Denver Laura Philip may not have won a state title Saturday at Kent Denver, but the Steamboat Springs runner was smiling after her race just the same.
"It was a tremendous improvement," Philip said of her placement. "We did a lot more training this year, which really helped, and I had more confidence."
Philip finished in 42nd place in Saturday's Colorado State Cross Country Championships with a time of 21 minutes, 4 seconds. She was 109th in the same race a year ago.
Philip's result helped lead the Sailors to a 10th-place finish at the meet. The Sailors were one of three teams from their region to place in the top 10 at state.
Lewis-Palmer won the girls' race by edging Moffat County in the team standings. Defending champion Mullen came in third. Kirsten Anthony of Liberty won the girls' race with a time of 18:59.
Other top Steamboat finishers included Lauren Lightfoot's 51st (21:13), Jennifer Hoopers 55th (21:17) Tara Wernig's 84th (21:49) and Katie Conrath's 94th (22:02).
"Our girls team went as hard as they could today, but this was the toughest state meet I've ever seen," coach John Smith said.
The coach was also happy with his boys team's performance. The Sailors placed 15th overall behind solid races from Mike Gleason and Bjorn Arnesson.
Gleason led the Sailors in 63rd place with a time of 17:53. Arnesson was right on his heels in 64th at 17:53.1.
"Bjorn led most of the way, but I caught him at the end and we kind of fought to the finish," Gleason said of the final stretch dual with his teammate. "It was good for both of us, because we both cut our time."
Other top times came from Tyler O'Leary in 111th at 18:42 and David Manthei in 127th at 18:56.
Steamboat senior Eddie Van Baak also had a good race, placing in 130th at 18:59. Sam Tarrant followed him in 132nd at 19:02 and Marty Smith in 146th place at 19:33.1.