Josh Romine had a frustrating season and Jenna Fitzsimmons got plenty of help from her teammates in what turned out to be a superior season for both Mountain Vista cross country runners.
Romine, a senior, was plagued by a hip injury, which forced him to sit out or not run full-out in many meets this season.
However, he went all out in the state meet Oct. 29 at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs and finished second in the Class 5A competition behind Monarch’s Isaac Green with a time of 16:04.77.
Fitzsimmons, a freshman, was schooled by other Mountain Vista runners during the season and was fifth at the state meet with a 19:06.21 clocking.
Romine and Fitzsimmons have been tabbed as the 2016 Colorado Community Media Boys and Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year.
Ironically, Romine’s runner-up finish was the best ever for a Mountain Vista individual despite the fact the Golden Eagles had won four consecutive boys state titles before running second this fall.
“It was pretty frustrating this season to try and deal with not running hard all the time through the year but I just had to stay disciplined because my hip was giving me a lot of trouble,” said Romine. “It was hard to have to sit out some races but I had to stay patient, trust the process and I was glad I was able race at state.
“I was pretty happy the way it all came together individually. Obviously getting the win at state would have been pretty sweet. I have to give a lot of credit to Isaac Green. He’s pretty strong. I was happy with my finish but unfortunately we didn’t walk away with the team title.”
Fitzsimmons received helped from her teammates in her first varsity campaign as she followed in the footsteps of her sisters Delaney and Mauren who also ran for Mountain Vista.
“My sisters both ran in high school,” she said. “I looked up to them and saw them being a part of the team. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into which was kind of scary but at the same time it was kind of like open and you weren’t sure what you could make of yourself.
“I don’t know how I would have gone through the season without my teammates. It totally helped me get through and they taught me everything, how to race, what attitude to have and helped me get through every workout.”
Delaney and Mauren Fitzsimmons are listed among the runners with the best Mountain Vista times but younger sister Jenna had the top finish at the state meet of any of the Fitzsimmons sisters.
“I was pretty surprised” admitted Jenna. “I wasn’t sure what to expect going into a race. During state it was crazy to realize who I was running next to and how good and talented they were.
“I was pretty nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I just worked with my teammates and tried to stay with them. I stayed with other girls on the team and that really helped.”