Ashley Atkin of Fleming is the top-ranked 2A girl at 800 meters and has the potential to score more points at state than any other girl in the 2A ranks. Colorado Track XC file photo.
One way of estimating the relative strength of teams coming into the track season is to simulate a meet by taking the best performances of returning athletes from 2009 and placing them into a mock meet. We just did that for 2A girls and, based on those results, it appears--at first glance--that the Limon dynasty is poised to raise its banner once again.
Of course, virtual meets contested nearly three full months before state provide no guarantee of anything that happens in May, but they are a decent starting point for a conversation.
That conversation shouldn't go very far, however, before someone jumps in and points out that in the individual rankings below Akron, last year's state champion, "finishes" 12th. So, what happened? Was Akron clobbered by graduation? Well, no, not exactly. Akron has a long and proud tradition of putting lots of points up on relays. This virtual meet doesn't take relays into account. Can Akron reprise the magic that won a convincing state title for them last spring? Good question!
The best bets to overturn the Limon and Akron apple carts would be Paonia and Rocky Ford. Here's how the virtual meet scores out:
Calculated as of March 05, 2010
These rankings were calculated by scoring the rankings as a meet. We took the individual rankings and relay rankings and scored them as a normal meet: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1. No relay events are calculated into team scores due to the difficulties inherent in identifying and "replacing" graduated relay legs.
Athletes whose graduation years are unknown were left out of the list.