively.

The Cougars earned a score of 84 points to come in behind Arapahoe (32) and Cherry Creek (42), but edged Grandview — which had the other top-10 Aurora finisher in senior Chloe Inhelder, who was ninth — by seven points.

Paced by senior Gabrielle Goris in 27th, Smoky hill came in sixth place, followed by Hillary Moreno (49th) and Overland.

All the Centennial League teams, including Eaglecrest — which did not run in the meet — and minus Mullen (which drops to 4A), compete in the 5A Region 1 meet Oct. 17 at the Aurora Sports Park. Aurora Central, Gateway, Hinkley, Rangeview and Regis Jesuit will also be in the field.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports


Team scores: 1. Arapahoe 32 points; 2. Cherry Creek 42; 3. CHEROKEE TRAIL 84; 4. GRANDVIEW 91; 5. Mullen 147; 6. SMOKY HILL 165; 7. OVERLAND 221

Top 10 results: 1. Ava Escorcia (Arapahoe), 18 minutes, 55 seconds; 2. ANNA SWANSON (GRANDVIEW), 19:04; 3. Ava Mitchell (Arapahoe), 19:20; 4. Megan Bergstrom (Arapahoe), 19:27; 5. Addison Price (Cherry Creek), 19:44; 6. Abigail MacLean (Cherry Creek), 20:01; 7. Emily Lamontagne (Arapahoe), 20:05; 8. Claire Semerod (Cherry Creek), 20:08; 9. CHLOE INHELDER (GRANDVIEW), 20:11; 10. Amy O’Connell (Mullen), 20:22

Aurora team-by-team results (in order of finish)

Cherokee Trail (84): 13. Cameron McConnell, 20 minutes, 37 seconds; 14. McKenna Mazeski, 20:41; 18. Megan Hodges, 21:08; 19. Campbell Faust, 21:09; 20. Lauren Hodges 21:10; 21. Tarikwa Woldemariam, 21:10; 23. Soonhee Han, 21:17; 31. Tatum Louthan, 22:17; 36. Madison Gibson, 23:09

Grandview (91): 2. Anna Swanson, 19 minutes, 4 seconds; 9. Chloe Inhelder, 20:11; 26. Megan Ericksen, 21:25; 29. Emma Thomure, 22:02; 33. Emily Martenson, 22:45; 35. Madison De Picciott, 23:08; 37. Hadlie Bird Bear, 23:14

Smoky Hill (165): 27. Gabrielle Goris, 21 minutes, 37 seconds; 34. Kailyn Mitchell, 22:52; 40. Elizabeth Russo, 23:42; 42. Emma Rae Shelton, 24:29; 48. Maggie Power, 25:13; 50. Kendall Bergstrom, 26:38; 53. Emmalie Baxter, 27:39

Overland (221): 49. Hillary Moreno, 25 minutes, 37 seconds; 51. Priyanka Sharma, 26:56; 52. Sarah Sadler, 27:12; 54. Yara Ahmed, 28:44; 55. Brenda Rios Adame, 29:52; 56. Daniah Elgomati, 32:54