4A State Meet Preview: Boys

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Can Cruz Culpepper and Ares Reading lead Niwot to a state title?

The 4A individual race, and the team race already look to be one of the most exciting matchups set for October, at least on paper. 

This looks like a battle between two titans: Niwot, and Air Academy. 

And not just in the team race, but in the individual race, which could go quite a few ways. On paper, Air Academy's Cal Banta is the top returner. He finished third at State last year, and tallied himself quite a solid track season, running PRs of 1:54, and 4:16. Giving Air Academy a potential 1-2 punch would be teammate Dillon Powell, who finished ninth last year, and is the second returning runner. Imagine being the No. 2 returner in the state - and on your own team...

Can Banta and Powell tally up three points - the least amount possible for two runners - and lead Air Academy to a state title? Air Academy will need all the firepower up front that they can get, because I'd imagine Cruz CulpepperAres Readingand Niwot might have something to say about that.

Niwot's Reading is the No. 3 returner, and like Banta, he had a great track season. Reading's highlight and perhaps most revealing result was his 9:14 3,200 PR. That should translate nicely onto the grass this fall. 

And then there's Culpepper. On paper - last year's state meet results - he's fairly far down the list, but this is one where the list does not reveal the truth. Culpepper had a solid cross country season last year, but his track season was stellar. Anytime a sophomore runs 1:54, and 4:11, you have give them a serious look, because that's national caliber. And while it was track and not cross country, a 4:11 miler is and always will be a threat for the win. 

Call Culpepper a dark horse, but I doubt it. He'll challenge Banta, Powell, and his teammate, Reading, for the W in October. 

And on that note, the team race looks like it'll come down to the result of how these four runners do - and their teammates. Moving some names around - notably, Culpepper up the list - Niwot is the team to beat. They could potentially have four in the top 13, and two in the top four.

Likewise, Air Academy could pull off the two-in-the-top-four, but they'll need some help closing the deal. And for a dark horse in the team race: Centaurus.

5000 Meter Run

RANKTIMEATHLETE/TEAMGRADEMEET DATEPLACE
115:58.80
Air Academy High School
2019
216:04.00
Air Academy High School
2019
316:14.90
Niwot High School
2019
416:16.20
Greeley Central High School
2019
516:19.50
Thompson Valley High School
2020
616:28.10
Centaurus High School
2019
716:30.10
Durango High School
2019
816:35.40
Centaurus High School
2019
916:37.00
Durango High School
2019
1016:38.20
Palmer Ridge High School
2019
1116:38.40
Niwot High School
2019
1216:44.70
Niwot High School
2019
1316:44.80
Mesa Ridge High School
2019
1416:47.20
Glenwood Springs High School
2019
1516:47.70
Palisade High School
2019
1616:50.30
Durango High School
2020
1716:51.70
Central (Grand Junction) High School
2019
1816:54.10
Centaurus High School
2021
1916:54.30
Widefield High School
2019
2016:55.20
Niwot High School
2020
2116:59.00
Centaurus High School
2019
2217:00.60
Durango High School
2021
2317:01.50
Glenwood Springs High School
2019
2417:04.60
Erie High School
2019
2517:08.30
Green Mountain High School
2021
2617:10.80
Littleton High School
2019
2717:11.80
Air Academy High School
2020
2817:13.90
Cheyenne Mountain High School
2019
2917:14.60
Evergreen High School
2020
3017:16.90
Mullen High School
2020
3117:21.90
Durango High School
2019
3217:23.00
Cheyenne Mountain High School
2019
3317:23.70
Palmer Ridge High School
2020
3417:25.80
Widefield High School
2019
3517:29.10
Eagle Valley High School
2019
3617:30.30
Central (Grand Junction) High School
2019
3717:31.00
Battle Mountain High School
2019
3817:32.30
Cheyenne Mountain High School
2019
3917:33.00
Standley Lake High School
2019
4017:33.90
Eagle Valley High School
2019
4117:35.80
Silver Creek High School
2019
4217:35.90
Air Academy High School
2020
4317:36.70
Durango High School
2019
4417:38.10
Steamboat Springs High School
2021
4517:38.60
Durango High School
2019
4617:40.10
Silver Creek High School
2020
4717:40.20
Eagle Valley High School
2019
4817:41.50
Centaurus High School
2019
4917:45.00
Palisade High School
2019
5017:45.60
Greeley Central High School
2019
5117:46.80
Eagle Valley High School
2020
5217:47.10
Evergreen High School
2019
5317:47.80
Mesa Ridge High School
2019
5417:48.50
Thompson Valley High School
2020
5517:48.90
Discovery Canyon High School
2021
5617:54.50
Conifer High School
2019
5717:54.60
Conifer High School
2019
5817:59.50
Cheyenne Mountain High School
2019
5917:59.60
Northridge High School
2019
6018:00.10
Standley Lake High School
2019
6118:01.70
Montrose High School
2020
6218:02.50
Montrose High School
2021
6318:03.40
Fort Lupton High School
2020
6418:06.00
Glenwood Springs High School
2021
6518:09.20
Air Academy High School
2019
6618:10.30
Evergreen High School
2021
6718:12.00
Glenwood Springs High School
2019
6818:18.70
Montrose High School
2021
6918:19.70
Montrose High School
2021
7018:23.60
Thompson Valley High School
2019
7118:23.90
Thompson Valley High School
2019
7218:25.90
Mead High School
2020
7318:26.60
Thompson Valley High School
2021
7418:26.70
Eagle Valley High School
2019
7518:27.50
Evergreen High School
2021
7618:29.10
Widefield High School
2020
7718:32.10
Widefield High School
2021
7819:09.30
Greeley Central High School
2019
7919:09.80
Evergreen High School
2021
8019:14.20
Conifer High School
2019
8119:27.80
Mead High School
2020
8220:29.10
Mullen High School
2021


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