Marcus Harris (5A) and Trent Ireland (4A) won't meet at state, but they are two of the reasons that this year's 100 promises to be exciting. Photo by Paul Jaeger.
Every year seems to have it's share of good short sprinters in Colorado. The difference this year would seem to be that the list of true speedsters goes a little deeper than usual. And that should make for some good races, both leading up to state and at state.
5A and 4A are both loaded, so let's begin with 5A.
Although Marcus Harris's season did not end well last spring, he been very much back in the groove this indoor season. Assuming he stays healthy, Markesh Woodson--the top returner from the state meet--has his hands full. Harris did not compete in finals at state last year, and chances are good he's coming back this year with an eye toward redemption.
His top competition should be coming from Fountain-Fort Carson. We've already mentioned Markesh Woodson, but last year's freshman, Solyde Bankston, finished fourth at state and second among those coming back this spring. Another freshman, Ben Meyer of Fairview, finished sixth at state.
How many years do you see two freshmen placing at state in the 100 meters? Now, make that three freshmen if Marcus Harris had competed in finals. Markesh Woodson and Ray Bozmans of Fort Collins, both sophomores last spring, also finished in the medals.
You're beginning to understand why this looks like a sensational year for the 5A 100 meters. Guys like Mark Guss (Smoky Hill) and Jake Strother (Pomona) aren't at all automatics to make finals.
4A doesn't look much easier. Mullen brings the duo of Malik McKinney and Cyler Miles to the table. Both can fly. Broomfield answers with Trent Ireland. Niwot's Dan Summers, who didn't run at state last year, has recently shown the kind of wheels it takes to mix it up with these three. Jeff Richmond of Northridge and Josh Kamrass of Valor Christian both finished in the top four in state. Both are back. Colorado Springs will send Vince Lewis of Wasson and Tyler Pigford of Cheyenne Mountain into the fray.
As it will be in 5A, making finals in 4A is going to be a very tall order.
Excited yet? You should be!
Honestly, the 100 meters usually shows a significant drop between 4A and 3A. This year doesn't appear to be shaping up much differently. Devon White of Machebuef has graduated, as have the second and third-place finishers from last year's state meet.
That leaves Faith Christian's Evan Marshall as the favorite and #1 ranked returner. Aspen's Luke Hemming is the closest competition. The rest of the field has a lot of ground, as in at least 0.2 seconds, to make up on these two.
2A looks like more or less a dead heat between Jacob Warta (Sedgwick County), Steven Voight (Paonia), and Cody Roberts (Hoehne). 1A will be looking to Laken Alley (Walsh) for excitement. Alley ranks a full quarter of a second ahead of the rest of the field coming into the season. Gaps like that have a way of shrinking, but making up a quarter of a second in the 100 over the space of a season doesn't happen very often.