We're nearly a month into the season, and with St. Vrain, Joe Vigil, and Liberty Bell behind us now we're seeing some very revealing performances.
There was no shortage of competition this past weekend, and between these three big races, we saw a lot of movement within the rankings, as the portrait on the canvass is beginning to reveal itself.
Mountain Vista is proving to be the real deal, even without Easton Allred running varsity. They downed a very good Albuquerque Academy squad at Liberty Bell, and tallied a staggering 33-second gap from their 1-5 runner. And keep this in mind - this is without Allred on the squad. Their performance kept them on top of 5A this week.
Dakota Ridge remained No. 2 after dominating the field at Joe Vigil in Alamosa. Dakota Ridge scored 34 points, and had their top five in the top 20 - and top four in the top six. Their performance, however, didn't stop Heritage, who placed third at Liberty Bell, from tallying the same amount of points. In this week's set of rankings, both squads are locked at No. 2.
The biggest movement came in the in the middle of the rankings, where Fairview and Castle charged into the rankings from being previously unranked last week.
Niwot's 1-2 punch of Cruz Culpepper and Ares Reading is unrivaled in 4A, and the state. The duo's 1-2 finish at Liberty Bell was impressive, and capped with a solid top five, they remain a dominating force on top of 4A. Niwot finished fourth in the Sweepstakes race at Liberty Bell, and it was their 1-2 punch that really set them apart from Air Academy, and Centaurus, who comes in No. 2 and No. 3 this week.
Air Academy is proving themselves week in and week out, and this week downed Palmer Ridge at St. Vrain, which was quietly an uber-competitive meet this past weekend. Centaurus hasn't had the front-running of Niwot to really go stride-for-stride, but they've got a stellar pack.
New to this week's set of rankings were Silver Creek, and Thompson Valley. Silver Creek made the biggest jump, going from unranked to No. 7 this week, while Thompson Valley snuck in at No. 10.
Salida made a lot of noise at Joe Vigil. Their nine-second 1-5 split, elevated them to a runner-up finish in Alamosa, and this came despite no runner finishing in the top 10. A nine-second split... That's simply impressive. Their runner-up finish came at the hands of 5A No. 2 Dakota Ridge, and they were ahead of host Alamsa, and The Classical Academy. Salida's performance jumped them into the No. 1 spot this week, as they proved they'll be a challenger in Colorado Springs next month.
Behind them Peak to Peak went stride-for-stride with the big schools and Liberty Bell and showed why they deserve to be in the conversation. They come in No. 2 this week for their efforts.
We saw a little shuffling in the middle and top of the rankings, but it was the backside that saw three new squads made the list this week. Liberty Bell elevated Moffat, Berthoud, and University onto this week's rankings.
There doesn't appear to be a team that can break into the Heritage Christian and Lyons hold on the top two spots. From the beginning of the season, these two squad have dominated the polls, and the course. This week is no different.
These two titans battle at St. Vrain this past weekend, and Lyons came out on top, though it's of note that Heritage ran a split squad - Levi Kilian ran in the 5A/4A race. Regardless, these two teams remain on top of 2A.
Behind them Peyton has continued to climb up the rankings, landing in No. 3 this week. New to the rankings this week, and making the biggest jump, was Buena Vista, who made a trip to Liberty Bell pay off. They went from unranked to No. 5 this week.