Douglas County's Abigail Brown is a certifiable rising star in the sprint ranks.
League Teams: Castle View, Chaparral, Douglas County, Heritage, Highlands Ranch, Legend, Mountain Vista, Ponderosa, Regis Jesuit, Rock Canyon, ThunderRidge
Last Year's League Results: Last year Rock Canyon led the league at the state meet by finishing seventh with 36 points, while Mountain Vista was right on their heels in ninth with 33 points.
Key Athletes Lost to Graduation:
ThunderRidge: Shewli Ghosh
Mountain Vista: Emma Smith
Chaparral: Chlotille Scheckle
Castle View: Sierra Suazo
Rock Canyon: Sloane Stewartson
Douglas County: Meredith Minton
Key Retuning Athletes:
Mountain Vista returns a slew of top-tier athletes that can not only perform within the league, but also at state. There doesn't appear to be a challenger within the league for the Golden Eagles. On paper Mountain Vista is flying high above everyone else -- they've got the star power to dominate if they want to. Though, when scrolling down the list of athletes, they could hold their stars out for state.
The real question is who will sneak into the No. 2 and No. 3 spots -- because those are up for grabs. Legend has the jump on the No. 2 spot, though Highlands Ranch, Regis Jesuit, ThunderRidge, Douglas County, and Rock Canyon, all return solid athletes. Every point will matter in the team race for second and third.
The sprints and hurdles should be an exciting area to watch. The Continental League has the best collection of hurdlers in the state, and the country. Emily Sloan is a clear favorite here, as she is the defending state champion in the 100 hurdles (and on a rampage this indoor season
). The Oregon-commit
was also the state runner-up in the 300 hurdles. Adding to the insane depth is Kara Lucyk, who finished third at state in the 300 hurdles for a 2-3 in the event.
In the field events there's Riley Masten, who is the No. 2 returner in the state in the high jump while Morgan Adsit returns as the No. 2 pole vaulter in the state. In the jumps is Legend's Alexa Gonzalez, who is the No. 5 returner in the state in the long jump. She'll have a challenger in Morgan Riddle for the event.
The distance events are where Mountain Vista reigns supreme. You can't talk about the distance events without mentioning the name Jenna Fitzsimmons, who was recently crowned the Gatorade Athlete of the Year
. The sophomore claimed the cross country state title this past fall, and is the top returner in the 3,200. She'll likely fill the void on the state stage that once was Brie Oakley's. And Fitzsimmons won't be alone -- she's got teammates Carolie Eck, and Sarah O'Sullivan. If there's anyone who can break up a Golden Eagle sweep in the 1,600 and 3,200, it'd be Shae Henley, Lina Corralas, or Bailee Stones. They appear to be the only ones capable of keeping pace with the high-flying Golden Eagles. Meanwhile, Megan Koch enters the season as the favorite in the 800.