All of Soleil Gaylord's international racing experience and accumulated meet titles are not enough to put a lock on another state cross country title for Telluride.
Telluride has now won back-to-back 2A Girls state cross country titles. There is a decent possibility they extend that string three in a row this fall.
There is no better 1-2 in all of 2A than Soleil Gaylord and Maya Ordonez. They finished 5-7 in last year's state meet, but gave a better glimpse of their potential when they finished 1-4 in this spring's 3200 and ran two legs of Telluride's wining 4x800 meter relay.
This year as last, however, the question isn't so much about how Telluride will fare at 1 and 2, but how they'll fare at 3. Last fall, Alyssa Pack stepped up and gave Telluride all they needed, plus a little, at #3. But Pack graduated.
A new #3 must step up. And it's not yet clear who that will be.
Juniors Lydia Hagan and Isabelle Bennett are two possibilities, but it's tough to say where they might come in this fall since neither ran track this spring. Both posted best times in the mid 22s last fall.
And so it goes down the order last year's roster. Evidently, cross country exerts a much greater gravitational pull around Telluride than track does (and it's not real difficult to think of a few reasons why that might be the case, given the particulars of Telluride's location).
One who did run track this spring, and earned a spot on the state-winning 4x800, was Sydney Evans. But Evans has never run cross country. It seems unlikely, though possible, her senior year would be her first year of cross country.
The Telluride Middle School girls team was made up entirely of sixth and seventh graders last fall, so there wouldn't appear to be any help rising up in the ranks of the freshman class.
So, if you're tempted to be excessively envious of Telluride's recent cross country success, you might temper that with the realization that--unless somebody has stepped up in a big way or shown up out of the blue--Telluride has some questions to answer at the #3 position that aren't going to go away easily.
Stated bluntly, unless Telluride finds at least one answer at #3, the Miners are something less than a lock to take home a third straight team title. There are teams within the 2A ranks capable of exploiting an opening.
If you follow 2A cross country at all, then, one thing to keep a particular eye on is the depth of the Telluride girls roster.