Rock Canyon made a very good run of it last fall. Right up until the state meet, the Jaguars had everyone holding their breath. Would the Jaguars be the team to topple the Mountain Vista dynasty?
As it turned out, the Rock Canyon magic ran out just a hair too soon, and the team ended up a very respectable third at the state meet.
This year, however, Rock Canyon figures to be emboldened by last year's run. They have the talent in the fold to make this very interesting, so we'll have to wait and see what happens.
Chris Theodore figures to be at the front of the pack of white singlets with black-and-gold lettering. Theodore should be on your short list of potential top Colorado cross country runners for this fall. He ran 4:23 and 9:32 this spring, so the wheels are there.
Two freshmen from last year--Easton Allred and Derek Fearon--may be stepping up into the 2 and 3 positons for this fall. Easton opted out of cross country last fall to hone basketball skills, but plans to run this fall. You may have seen him (and holding his own) in the 5A State 3200 this spring. Fearon was arguably the top freshman in 5A last fall. Not many teams will ever be able to claim two sub-10 3200 freshmen.
AJ Bishop, Carter Brand, and Ben Brown are next up in the order of returning runners. Rock Canyon might have a 3-4 gap, but these guys are capable even so. Bishop was a 4:40 guy in track. Brand and Brown didn't run track this spring--which does leave them as a bit of a pair of wild cards where projecting cross country times for this fall is concerned.
Caleb Jaramillo is another freshman from last year who could bust into the scoring order this fall. Jaramillo was sub-5 and sub-11 in track this spring. Not a bad place to be for a freshman.
The most apparent Achilles heel for Rock Canyon this fall is an apparent paucity of depth. If a key runner gets hurt, it does not appear the Jaguars will be easily able to stop the gap. But, it's still a team full of intriguing possibilities.
Although Rock Canyon has seen unusual success with freshmen in their distance program, there does not appear to be any varsity-type freshmen coming up this year.