Two set tough pace in cross country careers

Cole Sprout, Riley Stewart named South Metro Runners of Year


In high school races this fall, Cole Sprout and Riley Stewart set themselves apart from any challengers and were named the 2019 Colorado Community Media Boys and Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year.

Sprout, a senior at Valor Christian, wrapped up his high school career on Oct. 26 by winning his third state title at the CHSAA state cross country championships. He broke his own state record with a 15:12 clocking in a runaway victory.

It was his second straight 5A individual and third overall since he captured the 4A state crown in 2017 with a record time.

Stewart, a Cherry Creek sophomore who was fifth last season, also led from wire-to-wire in capturing the 5A girls state championship with a time of 18:12, which was 12 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. She helped Creek finish second in the team standings behind Arapahoe.

For the past three seasons, no runner in the state has been able to match up against the dominant Sprout.

“It’s going to be weird not running here anymore,” said Sprout. “I was pleased with my season. I ran some really quick times and ran competitively and won state, which was three awesome accomplishments that I was shooting for.

“Yeah, the state record was definitely on my mind, and you never know how a race is going to unfold. Yeah, I started to think about my legacy. It’s going to be cool to see how it stacks up the next few years until somebody knocks it down.”

Stewart also had almost no regrets about the high school season.

“I was really happy with my season,” she said. “I had the opportunity to run in a national race and that was fun and I had a lot of prs (personal records) this season so overall I think it was a great season.

“I wanted to win state as an individual and win as a team and it was a little unfortunate that we didn’t (second place). We have to come out hungry as a team and try to win next year.”


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