The Winningest Team

Castle View Sweeps at Coronado Cougar Invite


Freshman Claire Enger races at the Coronado Cougar invite on Sep. 22. Photo courtesy of Claire Enger.

The cross-country team flexed its muscles at the Coronado invite in Colorado Springs on Sep. 22. The invite is run on the same course as the Regional meet. Last year on this course, Castle View girls and boys fought for and won a place at the State meet. On Sep. 22, a crew of new and returning runners built on that legacy with a Castle View team win in every single race of the meet.

One of the team’s goals for this season is depth — having competitive runners in all divisions. That goal was achieved at Coronado, with the open teams delivering “some of the most dominant racing of the day,” in the coaches’ words.

Freshman Claire Enger competed in the girls’ open race. Because of last-minute schedule changes, the race started sooner than she expected. She didn’t have time to run strides and she felt “nervous and unprepared.”

When the gun went off, she wasn’t sure what was happening.

“I was confused on why she was already doing the gun and why we were already going, because I’ve never been in front before. So I was like, ‘Oh, must be a false start, I wonder why everyone’s going so slow,'” she said.

She kept running and her competitors stayed behind her, convincing her that the race was still on. Then she focused on staying in first place.

“My motivation for the whole race was staying in front of everyone. I got to mile two and I was like, ‘Oh, I’m tired, but I’m gonna keep going because I don’t want to fall behind after I’ve already been in first for so long,'” she said.

She stayed in first all the way to the line, running 24:25.

“Right as I finished I was like, ‘Is it over?’ Because I wasn’t sure if I’d actually won or not. But it felt good because everyone was congratulating me,” she said.

On the boys’ side, junior Jamie Arbogast ran in the open race. This was not the original plan. The coaches had placed Arbogast in the JV division, but when they talked to the team about placements, Arbogast wasn’t there, having chosen to get his homework done instead. He arrived at the meet too late to run JV, so he ran open.

“That ended up being pretty good, because I was able to go out really strong and win it with one of my friends,” Arbogast said. “I was kinda disappointed to know, as soon as I got to the race, that I was supposed to be in JV, because this would’ve been my first meet racing JV, and it was a letdown, but it’s still fun to run with all of our boys on open, we’re still great friends, they help me power through the race, they motivate me.”

Arbogast finished first in 18:48, with Christian Claypoole seconds behind him.

“If it was ranked, we would’ve placed first for our team,” Arbogast said.

On top of the two open wins, Castle View won, well, everything: girls’ and boys’ varsity and JV, with individual firsts in JV from Vivian Mann and Blake Royer. Coaches Lyons and Marshall explained what they believe is the reason for the team’s success: all the small things.

“It’s a desire to do all the little things,” Lyons said. “It’s the things we do when nobody’s really looking.”

“I’d say the improvements in dedication to culture,” Marshall said. “We’ve never really had that level of top-to-bottom dedication and accountability. So we’re just starting to see the benefits of doing that for weeks on end.”