For Wiggins High School, the good news is that they are defending 2A state track champions. The bad news is that the class of 2007 was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of class for a 2A school. Gone are Barrett Heiss, Jorge Leon, Shawn Lindbom, Adam Lingo, Mark Lingo, and all the points they contributed toward a comfortable 13-point margin at state.
Looking to displace the Tigers from the 2A throne will be Dayspring Christian, Lyons, Del Norte, and Wray. Limon and Swink, perennial contenders over the last decade, can't be counted out, but don't appear to be favorites going in. Rocky Ford, last fall's state cross country champions in 3A, will contend as well if they get all of their cross country team out for track--something that did not happen last year.
If Dayspring Christian is to move from second last year to first this year, the legs to get them there belong to Dan Baer, Graham Histed, and Jared Sanderford--all hurdlers by specialty. Tyler Mohman's graduation will be felt on both sprints and relays. Lyons may have better overall team depth than Dayspring, but state meets are more often decided on the strength of first and second place finishes than on the basis of depth. While Andrew Roberts (1600, 3200) represents the "Lion's share" of returning points, there are others coming back who should be able to score points. Chief among those would be senior Colin Anderson at 800 meters. Roberts and Anderson could both run 4 X 400 legs to help the Lions put together another competitive relay, but the proximity of the 3200 and 4 X 400 on the second day of state will give Roberts plenty to work through if they decide to do that. The Lions will feel the loss of Trey Mullen's points in the discus. Del Norte's hopes will ride the coattails of distance runner Edwin Cruz, 400-meter runner Lance Martinez (one of two returning placers in this event), and pole vaulter Wesley O'Rourke. Jake Beckman gives Wray an outside shot at sweeping the three sprint events, but the perennially-strong Eagles will need to come up with more points to make a run at a title. The graduation of Michael Fruhwirth's points will definitely be felt.
19 of Rocky Ford's 20 points at state last spring came on the legs of Victor Montoya. Montoya may be capable of scoring more points this year, but not enough to make Rocky Ford a contender solely on the basis of his performances alone. If cross country teammates Ivan Pena, Santino Apodaca, and David Garcia run track this spring, however, the picture changes dramatically for the Meloneers. In Limon, where there never has been any such thing as a bare cupboard, senior Zach Scherrer wears the franchise label. Miguel Narez returns to defend his shot put title for Swink, but the Lions need a revival of their sprinting fortunes to significantly raise their hopes. Jake Toney of Simla is the top returner in the 100 and 200 but, like so many other teams, Simla needs more stars to shine. Chris Villagomez of Center is yet another returning state champion (800 meters) on a team in need of additional support. Center added very competitive 4 X 400 and 4 X 800 relays last year, but will need to replace key members of those teams to retain the points earned in those events.
On the basis of returning talent alone, there is no prohibitive favorite to run away with the 2A boys title. In cases like this, the winner is almost always the school that cobbles together two or three highly competitive relay teams. Look for that to be the winning strategy again this spring.