Boulder's Lauren Neugeboren returns as the one of the best milers in the state. She'll be among a stacked field of distance runners in the Front Range League.
League Teams: Boulder, Broomfield, Fairview, Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge, Greeley West, Horizon, Legacy, Loveland, Monarch, Mountain Range, Poudre, Rocky Mountain
Last Year's League Results:
Last year Fort Collins claimed the league with 144 points. Behind them, cross-town rival Rocky Mountain took second with 104 points before a substantial drop-off. Loveland and Monarch battled it out for third with Loveland taking the honors 74-72. State results revealed similar finishes, with Fort Collins taking the runner-up spot and Rocky Mountain in fourth.
Key Athletes Lost to Graduation:
Broomfield: Abby Croell, Alison White
Fairview: Hannah Freeman, Annalise Arant, Claire Jamison
Fort Collins: Audra Koopman, Jasmine Chesson, Lauren Gregory, Emma Dern
Fossil Ridge: Promise Butler, Sheridan Davis, Makenzie Matz, Sarah Eastwood
Greeley West: Alexia Soria
Legacy: Sydney Mudgett
Loveland: Hannah Weinmaster, Blair Bernhardt, Tatum Rembao, Wendy Dykstra, Courtney Bale
Monarch: Danielle Honan, Holly Bent, Audrey Lookner
Mountain Range: Zoe Gilbertson
Poudre: Mckenzee Gertz, Mia Moret, Kylee Miller
Rocky Mountain: Tate Thornton, Laila Adl
Fort Collins may have graduated a slew of top-tier athletes, but they return nearly just as many. On paper they are the favorite - but not by much. Rocky Mountain returns more state-qualifiers than their cross town rivals and could flip the script this year if they play their cards right. Monarch has a few multi-event athletes that could launch them into the No. 3 spot, though they'll have to battle with Broomfield and Fairview. As with previous years, some of the best athletes in the state come out of this league, and this year doesn't look any different.
In the sprints Monarch's Mia Manson, who's known primarily for her pole-vaulting prowess, returns in the 100 and the 200. Manson is the No. 5 returner in the state in the 100. The 400 appears to be in the hands of Boulder's Lily Margolis
The hurdles look to be a two-woman race between Kailey Peterson and Samantha Gordon. Gordon has the upper hand in the 300 hurdles, as she is the No. 4 returner in the state in the event. She'll be joined by Destiny Butler and Annika Larson.
There are two areas where the Front Range league nearly dominates across the state, and that's in the distance events, and the field.
The 800 is stacked. The league championship is clearly but a prelude to what's to come at state, because half of last year's state finalists came from the Front Range. Broomfield's Madison Mooney is the favorite and looks destined to take the league, and the state this year. She is the top returner in the state in the event. Behind her Fairview's Marlena Preigh, Rocky Mountain's Callin Naddy, Boulder's Lauren Neugeboren, Monarch's Hailey Leader, and teammate Katelyn Mitchem make this event one to keep an eye on.
The mile appears be similarly stacked. Preigh is the top returner in the state in the mile, and the lineup behind her looks much like the 800: Neugeboren, Mooney, Mitchem, Naddy, and Fairview's Isabella Bowland, and Broomfield's Ivy Gonzales. Additionally, Legacy's Brynn Siles may be a dark horse here. She had a stellar cross country season - she was the favorite heading into state before injury sidelined her.
Poudre's Luna Slater is the favorite on paper in the 3,200, but like the mile, Siles could be a real threat here as well.
The high jump returns two of last year's state qualifiers. Rocky Mountain's Myles Hilbert is the favorite in the league, as she is the No. 3 returner in the state. She'll be joined by Poudre's Rile Endries.
The pole vault could be an area where Monarch makes some serious damage. Mia Manson returns to defend her state title, and she's been on fire throughout the indoor season. She's the clear favorite, well beyond her competition, which includes teammate Heidi Liles, who is the No. 3 returner in the state. Liles gives Monarch the possibility of going 1-2 at state in the event. Additionally, Isabella Mondragon and Lydia Dawson will be in the mix.
The long jump gets a little thin on depth, Kaylie Morgans is the clear favorite here, while Kaily Peterson is the favorite in the triple jump. Paterson will likely have competition from Gordon.
The shot is where spectators will almost literally be witnessing a state preview. There is no other league in the state with as much depth. Rocky Mountain's Gabriella McDonald returns to defend her state title, and she's accompanied by the best slew of athletes. There's Lauren Whyrick (No. 3), Amber Gustason (No. 4), Genna Campain (No. 5), Morgan Stewart (No. 6), Grace Whyrick (No. 7), Joy Fifita (No. 8), and Moira Dillow (No. 9).
The discus appears similar, but without as much star-power. McDonald set the state meet record last year and looks to once again dominate the event. Gustason is the No. 3 returner this year, and Stewart should be in the mix as well.