Two solid years of graduation have left Springfield a bit depleted. Heritage Christian Academy has had some losses to graduation of their own, but the Eagles do seem to keep finding people in the pipeline. It's a dirty job, but evidently Joe Packard is a Mike Rowe kind of guy.
So, as you probably already expected, Heritage Christian Academy is way out in front no matter how you slice, dice, or fry the virtual meet. And, the Eagles have the bodies to run relays at a level that's going to score more than a single point per. Relays are highly unpredictable in 1A because you never know if a team is unloading the relay at State or not, but HCA's relay performances should be a good deal more predictable than most teams most years.
Cotopaxi and Lake City are your best bets to battle it out for second. Maybe North Park figures there as well, but North Park has to find a way to match their virtual meet projections in relays to keep up with the Joneses at Cotopaxi and Lake City.
So, with the team contest being what it is, let's turn our attention to individual events.
Springfield's Bowman Ellis and La Veta's Trevor Warren are two to watch in the short sprints.
If things go at all according to seed marks, Erick Enriquez-Acosta should run the table at 400 - 1600 meters. Heritage Christian Academy should pick up a bundle of points in the 1600, but mostly with a backside view of Enriquez-Acosta's maroon singlet.
If Lake City means to make any kind of run at all at Heritage Christian Academy, it's more or less imperative that Izaac Borchers stays ahead of all shades of green in the 1600 and 3200. If freshman Gabe Murphy can exceed his seed marks in those events, so much the better (for Lake City). I'd count on looking for Lake City to aggressively defend their title from last year in the 4x800 as well.
Barring a hurdle-tastrophe (which has happened at State), Blayden Fletcher wins the 110s, but the 300 should be an edge-of-your-seats kind of showdown between Josh Damir of HCA and Arlo Garner of Cotopaxi.
It's nothing short of amazing that the 1A Boys long jump brings in seven guys with 20-foot-or-better credentials. It would have been more if Enriquez-Acosta had not jettisoned the event. Spectating should be fun there. Noah Castro of Plateau Valley has the top seed, but the top seed doesn't always win this competition.
Things appear to be similarly good--and close--at the triple jump pit. Wyatt Tezak of Cotopaxi has the top seed, and last spot in the jumping order, for that one.
Tate Goble of Otis has the top seed in the pole vault, but if the weather goes weird, pole vault is one of the first places you might notice. In fact, even getting the pole vault in this weekend might prove to be a tall order.
Cody Lyons of Cotopaxi is a massive favorite in the shot put. Marco Ramos of Arickaree figures as the top all-around thrower in 1A.
Creede's Regnor VonDedenroth wins the best-name-of-the-competition award. You can spot Regnor in the pole vault and discus. He should be a factor in both. Creede has no entered relays, so it is highly unlikely you can spot him in a relay event.
As is typical in 1A, there won't be many athletes you see in only one event. You might think that would lead to a lot of 1A exhaustion, but the fact that 1A doesn't have prelims tends to moderate the fatiguing factor.