Max Bonenberger is on the bubble for a state-qualifying position as an individual, but he gets to make the attempt on the Summit home course.
Call this one the I-70 region. Except for Littleton and Mullen, all of the schools live perilously close to I-70. And, the regional meet itself also won't be that far from I-70. This year, it's as the Frisco Peninsula Recreation area. That is likely to favor the schools from higher elevation and ones who get to see a few more hills in their training routing. As a bonus, you can chill your aching legs in Lake Dillon after the race!
We'll start this regional forecast with a look at the boys:
4A Region 1 Boys
Eagle Valley has been consistently good, and mostly overlooked, all season long. The virtual meet has them at the top of the pile, and that is where they belong. They're not impossibly far ahead of the other contenders, but it will be an upset if they don't take the regional crown.
The virtual meet has the next three teams as Battle Mountain, Mullen, and Glenwood Springs, and there's a very good chance these will be the teams that gobble up the state meet berths. Three Jeffco teams--Green Mountain, Wheat Ridge, and Evergreen make up the next tier, but they'll need to scramble to close the gap on Battle Mountain, Mullen, and Glenwood.
Certainly, there is the possibility for surprises on Thursday, and especially so given the elevation and nature of the regional course. But, from outward appearances of the rankings, this one looks like one of the more cut-and-dried regions where team state qualifying is concerned.
There isn't a deep roster of dominant individuals on the region's top teams, so we could see a longer-than-usual list of individual qualifiers coming out of this meet. Among those near the front of the line going in are Christian Sapakoff of Littleton, Brody Bittner of Palisade, plus Colin Szuch of Evergreen, Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos of Green Mountain, and the local favorite of Max Bonenberger of Summit. At the top of your list of likely individual qualifiers is Drew Seidel of Wheat Ridge.
Seidel is also a legitimate contender for the regional individual title. If he takes nicely to the rises and descents of the Frisco Peninsula, he could find himself dealing with characters like Aiden Branch and Bryce Medaris for regional top honors. But, be willing for the course to determine its own set of top contenders. Often a course like this will do that, and it's often not easy to predict who will rise to the top in such a circumstance.
Click on Next for the girls preview.