When no long-distance runner ever would want one, Trevor Gabbard got one.
Actually, the latest of probably a few he'd faced during the 2014 season.
Feeling a painful tightening of his torso with nearly every stride at last Saturday morning's Class 3A state cross-country championships in Colorado Springs, the Bayfield senior wasn't himself while simply fighting for air and finishing far from the leaders.
"Did awful," read his succinct text message half an hour later to this reporter.
Stuck in a group that still finished in the top third of the 150-runner field, Gabbard clocked an 18:46.1, crossing the line 41st overall.
Alamosa did the Intermountain League proud by copping the team championship with an adjusted total of 60. Individually, SkyView junior Ben Butler won in 16:18.2. Salida junior Taylor Stack took second in 16:40.3 and Colorado Springs Fountain Valley senior Dominic Carrese was third in 17:13.1.
Gabbard isn't done with his season, however. He's set to compete in the Nike Cross Southwest on Nov. 22 in Casa Grande, Ariz. Runners from that meet and seven other regional championships can qualify for the 11th annual Nike Cross Nationals on Dec. 6 in Portland, Ore.