Kirk Webb leads Monarch's boys to a regional title and into the state meet. Photo by Jeff McCoy.
A few tidbits of interest as regional results roll in from the venues...
In the big Boulder vs. Monarch showdown, Boulder wins the individual title (Kelsey Lakowske) and Monarch wins the team title with a nice 4-5-9-10-11 score. That's five in before Boulder's third, which will usually win it for you. Three girls manage to win individual berths to state, including Rikki Gonzales. Looking at the meet photos, it appears that the Boulder County schools are keeping the Kinesio tape folks in business.
On the boys' side, Monarch wins, but Fairview puts up a very strong showing--certainly better than most people were expecting. Two individual qualifiers make the cut to state.
Connor Winter is back and finishes 10th in 17:14. Arapahoe qualifies for state with a third-pace team finish, right behind Smoky Hill and Thornton. The four individual qualifiers in the boys' race will probably look like a high number when all the regional dust settles.
Arapahoe's girls run with a chip on their shoulders (or something!) and simply blow the field out to the tune of 1-2-3-6-7. Three individual qualifiers among the girls.
Thompson Valley's boys dominate, and their girls advance, but not with the same authority. Broomfield takes second among the boys. It's a big region, which makes individual qualifiers harder to come by--two in the boys' race.
Niwot's girls reprise the "spectacular" mode of their personality for this one--dumping Greeley Central to second place. Elise Cranny posts a big win, but was Allie Parks holding off a little for this one? Stay tuned next week to find out. Individual qualifers? Zero, zip, zilch, nada.
University shows no sign of the end-of-season swoons that have dogged the program in previous years. The Bulldogs dominate the region on the boys' side. First-year program Frontier Academy (which formerly ran with University) earns a state berth. Three boys qualify as individuals--two from Brush.
Estes Park continues to have Berthoud's number among the girls, but both teams advance easily to state. Frontier Academy moves past Brush into third. Watch for Frontier Academy next year--this teams has the markings of a dynasty in the making. Three individual qualifiers among the girls.
As 2A regions go, this one is enormous, meaning we aren't going to see backdoor team qualifiers for state from this region.
The girls' race proved to be a dandy, with Nederland edging Lyons. But, it was close enough Nederland has to be thinking this one isn't as sure as it looked a month ago. Hopefully, Nederland wasn't playing the "sure thing" card in their minds in the first place. In any case, there's suddenly a lot more interest in the 2A girls state race next Saturday. Birdie Hutton puts on a uniform again and qualifies for state, but her time suggests she isn't 100% (or wasn't going full out) right now. Four individual qualifiers with two of them from Yuma.
Lyons stunned a few folks in the boys race, winning with eight points. Alexander Dawson was a close second. As an editorial aside, I'm not favorably disposed to three-person scoring--these scores just feel too low. But back to the point, I don't think anyone was anticipating that Lyons would have three guys under 18. And, potentially, this may be enough to add a layer of interest to the 2A boys race. Two measly individual qualifiers--that will surely be a 2A low count for this fall. The top teams were dominant and pretty well packed the top 15.
This is how tough it was to qualify a girls team out of this region--Mountain Vista's girls take the last of six spots to state. The Eagles are not a marginal team. LIberty tops Highlands Ranch for the team title. Pine Creek advances to state with Heather Bates back in their lineup. Eleanor Fulton takes the individual title. Even with six teams going to state, they managed to find room for three more individual qualifiers.
For the boys, Tyler Nelson made it a clean sweep of the individual titles for the Falcons. Once again, six teams advance, with Palmer toppling Chaparral for the team title. Surprisingly, four boys managed to slip through as individual qualifiers to state in this one.
A very, very tough--and balanced--region.
If Cheyenne Mountain was trying to send a statement to boys teams around the state, they succeeded. Even with Coronado and Pueblo South in the race, the Indians dominated. The Cougars and Colts are going to need to find a little more in the next week if they are to make a race of it at state. Overall, five teams and two individuals advance to state.
In somewhat of a surprise, a full-strength Vista Ridge team beats out Cheyenne Mountain for the girls' team title. Beth Luckel and Amanda McCann go 1-2 for added emphasis. The plot thickens. Five teams and three individuals make the cut.
In another sweep of regional individual titles, Ali Deitsch and Spencer Wenck do the honors for Palmer Ridge. Wenck wins by almost a full time zone on the boys' side. Palmer Ridge qualifies both teams, but the region seems to be without a truly dominant team this year.
Lewis-Palmer takes top honors on the boys' side among six teams advancing to state. Even with six teams advancing to state, however, they managed to find room for six individuals as well. Among the girls, only four teams advance, led by regional champion Air Academy. Even at that, only two girls advance as individuals. Sometimes you just can't figure these things!
I have only partial results from this one, but it looks as if one girls team advances to state by the conventional method and two more make it in by way of the back door. Sargent easily wins the girls regional title, but Del Norte and Center both put at least three into the top15 (and there may have only been 15 running??).
Among the boys, Del Norte wins easily and Center also qualifies the old-fashioned way. Custer County and Centennial, however, both get three individual qualifiers to state and so will have a team score at state--assuming all three finish the race for both teams.
