Lily Williams almost certainly would have left a mark on this year's state meet.
5A, of course, is the realm of Colorado's biggest schools, plus a couple schools that have opted up to compete in 5A. As such, it is, in most years, the epicenter of top competition across the state. Not because smaller schools don't have great athletes but because, proportions being what they are, 5A has more of them than anyone else.
It's time now to take a bit of a look at which were to be Colorado's top 5A girls teams this spring. Then, we look at the seniors who figured to power the engine of those programs. They are the ones who lost the most when this spring's season was shut down. So, we take a few moments here to ponder what could have been.
Broomfield - Broomfield hasn't been an auto on this list of teams in recent years, but they figured to be this year. The senior class at BHS held two top contenders: sprinter/jumper Sydney Holiday and middle distance runner Lauren Felknor. A big state meet by these two could have pushed the Eagles into trophy-hunting territory.
Cherry Creek - Most of the top talent at Cherry Creek this spring belonged to younger classes. But, the seniors were represented well by hurdler Isabella D'Ambrosia and high jumper Margaret Molke. Like Broomfield, Cherry Creek would have started the season on the outside looking in, but there was real potential for the Bruins to get there.
Fort Collins - As usual, the Lambkins expected to have a very good track team this spring. There was sprinter Dominique Chesson, hurdler/jumper Samantha Gordon, and thrower Libby Hubbeling among this year's senior class. Probably all would have needed to have had a solid state meet for Fort Collins to leave with a trophy, but it's not at all out of the question that could have happened.
Grandview - Lately, it's tough to imagine Grandview without a very good track team. Some of the top-end, dominating talent of recent years graduated, but the Wolves still had cards to play. That certainly includes sprinter Lily Williams--and it's an interesting question if she would have stayed with the 800 this spring--distance runner Anna Swanson, and hurdler Kameryn Brown. Arguably, Grandview's state meet rises and falls with the kind of meet Williams has, but all the points gained or lost would have been important to Grandview's final finish.
Mountain Vista - Mountain Vista is known for distance. And, without a doubt, Sarah O'Sullivan, Madison Reed, and Jessica Barich would have been heard from in distance events. If Jenna Fitzsimmons could have successfully returned from an injury in cross country season, she would have counted on this list as well. But, perhaps more than any other individual, hurdler/jumper Kara Lucyk held the key to the Golden Eagles' final finish at state. Also figuring for potential state meet points were jumper Aimee Vaillant. It was a year of abundant promise for Mountain Vista.
Valor Christian - Could anyone have stopped the Eagles this year? That question lands now in the realm of speculation, but it's certainly a question worth asking. The interesting thing here, though, is that among Valor's seniors, only Sadie McMullen would be considered a strong threat to score at state. In her case, though, she was a credible threat to win the long jump. 10 points goes a long way at state. And Valor had more where those came from in younger classes.
We all lost out this year. 5A Girls figured to be an excellent battle among several deeply talented teams. There are no good years to lose, but this one figures to have been among the best.