Preseason Cross Country Polls

The committee of coaches representing all classifications has cast their ballots, and Colorado Track XC is pleased to present the 2008 preseason rankings.

The boys 5A rankings show what may be a surprise team to many at the top of the rankings--Loveland. Close behind, however, are more familiar powers like Cherry Creek, Fairview, Regis, and Arapahoe. The complete top ten is as follows:

1. Loveland

2. Cherry Creek

3. Fairview

4. Regis Jesuit

5. Arapahoe

6. Dakota Ridge

7. Fort Collins

8. Rampart

9. Palmer

10. Pomona

In 5A girls, familiar powerhouses Dakota Ridge and Fort Collins are expected to retain their stranglehold on the top two positions. Palmer, a moderate surprise at third in state last year, has convinced the skeptics--the Terrors are expected to return to that position. Strong individuals at Air Academy and Highlands Ranch have helped to propel these teams into the rankings; look out if a strong supporting cast develops with either program.

1. Fort Collins

2. Dakota Ridge

3. Palmer

4. Cherry Creek

5. Arapahoe

6. Chaparral

7. Rocky Mountain

8. Green Mountain

9. Air Academy

10. Highlands Ranch

4A Boys may provide the greatest intrigue of all to start the season. Battle Mountain lost "the franchise." While nobody expects them to become a pushover this year, there's certainly room to think the title is up for grabs. The pollsters give Niwot, Wheat Ridge, and D'Evelyn the best shots of rising to the top, but the field is deep.

1. Niwot

2. Wheat Ridge

3. D'Evelyn

4. Rock Canyon

5. Alamosa

6. Denver North

7. Battle Mountain

8. Greeley Central

9. Mullen

10. Woodland Park

Thompson Valley and Greeley West staged a battle of titanic proportions last fall in the 4A ranks. Both teams should be back in thick of things again this year. They should have company, however, from programs like Alamosa, Mullen, Greeley Central, and Cheyenne Mountain.

1. Thompson Valley

2. Greeley West

3. Greeley Central

4. Mullen

5. Cheyenne Mountain

6. Alamosa

7. Summit

8. Evergreen

9. Wheat Ridge

10. Battle Mountain

In 3A boys, Lyons--who narrowly missed a team title last fall--comes in as this year's favorites. The Classical Academy returns to dog their heels. If either team falters, the early nods go to Bayfield, Pagosa Springs, Erie, and La Junta to pick up the slack.

1. Lyons

2. The Classical Academy

3. Erie

4. Pagosa Springs

5. Bayfield

6. La Junta

7. Faith Christian

8. Brush

9. University

10. Basalt

The Classical Academy returns as the favorite among 3A girls programs. Graduation hit last year's runner-up, Peak to Peak, hard. Thus, Pagosa Springs, Brush, and St. Mary's assume the mantle of top challengers.

1. The Classical Academy

2. Pagosa Springs

3. St. Mary's

4. Brush

5. Peak to Peak

6. Gunnison

7. Holy Family

8. Middle Park

9. Aspen

10. Bayfield

The new 2A classification proved the toughest to rank as many teams are little known. Among the boys, Rocky Ford (last year's 3A champion) rose to the top of the rankings, but not without some questions regarding whether Victor Montoya and Santino Apodaca will be running this fall and, if so, where. This one could prove to be a lot more interesting than many thought at first.

1. Rocky Ford

2. Wiggins

3. Crested Butte Community

4. Alexander Dawson

5. Ouray

On the girls' side of 2A, Crested Butte, Lutheran-Parker, Wiggins, and Nederland garnered an overwhelming share of the votes. They are the ones expected to carry the 2A banner.

1. Crested Butte Community

2. Lutheran-Parker

3. Nederland

4. Wiggins

5. Rocky Ford

And, so, it is almost time to race and settle these matters the proper way--on the course. All the best to all of Colorado's cross country programs--ranked or unranked alike--this fall.

Permission to reproduce the results of the Colorado Track XC Coaches Poll is given, provided that proper credit is given: Colorado Track XC,