Given the backdoor team qualifications, it's hard to know how to count individual qualifiers, but, generally speaking, this region is swarming with individual qualifiers. Frankly, most of the region is going to state.
Saw this one with my own eyes and Fountain Valley looked very good sweeping the team titles. Tommy Manning is building a huge 2A program down south of Colorado Springs just a piece.
Starting with the boys, Nick Baca of Peyton ran away with this thing and certainly set the stage for Peyton to advance as a team as well. Three teams and six individuals make it to state, but no backdoor team qualifiers.
For the girls, it would also be three teams making it to state. Only four girls qualified as individuals, however, with no backdoor team qualifiers.
Maybe the most interesting thing about this one is that all of the top 15 places in the boys race were taken up by three teams--Salida, The Classical Academy, and Alamosa. That more or less eliminates individual qualifiers, though a fourth team--Colorado Springs Christian--did qualify. Alamosa and TCA extended their season of nip-and-tuck contests one more week.
There was a little more variety in the top 15 of the girls' race. While TCA won the team title, three other teams advanced to state and four individuals (two each from Lamar and Alamosa) will make the trip to state. Shelby Stableford posts one of the top girls' time of the season with an 18:19.
Believe it or not, it's possible to take three of the top four places in a 3A regional and still not win the team title. That's the situation Faith Christian is pondering at this moment--and maybe wishing they lived in the 2A classification. Holy Family edges out Peak to Peak for the team title. Five teams and exactly one additional individual qualify for state.
For the girls, Sam Berggren won the individual title by exactly and minute and then proceeded to double dip a little as she led her team to the regional title as well. Four teams plus three additional individuals get to test their race against the hills of the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds next Saturday.
It was a good day for the Evergreen Cougars. Four each in the top ten of the boys and girls races set the stage for a matched set of regional titles. Nobody was close in either race, but if any team had been close, it would have been Centaurus--both times.
I must concede, however, that the name of Gabrielle Valenzuela, winner of the girls' regional race, is new to my radar screen.
Five teams to state in both boys and girls. The boys had three additional individual qualifiers and the girls, two.
The girls only got four qualifying teams for state. For a while, it looked as if this one might go to five, but not this year. Olivia Anderson gets an easy win for the girls. The fourth, and final, slot to state came down to a tie-breaker, which Regis lost to Heritage. Regis doesn't get much consolation out of the deal, either, as they get only one individual qualifier. One other girls qualifies out of the region as an individual as well. Cherry Creek claims the regional title by an enormous margin, placing all five of their scoring runners in the top nine.
For the boys, Danny Carney and Austin Appel go 1-2 for Dakota Ridge, but the Eagles can't hold that edge, dropping the regional title to Heritage by nine points. In all, five teams qualify for state and an additional four individuals.
An interesting situation out of this region--the same five teams qualify on the boys and the girls side. Those five teams would be Loveland and the four Ft. Collins high schools. A little epicenter of power there.
But the epicenter within the epicenter would be Fort Collins High School, which had less than half the score of second place in either race. Fort Collins almost made it a clean sweep of everthing as David Garcia won the boys' race, but Loveland's Kailie Hartman bested Erin Hooker in the girls' race.
Two boys and three girls qualified as individuals.
No surprise, really, that Telluride ran away with this on the boys' side and Crested Butte on the girls' side. Erin Kelly and Ty Williams take the individual titles.
Where this one gets more interesting is in the teams and individuals to state. Telluride and Mancos advance boys teams to state. Rangely and Crested Butte get third and fourth Crested Butte just misses backdooring a team to state with two individual qualifiers, but Rangely makes it with a 3-11-13.
Crested Butte and Mancos send girls teams to state, plus Telluride gets three individuals (and thus a team) to state. Ouray and Meeker get one individual qualifier each--not much left after Crested Butte, Mancos, and Telluride picked up their slots.
Open season for individual entries--as in five for the boys and six for the girls. Four teams qualified in both the boys and girls races, led by Moffat County who captured both titles. Making the (loooonnnng) ride home just a little bit sweeter is the fact that Chris Zirkle and Maddy Jourgensen also swept the individual titles. A nice effort for Moffat County. I've remarked before that this team travels well which, given their location, is a good thing.
There may be some troubling news for Moffat County, however, as Miguel Molina does not show among their regional finishers. If this is an injury situation, we trust he's healthy and able to run at state on Saturday.
Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain both qualify both teams for state.
And so ends our tour of the regional meets. It's fitting that it ends here as this may have been the most intriguing regional contest of them all.
The Hotchkiss girls come in as a huge favorite, having destroyed pretty much everyone regardless of classification on the western slope this year, and finish third. Was that a tactical move for the Bulldogs? We'll find out on Saturday. Meanwhile, a team that specializes in nasty courses and which has been flying under the radar all season wins the regional title going away. That team would be Pagosa Springs. Scott Anderson has orchestrated some fabulous times in the past; he's no stranger to this game. Look for Pagosa Springs to make their presence felt at state.
Gunnison, meanwhile, rips through the boys field. Basalt beat Gunnison at #4, but couldn't make up the ground they lost at 1, 2, and 3.
Regional individual titles go to Natalie Anderson and Bryce Johnston. Three boys and two girls qualify as individuals. Four teams advance from both races.