The teams in the race who've been flirting with statewide rankings (whether 2A or 3A) are Denver North, Conifer, The Classical Academy, Peyton, Vanguard, Lyons, Nederland, and Heritage Christian Academy. There are other schools that could potentially show us something worth seeing, schools like Clear Creek, Faith Christian, Jefferson Academy, and so on. With that many teams jockeying for position we figure to learn some things worth knowing about relative team strengths--so long as we account for the fact that we have a not-all-hands-on-deck meet on account of the ACT testing.
Ordinarily, The Classical Academy would probably rate among the favorites to win in this race, but the Titans are missing three varsity types due to ACT testing. In view of that, team favorite status might slip to Lyons, provided the Lions don't show up similarly depleted on Saturday morning. The score-four format should help the smaller schools compete.
This meet is a great opportunity for Denver North to show something and get back on the radar screen of 3A cross country.
Lyons, Nederland, Heritage Christian Academy, and Peyton all in the same race should help clear some of the fog from the next set of 2A Girls rankings. We haven't seen Heritage Christian Academy yet all year (though they could be on tired legs from Liberty Bell on Friday).
Individually, some of your favorites would have to include freshman Lucca Fulkerson of Dawson (5th at middle school state cross last fall), Georgia Barone of Lyons, Shannon King of Faith Christian, Kaylee Thompson of The Classical Academy, Emma Schaefer of Shining Mountain, Leann Wagner of Heritage Christian Academy, Bria Johnson of Vanguard, Helen Cross and Sarah Davidson of Nederland, and Kaylee Kearse of Peyton. All of these are on the start lists, but that's not a guarantee that every coach checked the ACT list before signing up his or her teams.
If somebody else sneaks into the mix, so much the better.