If you haven't thought of Julia Schlepp as a possible winner of the regional girls crown, you aren't yet done thinking about that race.
Historically, 5A Region 4 is one of Colorado's toughest regions. It may not be this year's toughest 5A region, but it's still solid and still a nightmare to advance to State out of.
This year, the regional meet will be held at the southern end of the region, at the Adams County Fairgrounds in Brighton. The host courses for this region tend to be fast and this certainly qualifies on that score.
We'll start with the boys this time around.
5A Region 4 Boys
Fort Collins takes the virtual meet over Poudre, but as recently as the Thornton meet at the end of September, Poudre got the better of Fort Collins in a head-to-head. So, there's still plenty to be decided here, but both teams do figure to be headed to State.
Fossil Ridge comes up next in the virtual meet. The Sabercats aren't out of the hunt for a regional title, but they figure to have a slightly more remote shot than either Poudre or Fort Collins. If, however, Fossil can close down their 2-3 gap or move it to a 3-4 or 4-5 gap, their chances improve considerably.
Broomfield comes up #4 in the virtual meet analysis, and they probably deserve to be there, but this is a team that needs to effectively cover their backside against threats from Loveland and Rocky Mountain. Broomfield probably needs no reminders that Rocky Mountain beat them at last week's Front Range League meet.
So, the #4 slot figures to get contentious.
Individually, Michael Mooney has a gaudy 15:41 time from Liberty Bell that puts him atop the virtual meet. But, Blake Hubert beat Mooney at the Front Range League meet. So, things aren't quite settled here yet. Joshua Krafsur and Bryce Pietenpol hold potential for upsetting the apple cart.
So far as individual qualifiers go, the top three Fort Collins schools aren't showing signs of leaving a lot of open places hanging around. If Broomfield doesn't make it as a team, Michael Mooney and Joseph Carwin have been running well enough to be in contention for an individual berth. Zac Witman of Loveland and Gavin Glaza of Horizon are also well-positioned.
The top 15 places will go by quickly, though, so nobody (except maybe Mooney) brings much margin of error into the individual qualifying game.
Click on Next for the 5A Region 4 girls preview.