Niwot and Centaurus had a bit of a misfire of a match-up at the Northern League meet. They get another chance on Thursday.
There have been plenty of years where 4A Region 3 ranked as one of the lower-key 4A regionals. It won't this year.
This one will be decided Thursday on the trails behind Lyons High School and there promises to be some excitement along the way. We'll do girls first this time, then proceed to the boys.
4A Region 3 Girls
The top three teams you see above are probably legitimately the top three teams in the region, but the differences between these three teams are not what the virtual meet scoring would indicate. Keep in mind that Niwot and Valor ran at Desert Twilight. Their virtual meet times are pretty much entirely Desert Twilight times.
Not that Niwot and Valor aren't very good teams, only that they're not as far ahead of Centaurus as the virtual meet is hinting. In fact, Centaurus could conceivably beat both of them on Thursday and nobody should walk away shaking their heads in disbelief if that were to happen.
The truth is, this one is too close to call, for any of first, second, or third places. Being a regional meet, there's a sense it which it doesn't matter. Just finish in the top four and you're golden. I've a hunch, though, you can't count on these teams thinking that way.
That leaves one more team to get a state berth out of this region. Could be George Washington, could be Standley Lake, could be Erie. It will likely take a minor miracle for any of the rest of the region's teams to squeeze in on that action.
Honestly, I kind of like GW's chances here. If it's the Patriots who will advance, they'll need big performances out of two freshmen--Lexi Emerson and Delaney Gilfillan.
Watch and see what happens here.
Individually, it's probably Taylor James or Riley Geldean for the regional title. We missed seeing a preview of that when James didn't run at the Northern League meet, but this showdown has been brewing for a while.
Top ten places will be difficult to come by, with Valor, Niwot, and Centaurus all figuring to grab at least a couple of those slots. And Lexi Emerson, at least, figures here as well.
Who gets individual berths to State will hinge a lot on which is the fourth team qualifying for State. If that fourth team is GW, it could be a mad scramble for what will likely be only one or two places, if that. Sophia Abernethy of Standley Lake and Emily Condon of Erie are the top candidates there. Northfield's Riley Buese is another with a shot.
Click Next for the 4A Region 3 boys preview.