Canon City freshman Katie Till isn't tired of following her big sister Aubrey's footsteps. In fact, it usually leads her to success.
"I don't mind when people say, 'Oh, you are following in your sister's footsteps,'" Katie said after the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede. "I'm perfectly fine with that."
Who can blame her? Thursday, Katie followed race-winner Aubrey to the finish line as the sisters went one-two in Thursday's 4A race. In the other 4A girls' varsity race Palmer Ridge's Alison Deitsch took first in 20 minutes, 19 seconds.
Junior Aubrey - who had been plagued with back, foot and leg injuries the past year - was thinking about this race all summer.
"I'd been running this course every chance I get. I'm ready to take the next step," said Aubrey, who finished eighth at 4A state a season ago. "I really needed this kind of start just to get it going early. It was great - even though there was competition that wasn't running today."
Some of those being Air Academy's Katie Rainsberger, the 2012 4A state runner-up, and TCA's Lauren Hamilton, who finished seventh at state. (Although touting 121 schools at Norris-Penrose Event Center, the Stampede lost some of the best runners to other meets across Colorado, including Friday's Arapahoe Invitational.)
"It doesn't matter. I know where they are at. They are incredible," Aubrey said. "I know I need to keep going all out if I want to take the next step. We all do. Our whole team does."
Canon City finished the 4A race in third behind Thompson Valley and Windsor. Meaning, its coach Marcy Epperson knows the Tigers have work to do after dropping to third as a team despite claiming the top-two spots individually.
"Our biggest weakness is our pack time," the 13-year coach said before the season. "We are trying to fill the gap between our first and seventh runner in order to make an attempt to qualify for state as a team."
The Till sisters are planning to lead the Tigers to do that. Older sister Aubrey knows what it takes. She has the lead. She will help pass it down to her sister, whose ceiling appears endless after her first high school race.
"She's awesome, I'm so proud of her. I can't believe she did that at this meet as a freshman," Aubrey said. "She is going to be really good."
Just think what the three youngest Till sisters could do once they get to high school.