Max Oliver had a pretty good idea his girls' track team had the potential and talent to finish in the top three among the talented Class 5A teams at the state track and field meet.

And while finishing a close second to Fort Collins marked an accomplishment in itself, the point total amassed by Pine Creek's athletes surprised the 13th-year coach the most.

"If someone told me at the beginning of the season that we'd score 80 points at the state meet, I would have taken it," Oliver said. "You have to be pretty spread across to win a title at the 5A level."

The finish marked a step up for the Eagles, who had finished fifth the previous two seasons and had never finished higher than third.

"It is a process, but you have to have a winning attitude," Oliver said. "Now, not only do they win races, they elevate the performances of everybody around. They show the way, and that becomes the norm. Finishing second is not a bad thing; we weren't ashamed of that at all."