Maison Tolle returns as one of the state's best jumpers and looks to give Highland a boost over rival Lyons.
League Teams: Dayspring Christian, Denver Christian, Gilpin County, Heritage Christian Academy, Highland, Lyons, Nederland, Twin Peaks Charter
Last Year's League Results: Last year it was an all-out shootout between Highland and Lyons, with Highland taking the title 221.5 to 193. In the wake of these two titans battling for the league title, Heritage Christian was third, just ahead of Denver Christian. Highland and Lyons swapped spaces at state, however with Lyons taking fifth and Highland in sixth
Key Losses To Graduation:
Dayspring Christian: MaKayla Bell, Kelsi Donoho, Erika Shupe
Highland: Courtney Kilian
Lyons: Ceann Udovich, Brenna Kuskie
Key Returning Athletes:
The team battle looks nearly identical to last year's league race on paper. It'll be another slug-fest between Lyons and Highland -- so much to the point, that every point, 1-8, will count. These two teams will battle up front, and down into the depths of each event. Behind them is a substantial drop-off, where Heritage and Denver Christian are likely to battle for third.
The sprints return the 2017 100 state champion Remington Ross. If the sophomore will have competition, it'll come from Ineke Cordova and Alexa Karsel.
Denver Christian's Monika Williams was the runner-up at last year's state championship in the 400. Ross will be competition, along with Lyons' Hannah Paton and Highland's Sidney Brown.
The hurdles will be a battle between Charlotte Rogers and Williams.
The 800 looks to be in the hands of Highland's Ryle Habel, but I wouldn't count anyone else out. 2017 cross country state champion Helen Cross of Nederland is the clear favorite in the 1,600 and the 3,200. If she'll have competition, it'll come from teammate Sarah Davidson and from Lyons' Georgia Barone.
Dayspring Christian's Katie Kurz returns as the defending state champion in the high jump. While she's clear above the competition, she could be pushed to new heights by Highland's Maison Tolle and Kayna Davis.
The pole vault looks to be a passing of the torch, and a Lyons-only affair. While 2017 state champion Brenna Kuskie graduated, look for her younger sister Logan Kuskie to fill Brenna's shoes. Logan finished second to her sister at state, and is the clear favorite here. She's a clear foot above the competition -- at least. Looking to give Lyons a 1-2-3 punch here will be teammates Katie Fankhouser, who is the No. 4 returner in the state in the event, and her older sister Hana Fankhouser. A Lyons sweep here could be big points for the Lions.
Highland could counter by sweeping the long jump, however. Ross and Tolle are the No. 2 and No. 4 returners in the state in the event. Additionally, Tolle is the No. 2 returner in the state in the triple jump. Aiding the Huskies here could be Olivia Himmel. But then the Lions have Bianca Mesagno, who could disrupt any Highland dominance in the jumps.
Highland will need all the help they can get from Laramie Woods and Tolle in the throws, because Lyons has an answer for every Huskie. Ixchel Leeuwenburgh is the No. 1 returner in the discus.