The 3A State Preview: Tight Battles On Tap









Teams

The defending state champs return to Penrose with a target on their back. 

The Classical Academy returns with two top-10 finishers from last year's state championships - Sawyer Wilson, and Kennedy McDonaldA year ago Wilson was the runner-up, and McDonald was fifth. 

This year TCA appears to be just as strong. 

Wilson has run 18:44 so far, while McDonald has run 19:00. 

But what makes TCA perhaps the most dangerous team is their pack - Cassidy McDonald, and Sophia Valentine have run 19:41 or faster, and all five under 20:30. Their fifth runner, Kyra Shanerwill be key Saturday, because the only team with a faster 1-2-3-4 is Basalt. 

Basalt could score an upset Saturday - on paper the team race looks that close.

Basalt has the best 1-2 punch of any squad with defending state champ Bower, and Katelyn Maley, who actually owns the fastest time - 17:21 - in 3A. It's very possible that they go 1-2 Saturday.

They've got two sub-18 runners on their squad, and they're flanked by Ava Lane, and Sarah Levy, who have run under 19:15.

Basalt has the No. 1 1-2-3-4 runners in the state. Though it's clear that every point will make the difference in Saturday's State Championships. 

TCA and Basalt stand quite tall in the team race, but after them it looks like there could be a battle that'll be separated by single digits - just like who'll take the state title. 

Faith Christian and Aspen are sending solid squads to Colorado Springs. 

Faith has two sub 19:30 runners with Audrey Orstead and Katherine Heekin. They've got four under 20:30, and five who have run 21:14 or faster. 

Aspen looks similar, though with a tighter pack. Kylie Kenny is their lone sub-20 runner (Elsie Weiss has run 20:01) though they have all five under 21 minutes.

As mentioned earlier, the team race will be decided in the individual race, because quite a few teams with state ambitions have individuals in the running as well.