Bayfield's Jordan Lanning returns as one of the best athletes in the state -- in four events. The Wolverines will rely on her talents to lead them once again.
Last Year's League Results: (Note: Like the boys preview, there aren't any league results from last year, so the following is a report of how Intermountain teams did as state.)
Bayfield led the league at state with 31 points, Montezuma-Cortez finished 14th with 18 points while Alamosa finished 17th with 16 points.
Key Losses By Graduation:
Bayfield: Amber Johnson, Madeleine Foutz, Emily Bauer
Alamosa: Jessica Archuleta-Trujilio
Key Returning Athletes:
Alamosa looks primed to turn the tables on their Intermountain league rival this year. Bayfield may have led the charge last year, but the Maroons have a full team. Or more importantly, they return more, young athletes. If there's one area that really separates these two teams, it's in the distance events, where Alamosa returns a slew of state-experienced youth.
With Alamosa flying out front as the early favorite, it's likely that Bayfield will need to hold off a hard-charging Montezuma-Cortez squad. While Bayfield is strong, very strong, in the field events and hurdles, Cortez will likely counter by tallying points in the sprint and distance events.
If there's anyone Bayfield can count on, it's Jordan Lanning. The junior is the top returner in the state in the high jump, No. 2 returner in the 100 hurdles, No. 4 returner in the long jump, and No. 5 returner in the triple jump. If she competes in all, or even a third, of these events in the league meet, that'll likely give the Wolverines a much-needed boost.
Cortez, on the other hand, returns Aryelle Wright, who is the top returner in the state in the 400. Mixing it up in the sprints for Alamosa will be Allyssa Romero and Mary Streeter.
Adding to the state's best, Pagosa Springs returns Keena Murphy. Last year Murphy took second at state in the discus, though this year she's a clear favorite to dominate the event.
The distance events is where Alamosa is likely to do their most damage. There doesn't appear to be a challenger here for the Maroons -- they could sweep the 800 through the 3,200.