For today, the primary reference point of a deep dive might be into a snow drift, but we'll eventually get this meet underway... we hope.
Even after Niwot got Mary Gillett and Mackenzie Fidelak down to an allowable number of events, they still hold a substantial advantage, but it's no longer possible to lightly dismiss Valor's chances.
Valor had some event trimming of their own to do with Anna Hall, but Niwot had more of that kind of decision to make.
If you've followed the 4A Girls season, you already know the kind of decisions that had to be made. In the end, Niwot pulled Mary Gillett from the 100 and 300 hurdles, and pulled Mackenzie Fidelak from the 100 hurdles. Valor pulled Hall from the 200 and 800.
Niwot's scratches seem calculated to produce stronger relays. Valor's scratch of Hall from the 800 was totally expected, but the 200 scratch cleared room for her to compete in the 400, high jump, 100 hurdles, and 300 hurdles. If Hall is to appear on a relay, one of those events will have to be scratched on site.
Niwot has the kind of margin that they can absorb some form or fashion of fail on a relay--not that you ever set out with that as your plan--if things go well otherwise. But, Niwot can't simply coast to the state title.
Niwot needs at least some of their relays to show up big, and they will look to individuals like Alexis Carroll, Fidelak, and Gillett to be hauling in nets with copious catches of points. The 4x800 is an example of an event where Niwot could easily exceed their seed and augment their point total above and beyond projections.
Valor needs a nearly-perfect meet to have a shot at winning. We've already mentioned Hall's four events. It's doubtful Hall wins all four, but a couple wins and a couple high places would have Valor sitting in a nice position.
Beyond Hall, it's largely about the pole vault (Haidyn Ogg and Avery Vieregger are top-four seeds), the long jump (Sadie McMullen is the #3 seed), Destiny Grimes and Lizzie Waters in the two hurdle events, and the three short sprint relays. There are possible points elsewhere, but not many. In short, these events must go very well for Valor to be in the title hunt. It's an enormous coup if McMullen can bump the Niwot girls (Carroll and Gillett) out of the top two positions in the long jump.
In terms of individual event highlights, things don't get much better--in any classification--than:
- Rylee Anderson versus Anna Hall in the high jump. Hopefully, the weather allows both to demonstrate what they're capable of.
- The aforementioned showdown between Carroll, Gillett, and McMullen in the long jump.
- Lauren Gale, Hall, and Gillett in the 400. Gale may not quite yet be at full speed, but she's close enough to make this very intriguing.
- Maria Mettler, Lauren Offerman, Kasey Klocek, and Kayla Young in what promises to be a beauty of a 1600. Can Naomi Harding add a fifth to the mix? Very possibly so...
- Anna Hall and the Alexi (Carroll and Buckhaults) in the 100 hurdles.
With all of that to anticipate, maybe it's kind of nice you get a whole extra day (plus, maybe, a little) to think about it!