Taylor Watson is one of a group of very talented sprinters, jumpers, and hurdlers coming back for Cherokee Trail.
We all know Grandview won it all this year. "Won it all" might even qualify as something of an understatement. To be more precise, Grandview buried the competition.
And, Grandview lost a lot of talent by way of graduation, so it's worth asking what things might be like next year. That's what this article takes a first stab at answering.
If you attend well to story the virtual meet (see instructions below) tells, you'll quickly discover that there's a very good chance next year's 5A Girls race is as tight as it's been in recent memory.
Grandview has enough talent back--think Leilah Vigil, Kylee Harr, Alisha Davis, Kaitlyn Mercer, and Lily Williams, for starters--that they should be back in the thick of things.
Cherokee Trail responds in kind with athletes like Sydnee Larkin, Taylor Watson, Jaiden Paris, and Chian DeLoach.
But, the contenders are not limited to the Cherry Creek School District. Rock Canyon, Rocky Mountain, Monarch, Denver East, Broomfield, Legend, and Mountain Vista all make nice cases as well.
In the cases of Denver East, Rocky Mountain, Rock Canyon, and Monarch, a lot hinges on one or two athletes. It's not clear yet that these teams will be able to build the breadth of competitive relays we expect from Grandview and Cherokee Trail. If not, they're going to have trouble keeping pace.
Broomfield is as good as anyone where distance is concerned, but it probably takes more than distance to win this thing. Joy Fifita is a good start, but the Eagles need more.
Mountain Vista adds multi-talented Kara Lucyk to a fearsome distance group, but Vista Nation, too, could use a stronger presence outside of the distance group.
Legend makes an interesting case with sprinter Abigail Tamminga, sprinter/jumper Alexa Gonzales, and pole vaulter Lauren Jarossy. Those three probably come up a bit short if asked to carry the state scoring load on their own, but add one or two to this mix and Legend becomes a viable contender in a hurry.
Meanwhile, we can be sure that the Emily Sloans, Riley Mastens, Mia Mansons, Arria Minors, and Gabriella McDonalds of the 5A world will keep things very exciting whether or not they're able to keep their teams in the title hunt.
Proven state meet production points to Grandview and Cherokee Trail as your top early picks, but don't be shocked if the list grows beyond these two powerhouse programs.
To play around with your own virtual meet for next year's 5A Girls, follow these steps:
- Click on Rankings/Virtual Meets.
- Select Build From Scratch.
- Select HS Girls, Returners, and 2016-18 5A.
- Click on Next, then remove the relays from the event list.
- Then click on See Results.
- At this page you can remove any athletes you don't think will be there for whatever reason, adjust marks, adjust scoring, and generally just play to your heart's content.