Those gaps in the starting lines at regional meets weren't just your imagination.
After the first mile, Matthew Edwards began to open a lead on Henry Ilyasova.
Madelyn Palmer enjoyed one of the headliner performances of the week with a win at Cesar Chavez.
Brady Eagar claimed the Casteel Invitation crown for his second meet title of the season.
Caleb Anson picked up his second meet title of the season with a win at Alchesay.
Madeline Reeves and her Liberty teammates put another nice showing on the course on Friday.
Riley Stewart didn't offer the field many good looks, but there was this one in the very early going.
Adelle Boxberger came out of the tunnel at the Glendale Showcase easily in time to be a sub-20 finisher.
Trevor Querciagrossa left his mark on the weekend with a 15:31 win at the Glendale Showcase.
Save for the crowds, Ella Johns ran the second half of the race alone.
Back in the spring, the date was set for Small School Cross Country Nationals at Nov. 20. The date hasn't changed, though almost everything around it has.
Do you want lots of room on your starting line? Welcome to the realization of your dreams!
If there's a hidden clue tucked away in the Desert Twilight results, it may belong to Elijah Davis and Red Mountain.
Jessica Madrid doesn't figure to have much impact on the Division 4 team race, but she will certainly impact the individual standings.
Evelynne Carr had the hammer down all the way and dominated at Ojo Rojo.
Logan Marek took top Arizona honors at Woodbridge with a 14:26 for three very flat miles.
It's true, Jon Barney of Veritas Prep had the fastest time in Arizona last week.
Kylie Wild had Mia Hall in her rear-view mirror at the Fountain Hills finish line.
Matthew Edwards did look back at the next-to-last turn, but there was no pursuit to be found.
Wheaten Smith snared her second meet title in as many attempts on Saturday.
North Phoenix Prep's Samuel Johnston crosses the finish line in tandem with Javier Garcia. But, it was Johnston's time that set the standard for Division 4.
The last we saw of Micah Slivers (right), he was finishing eighth at the 2019 state meet. He finished a little higher on Tuesday.
Emma Baugh last year provided the example of an athlete whose personal improvement lifted her team to greater things.
Nadhia Campos had no peers on the course today, neither in Division 1 nor Division 2.
Mia Hall ran to a comfortable margin of victory for the individual state title last fall.
Jon Barney is the top boys returner from 2020 and a threat to win it all this year.
Kayla Case helped keep Highland very close last fall. Can she and her Highland teammates do more this year?
Salpointe Catholic's boys figure to have a leg up on the competition this fall.
After 5000 meters, a permanent finish line welcomes competitors at the Lubbock Christian University cross country course.
Braycen Buxman and Devyn Lauer, together, hold several keys to this weekend's state title derby.