Megan Greenly may be your strongest candidate for the girls individual title at Friday's Eric Wolff.
"But," you protest, "the Eric Wolff is an invitational. It's not a league meet!"
Your protest is both right and wrong; it's a little of both. An invitational and two league meets all rolled into one. Fortunately, for those who run there, it's only one race scored multiple ways. Otherwise, it would be a tough decision, "Do I save a little for the league race or do I lay it all on the line for the invitational where there are more teams competing?"
In this case, the leagues are the Southern Peaks (Lake City, Center, Antonito, Del Norte, Moffat, Centennial, and Sargent) and the Intermountain (Montezuma-Cortez, Bayfield, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa, Monte Vista, and Centauri). But, we need to dangle a few qualifiers on the Intermountain League part of the meet. Bayfield and Montezuma-Cortez didn't submit entries, so I infer they're not coming. Monte Vista doesn't do high school cross country, so they're definitely not coming--even though the trip would be very short for them. I'm left to wonder if the IML isn't doing a league meet or if it got done earlier in the season when I wasn't looking.
The other schools (Gunnison, Custer County, Cripple Creek-Victor, Dolores, Rye, and Salida) come for the sheer thrill of racing cross country in Monte Vista's Chapman Park. Not all of the aforementioned teams are bringing full varsity squads. And among those that are bringing full varsity squads, not all meet the requirements for having a scoring team.
I will not, however, try to separate out leagues for this meet preview. For the purposes of this article, I'll be looking at the bigger invitational picture. The rest of this page is devoted to the girls side of the meet. The next page will take the boys into view.
Inasmuch as Salida and Alamosa are leaving their varsity regulars in civvies this weekend, I pulled those individuals out of the virtual meet, leaving us with this to score:
Championship Meet - 18 Teams
Championship Meet - 18 Teams Team Scores
|1||Pagosa Springs High School||37||2||6||8||9||12||-||-|
|2||Gunnison High School||46||3||4||7||11||21||-||-|
|3||Centauri High School||64||1||5||13||19||26||-||-|
|4||Alamosa High School||104||14||16||17||18||39||-||-|
|5||Rye High School||125||10||23||25||30||37||-||-|
|6||Salida High School||135||20||27||28||29||31||-||-|
|7||Antonito High School||214||36||42||43||46||47||-||-|
|--||Lake City Community School||NTS|
|--||Custer County High School||NTS|
|--||Moffat High School||NTS|
|--||Sargent High School||NTS|
|--||Center High School||NTS|
|--||Del Norte High School||NTS|
|--||Bayfield High School||NTS|
As you can see, with the Alamosa and Salida usual varsity types removed, the look of this meet gets a lot different in a hurry. The front of the pack figures to be densely populated with freshmen. And, it figures to come down between Gunnison and Pagosa Springs for the team title, though it's not out of the question that Centauri has some say-so there as well.
Centauri freshman Lizzie Valentine brings in the top time, but Megan Greenly finished ahead of Valentine two weeks ago at the Pagosa Springs home invitational. Greenly also finished ahead of Valentine at Joe Vigil, Southwest Sunset, and Lake County. So, we'll give Greenly the nod as favorite here, but she might want to check over her shoulder on a turn or two (there are plenty at Chapman Park) to see where Valentine is. Valentine could be getting weary of the bit about finishing behind Greenly.
The Gunnison duo of Aulea Rollins and Ivy Pelletier could play a crucial role here as well. Gunnison hasn't exactly been stalking the fastest courses in the state this fall, and this pair may be better than the virtual meet is giving them credit for. One thing is almost certain here: somebody will pick up her first high school win at this meet.
Since the four we've identified as individual favorites are all freshmen, there's not a lot of side-by-side comparison to draw on here. But, if you want to investigate further what there is, here is the Greenly vs. Valentine comparison.
Megan Greenly vs. Lizzie Valentine
Click on Next for the discussion of the boys race.