A Look Ahead At Northern League Girls

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Niwot's Mackenzie Fidelak returns as one of the best sprinters in the state. She'll look to help the Cougars defend their league title this year. 

Last Year's League Results: Niwot was unstoppable last year, claiming the league title with 190 points. Longmont was a distant second with 127 points, while Thompson Valley took the third spot with 119 points -- two-and-a-half points ahead of Mountain View. 

Key Losses by Graduation:
Mountain View: Lauren Offerman
Thompson Valley: Helena Ernst

Key Returning Athletes:
Thompson Valley: Kenadi KruegerCindy Ybarra

The Outlook: 
There doesn't appear to be anything stopping last year's league champions (and state runner-up) from defending their title. Even with the graduation of Alexi Carroll, Niwot looks to be just fine. They've got two of the best athletes in the state in Mackenzie Fidelak and Mary Gillett, who could nearly take on every other team in the league by themselves. On paper, the Cougars are solid in every event through the 800 -- though if they have a weakness, it's in the distance events. Mountain View and Thompson Valley are in a virtual lock in that runner-up spot. While Mountain View is insanely strong in the field events, Thompson Valley's strengths are a bit more evenly spread. 

The sprint events will be in the hands of Niwot's Mary Gillett and Mackenzie Fidelak. Gillett was last year's state champion in the 200 and the 400, was the runner-up in the 100, and is the top returner in the state in the long jump. If she'll have competition, it'll be from Fidelak, who is the No. 3 returner in the state in the 300 hurdles, and the 400. Gillett and Fidelak are a big reason for Niwot's success within league and the state. 

The field events will be highlighted by defending high jump state champion Rylee Anderson from Silver Creek. Having won a state title last year, the bar couldn't be any higher for Anderson. Thompson Valley's Cindy Ybarra also returns to defend her title in the discus. 

The distance events will be wide open with the graduation of Lauren Offerman, who swept the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 last year. The void leaves room for (a) new star(s) to rise, which looks like Centaurus' Riley Geldean and Thompson Valley's Kenadi Kruegar. The two sophomores could have three more years of epic battles ahead of them.