PHOENIX - What a relief.
Those were the first three words out of Canyon del Oro coach Rick Glider's mouth upon hearing perhaps the best news of his coaching career.
In Glider's 19th year as the Dorados' coach and for the first time in school history, CDO is a state champion.
"We did what we came to do," Glider said. "They ran what they needed to run."
The Dorados won the Division II title at Cave Creek Golf Course by scoring 97 points and finishing ahead of Ironwood Ridge (147).
"The three mottos we had this year (were) 'Suck it up,' 'Pack it in' and 'Don't settle,' " Glider said.
All three adages were at work Saturday. CDO's top finishers, senior Lucas Rischar (fifth place) and junior Andrew Garcia (seventh) found themselves in 25th and 27th respectively at the two-mile mark.
It was time to suck it up.
"We had to work together," Rischar said. "At the end, we were passing guys left and right."
Meanwhile, CDO's next three finishers, Jacob Rischar, August Bruno and Jacob Bruno, weren't far behind. As they've done all year, the Dorados packed it in by placing five in the top 55.
The top five CDO runners were separated by roughly 54 seconds. It wasn't their tightest pack of the season, but as Glider learned during the award ceremony, there are no times printed on the huge, gold championship trophy.
As the team gathered around its prize for pictures, all wearing huge smiles, one thing was clear: This team refused to settle.
"It's our dream come true," said Lucas Rischar, who ran the course in 16:36.76. He finished 33 seconds behind the winner. "Our coaches led us to it, and we all worked together," he said. Even some nerves on the way up to Phoenix on Saturday morning were no match for CDO's determination.
"I could feel the tension on the bus," Rischar said, "but we turned it into adrenaline, and we just used it.
"Besides, all that is relieved now."
On the girls' side of Division II, Sahuaro came up short in matching CDO's accomplishment.
The Cougars (93 points) finished second behind Flagstaff (62). Catalina Foothills (105) was third, followed by Ironwood Ridge (110).
Sahuaro's Chloe Newell entered the race as a favorite to win an individual crown but couldn't quite match Flagstaff's Tatiana Gillick.
The two were neck and neck for much of the race, but Gillick (18:29.64) began to pull away at the two-mile mark and cruised to a victory by a margin of 20 seconds.
Newell, who easily won her sectional last weekend, was noticeably distraught after the race. After some time to collect herself, the senior tried to see the bright side.
"I have no regrets on what I did," she said. "I feel like I did great, but I just wish it would have turned out differently."