They thought he would win by 30 seconds.
They were wrong.
When Moffat County High School cross country coach Mike Gleason and Bulldogs varsity runner Kelly Christensen, a senior, made predictions for the regional meet, the two were off by four seconds.
Christensen finished 34 seconds ahead of the pack in the Class 4A regional meet Friday at Canyon View Park in Grand Junction, Colo.
Christensen won in 16 minutes, 27 seconds and was the only runner to break the 17-minute mark. Grand Junction Central's Ben Dible finished in second place (17:01).
"I was really pleased with the way I did," said Christensen. "The race was hard, because I ran by myself. The course that we ran was really flat and so it was a fast course."
Christensen is already looking ahead to the state meet slated for Saturday in Englewood, Colo.
"I am ready for state and I hope that I can do good," said Christensen. "As a team we need to overcome our injuries and hopefully we can place in the top five."
Montrose finished in first place with 48 points and the Bulldogs finished one point behind in second place with 49 points. Central finished in third place with 55 points.
"First of all, for the boys, they didn't run as good as they normally do," said Gleason. "We tied with Montrose with the same amount of points. We then go with the sixth runner and Montrose's sixth runner was right in front of ours and they beat us by one point and that is how Montrose won it."
Other Bulldogs boys with solid performances were Brett Duncan, a senior, who finished in sixth place (18:02) and Colton Grinholds came in 10th place (18:17).
"We ran there once before, but they changed the course on us," said Gleason. "They added about 200 yards which is 30 or 40 seconds to your time. We did run pretty good times."
The girls team walked away with the top spot in dominating fashion with a team score of 34 points. Grand Junction Central was a distant second with 60 points. Montrose came in third place with 62 points and Steamboat Springs finished in fourth place with 92 points.
"I was really excited that we took first place," said Danielle Brown, a freshman. "I thought that everybody ran very good and it was a lot of fun."
Individually for the girls team Stephanie Hurd, a junior, finished in fourth place (20:17) to pace the team. Sheila McNicol, a freshman, came in sixth place (20:55), Beth White, a sophomore, finished in seventh place (21:02) and Brown came in 11th place (21:12).
"We don't have any seniors on the team," said Brown. "We have a few juniors and the rest of us are younger. I am really excited for state and it will be a huge meet. I don't think that we will take first because Mullen is a really good team. I think that we should finish in the top three."
"I really don't know how we are going to do at state," said Gleason. "Guy-wise if we are in the top 10 then that's a great victory for us. Girl-wise we can get anywhere from second to fifth."