Hurdler Matt Radich is one of the pieces of a fearsome Lyons track and field machine headed for Lakewood's Jeffco Stadium on May 16. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Note: This article begins a series of state forecasts that will include all classifications and genders except 3A when complete. Nothing written herein represents the final word, but we will take a serious look at what the season has told us to date.
In 2A boys, it is well nigh impossible to make the case that anyone other than Lyons is the favorite. Lyons could easily top 150 points at the state meet. That's how strong this team is. This is a team that would almost certainly win 3A. Lyons would be very competitive in 4A. They are the New York Yankees of 2A track and field, except that I like Lyons I whole bunch more than the New York Yankees.
If you're going to threaten 150 points, you have to be able to score in a bunch of events. Lyons can do that. Whether it's Paul Roberts, Marcel Such, and Joel Such in distance, Matt Radich and Justin Boldt in hurdles, Tullef Rudlong and Ryan Boucher in sprints, or Kelten Schanz and James Hinker hanging out over at the pole vault pits, Lyons can hurt you in a lot of different ways. If you're looking for an Achilles heel, it would be in the throws, but you'd better be scoring lots of points in the throws yourself if you're planning on catching up with the Lions there.
The battle this spring would seem to be one for second. Hotchkiss, the newcomer in 2A, throws its hat in the ring for a podium finish in their first 2A meet. Cody Bartlett and a couple of very good relays are the heart of this team. If Hotchkiss matches their seeds at the state meet, they appear to be the favorite for second.
Telluride will get a look on the strength of Jeff Williams at 800 meters and John Broadhead in the jumps. Distance hasn't been as strong as anticipated this spring, but it's always too early to count on minimal distance production from Telluride. If the distance guys produce as they are capable of, Hotchkiss could be caught by this crew.
Yuma figures to get a lot of production out of sprinter Michael Howell, but will need some other guys to score above their seeds to rein in the western slope teams listed above.
It's a long shot for anyone else in 2A to be trophy hunting this year, but several teams are laying good foundations for years to come.
Can't-miss kind of events for 2A boys would include:
100 meters - This is a very tightly packed field. The final could be very, very close.
3200 meters - If you ignore Paul Roberts out front, the rest of the places figure to be very closely contested. 2A boys distance is extremely strong this year. Jacob Benson seems to have refound his race. Jake Erickson and William Scoggins may be coming along just in time to make their cases at state. Sumner Erhard, Marcel and Joel Such, and Corey Lewenkamp all have the potential to break 10:00. Race strategy could become a big factor here.
300 Hurdles - the top four of Justin Boldt, Cody Howard, Matt Radich, and Cole Watson are very close. Boldt's a clear favorite, but one clipped hurdle could change all of that.
Discus - Sure, Daniel Weirich is the favorite, but Kyle Cotton and Corey Nordyke both have throws in the vicinity of 160. This is an extremely strong 2A discus field.
Long Jump - There is no clear favorite in the field, but Rye freshman Trey Zupancic is in the title hunt here.