Monarch Girls XC, 2017

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Hailey Leader will be looked to for experience and senior leadership on this year's Monarch roster.

It was Monarch's boys who won a 5A state title last fall. But, under no circumstances do you get careless about underestimating the Monarch girls.

Even though Monarch graduated two mainstays this spring in Holly Bent and Audrey Lookner, prospects for this team look solid for this fall. 

Liz Hogan and Hailey Leader figure to step up into the roles of senior leadership. Hogan is a 5:17/11:01 type, though the 11:01 came at Arcadia. If you take altitude performances only, she has a very nice 11:21 to her credit. 

Though focused mainly on the 800 this spring, Leader still managed to post a 5:21 1600. And, Leader has posted several sub-20 marks in cross country. 

That leaves three more scoring positions. Those scoring positions figure to be parceled out among some combination of Anna Wexler, Brooke Forsythe, Abby Hein, Julia Mainland, and Elizabeth Moore. All are capable cross country runners and, together, more or less ensure Monarch will continue its tradition of boasting one of the deepest girls cross country rosters in the state. All but Forsythe ran sub-20 at least once last fall, and Forsythe only missed by nine seconds. 

Mainland, Forsythe, and Wexler each ran 5:36 or better for the 1600 this spring. In addition to Hogan, only Wexler and Hein had 3200 marks from this spring as the Coyotes largely left the 3200 untouched by the down-roster athletes this spring. 

We really don't know much about the incoming freshman class at Monarch. It would be highly unusual for this program if there's not a find or two in the mix, but it's tough to say who that might be right now. 

What will be important for Monarch this fall is a strong pack presence. The absence of a sub-18 threat up front makes it all the more crucial that the Coyotes are able to score five in quick succession.

At this point, Broomfield and Mountain Vista are heavy favorites in the ranks of 5A Girls, but Monarch figures as a serious player near the top. Tradition runs deep in this program, and once new leadership gets established in the program the Coyotes figure to be back to old habits of excellence. The names are probably not as familiar around the state as they were in the Nike Cross Nationals years, but the team figures to be highly competitive just the same.