Isaac Roberts won a round with Levi Kilian last week Thursday. Can he repeat that this week Wednesday?
"Flurry" seems like a good word for today, but any snow flurries should be long gone by Wednesday when the Mile High League meet rolls out on the campus of the Dawson School in Lafayette.
The Mile High League is a powerhouse among 2A cross country leagues. Most 2A cross country leagues barely qualify as leagues. In a lot of cases, many of the league member schools don't sponsor cross country and the league meet--if there even is one--gets to be rather slim pickings.
Not so with the Mile High League. And, in fact, the league boasts three teams that have proven to be recurring powers within the 2A ranks: Nederland, Lyons, and Heritage Christian Academy. None of these three teams figures to be especially pressed to qualify for state out of regionals (possible exception: Nederland boys), so if there's any posturing to do before State, this is the logical place to do it.
I'm certain none of the coaches in question would call what goes on on Wednesday "posturing," but nobody wants to leave Lafayette with their team members feeling like that just got whupped by a league member rival.
We'll look at the girls first, following the established pattern of doing a virtual meet first, then adding comments at the bottom. Here's what a virtual meet of the Mile High League girls looks like at the moment:
Championship Meet - 9 Teams
Championship Meet - 9 Teams Team Scores
|1||Lyons High School||17||4||6||7||-||-||-|
|2||Heritage Christian Academy||25||2||10||13||-||-||-|
|3||Nederland High School||31||1||5||25||-||-||-|
|4||Highland High School||32||9||11||12||-||-||-|
|7||Denver Christian High School||90||21||34||35|
Lyons has the driver's seat here, and that status is enhanced by the fact that the fastest course they've run on all year is probably the Doherty course at Bear Creek Park, and that one isn't going to make anyone's top-20 list. Heritage Christian has run Liberty Bell, John Martin, and Loveland Sweetheart. The actual gap, then, betweeen Lyons and HCA is undoubtedly greater than the eight poins shown above.
The fact that Nederland hasn't seen a lot of times on fast courses this fall would further suggest that HCA might be more busy trying to hold off the Panthers for second than with catching the Lions for first. In any case, the Eagles have some serious cat problems to deal with on Wednesday. And, it may not just be felines. It could involve canines as well. The Highland Huskies are another team with an outside shot at upsetting some applecarts here.
Individually, this league lacks some of the top-end star power it's seen in recent years, but the battle for the individual title should still be a very competitive one. My sense is that it comes down to four: Lucca Fulkerson of Dawson, Leeann Wagner of Heritage Christian, Helen Cross of Nederland, and Georgia Barone of Lyons.
After a bit of a slower start to her season, Lucca Fulkerson has been picking up steam lately. Helen Cross is one of the rising stars in the 2A ranks. Leeann Wagner has yet to unleash an especially deadly race this season, but she's not someone you want to go to sleep on just the same. Georgia Barone is nothing if not steady at the front of the Lyons pack.
Helen Cross's 20:16 at Broomfield is the best effort posted by anyone in the league this fall. In my book, that qualifies her as the favorite. If she does take the win, the next three places are kind of up for grabs. And, it's not at all unthinkable that Sarah Davidson finds her way into the top four as well.
You can play around with match-ups between all of these contenders with the MileSplit Compare Athletes tool. I've started you off with a link below to compare Helen Cross and Georgia Barone. If that's not the match-up that intrigues you, then you can change the names to get the match-up you want the deep dive on.
Helen Cross vs. Georgia Barone
Click on Next to view the boys preview.