The 5A boys state title all came down to this. Colorado Track XC file photo.
There exist many ways to look at a year in review, and I intend to visit a few of them. We’ll start out, however, by looking at the great debates of 2013 and declaring a few winners. In no particular order, here’s a quick review of the great debates of the year almost gone by:
1. Springtime weather versus track and field – Yes, we did have an extraordinary number of meet casualties to the unusually cold weather in the spring of 2013. How cold was it? Cold enough that my tulips froze in late April. But, track and field had the final laugh when the state meet closed in a torrent of best-ever marks.
2. Dior Hall versus Sasha Wallace – In the battle of 60 meter hurdlers extraordinaire, Wallace took the showdowns at both Brooks PR and New Balance Nationals Indoor.
3. Katie Rainsberger versus Elise Cranny – In the springtime, this was still a classic battle and the pair staged one of the best state finishes in the 800 we’ve ever seen. It’s worth one more look here:
In the fall, however, Cranny was no longer taking prisoners. Her new method of dealing with the competition was a scorched earth policy.
4. Daniel Weirich versus Jacob Hanks – In the battle for shot put supremacy, Hanks won the battles, but Weirich won the the war. Both times the pair went head-to-head (Altitude and John Martin), Hanks had the upper hand, but Weirich posted the bigger tosses on the season. Both sent the metal ball out beyond 60 feet.
5. Norris Penrose Event Center versus someplace else – NPEC came away the big winner. State cross country will be back for two more years.
6. Monarch versus Fort Collins – Monarch takes two rounds to one for Fort Collins. And, if you had to pick your two rounds to take, you probably would have picked the two rounds that Monarch ended up winning. Ultimately, though, how close were these two teams? At NXN, it was one point of difference in a field of 22 teams.
7. Great Southwest Indoor versus Air Force High School Indoor Open versus Simplot Games – They all went for the same weekend, and you’d have to declare Simplot the winner. If you’re not convinced of that, look at which meet stayed on the same weekend for 2014.
8. Alexa Ephraimson versus Sarah Baxter versus Elise Cranny – The whole nation watched this one with us. Just when we thought Cranny was ready to kick Baxter down on the finish straight, Ephraimson goes blowing by in the kind of finish we haven’t seen since Billy Mills in 1964. This one will be the standard by which other big cross country match-ups are measured for years to come.
9. Cerake Geberkidane versus the clock – Once we’d established that Adam Goucher’s 14:44 was the standard for the best Colorado high school cross country time ever, Geberkidane had a few shots at the mark. It takes more than talent and will, however, to take down a record of this order. You have to meet the right course on the right day. After Arvada West on September 20, that particular convergence never happened for Geberkidane. We dared to hope, because we all like to see records get broken, but the clock won.
10. MaryBeth Sant versus Ana Holland – Wow, do we have to declare a winner? We probably do, and that honor would go to Holland on the basis of a simply unbelievable state meet, but how much fun was it to watch both last spring!
11. Haley Showalter versus Valarie Allman – Okay, so this wasn’t too much of a contest this last spring, but mark this thought well—Showalter was just learning the ropes last spring. It’s only a matter of time and continued health until Showalter is challenging the mark.
12. Carly Lester versus Erin Bowers versus Ashley Miller versus Alexa Chacon – There’s a reason why you can’t remember another year in Colorado track and field history with four 42.xx 300 hurdlers. Lester and Miller come back to take cracks at the all-time record. Lester posted the best mark at the state meet, but this one isn’t done yet.
13. Zac McCoy versus Alex Mead – I think we all more or less conceded the 4A 200 to Mead, not realizing that McCoy meant to make a debate of it. And what a finish it was for McCoy.
14. Lamar versus Frontier Academy – You might have to be a small school fan, and familiar with the challenges of making the most from a small pool of athletes to work with, to fully appreciate this one. Early on, all indicators were pointing to Lamar. But, as the Wolverines grew in health and in confidence, a different ending to this story was told.
15. Cherokee Trail versus Fountain-Fort Carson versus Cherry Creek – Yes, indeed, the 5A boys title last spring really did come down to the final leg of the final event. When it was all on the line, Cherokee Trail had all the answers.