Lyons has potential to score big state points in almost every event. One of those threats is Ryan Boucher in the 400. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Last year, Wray and Burlington enjoyed domination of 2A pretty much to themselves. And then someone invited Lyons to the party. And then Paonia's sprinters got healthy again. And, suddenly, 2A boys was a lot deeper classification than it has been for several years. That's a good thing. Quality is fun, and there is plenty of quality to go around.
Let's take a quick look at each of the top teams:
Burlington - The Cougars sneaked up on Wray a little last year and left the state meet with the big trophy. Burlington isn't sneaking up on anyone this year. And they're probably a better team than last year. Coley David is running very nicely at both 200 and 400 meters. His triple jump is working well. The only problem with this? It only leaves him room for one relay. Trenton Rico has posted some nice marks at 800 and 1600 meters, but the middle distance events are considerably tougher this year than they were last year in 2A, so the point totals may not be what they could have been. Spencer Cure is a solid hurdler, better at the 300 distance than the 110 distance. Right now, the Cougars seem intent on pursuing the 4x200 and 4x400 relays. They have the horses in the stable to do that, but may not be able to expand competitively to three or four relays. A stronger field event presence than what they've shown to date would help the cause.
Lyons - In all seriousness, this team would be a serious contender for the 3A state title. You aren't going to find many weaknesses when the Lions show up at a big meet. And where do we begin? Matthew Chanlynn in the pole vault? Forrest Donnell in the long jump, 100, and 200? The best set of relays in 2A? Matt Radich in the 100 hurdles? Ryan Boucher in the 400? Or Zach Pfeifer in the 800 and 1600? Any way you look at it, Coach Mark Roberts has distributed the wealth nicely. And there are a few more in the wings who could potentially score state points as well. It's about time Lyons lost its rep as a distance-focused school. This is a track-focused school.
Paonia - Adrian Penny, Richard Emmons, and Steven Voight. Little wonder Paonia is the leader of the pack in the 4x100 and 4x200. What has to be a little disconcerting, however, is the fact that, besides the sprints and short sprint relays, only the 4x800 and Trevor Walters (1600) project to score any points at state. With the schools that the Eagles are mixing things up with, they will need a broader production of points.
Wray - Track has a long and noble history out in Wray. This team is a perennial contender and this year's team is doing nothing the damage the legacy. Jarret Cure runs everything from 100 to 400, plus helping out on relays. That implies a decision or two to be made in advance of the state meet. Luke Kettelson is having a very nice season at 800 meters. Jack Schwinn came into the year regarded as one of the best hurdlers in 2A, but is still struggling to make the performances match the dreams. Obviously, four weeks remain to find that better match. Wray's relays are superseded only by Lyons among 2A schools. Derek Schulz has reached beyond 20 feet in the long jump.
Telluride - Ty Williams figures to lock horns with Chris Zirkle of Hayden for the 1600 and 3200 titles this spring. Telluride hopes to score more points with their depth at distance, chiefly Colten Rogers, but points coming from other event disciplines appear now to be few and far between. The Miners are still a way out from being a strong boys' team contender.
Yuma - If the pole vault goes well for the boys with the enormous Y on their singlets, the state meet could go very well, too. But the pole vault is critical to whatever hopes Yuma harbors, and Shane Terrell is the Indians' top vaulter. Austin Traphagen ranks highly in both throwing events. The 4x400, a bit of a traditon in Yuma, is performing well. And perhaps most of all, Martin Bustillos currently sits atop a very competitive 2A boys 100 field. Theoretically, someone who runs the 100 that well should also have a pretty decent 200. Look for that one to come (maybe if the wind will ever stop blowing late in meets out on the eastern plains).
And, honestly, the rest of the field is probably too dependent on the prowess of one, and perhaps two, top athletes. The field of teams this year is such that nobody is going to leave Jeffco Stadium with a trophy without the ability to score big points in more than four events.