No longer the new kid on the block, no longer the heir apparent, Kelley Robinson is the leader in 2A girls. Photo by Alan Versaw.
There's no mistaking the fact that 2A girls graduated a lot of distance talent this spring. Names like Kelsey Corbin, Erin Kelly, Melissa Roberts, and Valerie Stark won't be seen any more in small-school high school cross country results. And, as a result, 2A girls may have a little less depth than in some previous years. But, they'll be as solid as they've ever been at the top.
First, taking a look at the order of returning finishers from last fall's state cross country meet:
1 Kelley Robinson JR Nederland 18:51.70 1 4 Miriam Roberts FR Lyons 19:36.30 4 5 Rebecca Hermann JR Nederland 19:37.80 5 7 Rachel Hampton SO Telluride 20:11.10 7 9 Amber Scott SO Crested Butte Community 20:28.60 9 10 Bailey Kuechenmeister FR Nederland 20:29.80 10 12 Olivia Raspotnik SO Lyons 21:10.10 12 13 Jess Ousley JR Nederland 21:14.20 13 14 Josephine Bush JR Telluride 21:23.10 14 15 Jenna Mahon FR Nederland 21:27.20 15 16 Amber Reynolds JR Sargent 21:30.50 16 18 Abby Whiting SO Crested Butte Community 21:39.71 18 19 Kendall Horan SO Lutheran - Parker 21:45.30 19 20 Jasmine Gomez SO Sargent 21:48.30 20 21 Birdie Hutton JR Shining Mt. Waldorf 21:49.90 -- 22 Mina Moscatelli FR Crested Butte Community 21:55.40 22 24 Britney Slade JR Rye 22:00.50 24 25 Lauren Ortmayer JR Lutheran - Parker 22:07.70 25 26 Rachel Beverlin JR Mancos 22:11.60 2 And, then, taking a look at how roughly the same group stacked up in the 3200 is the track season just finished: 1. 11:12.02 Kelley Robinson CO Nederland High School 2012 2. 11:38.95 Rachel Hampton CO Telluride High School 2013 3. 11:53.18 Amber Scott CO Crested Butte Community School 2013 4. 11:53.34 Miriam Roberts CO Lyons High School 2014 11:59.45 Birdie Hutton CO Shining Mountain Waldorf High School 2012 5. 12:32.67 Rebecca Hermann CO Nederland High School 2012 6. 12:49.27 Vela Bair CO Paonia High School 2012 7. 13:00.05 Morgan Helton CO Calhan High School 2014 8. 13:04.20 Braiden Clement CO Paonia High School 2014 9. 13:05.83 Nicole Daly CO Vanguard School, The 2014 10. 13:11.04 Savannah Williams CO Hayden High School 2013 11. 13:13.04 Josie Rossi CO Soroco High School 2013 12. 13:13.07 Jessica Ousley CO Nederland High School 2012 13. 13:14.53 Izzy Solman CO Lyons High School 2012 14. 13:19.60 Rhemi Sokol CO Calhan High School 2012 15. 13:25.53 Cheyenne Konsdorf CO Akron High School 2013 16. 13:32.64 Kelsey Miner CO Lyons High School 2013 17. 13:33.44 Britney Slade CO Rye High School 2012 18. 13:41.03 Shelby Kopf CO Crested Butte Community School 2012
Birdie Hutton ran track and field in the 1A classification, but the groups are otherwise remarkably similar except for names like Savannah Williams (who runs cross country for 4A Moffat County), Vela Bair and Braiden Clement (who run cross country for Hotchkiss), Josie Rossi, Rhemi Sokol, Morgan Helton, and Cheyenne Konsdorf (who may not run cross country at all in the fall, although they could show up in the uniforms of neighboring schools like Peyton, Steamboat Springs, and Brush).
And, one huge question mark concerns where, if at all, incoming freshman Tabor Scholl (of Kremmling) may fit into this picture.
Of the returnees that we're relatively sure about, however, here's a guess at the rankings:
1. Kelley Robinson - Robinson will remain number one until she's beaten. And, she'll probably have to be beaten two or three times for many people to be convinced. Don't count on it happening.
2. Rachel Hampton - If you missed Hampton's meteoric rise (I don't really understand this particular figure of speech--meteors fall, not rise, but we speak of meteoric rises.), you may not understand her placement on this list. But, to my way of thinking, Hampton goes in at #2.
3. Miriam Roberts - Roberts proved a lot of people were underestimating her at the state cross country meet last fall. Although she mostly ran shorter distances in track, she ran well enough when she did run the 3200 to sustain at least a #3 position on this list.
4. Rebecca Hermann - You know it's a tough list if Hermann comes in at #4. Like Roberts, Hermann ran (and excelled at) mostly shorter distances in track, but she should be near the top in cross country this fall. Don't be fooled by the 12:32 3200 time.
5. Amber Scott - Crested Butte always at least one girl at or near the top of the small school girls cross country rankings. That list goes a long, long way back--at least as far as Ashley Quiggle in my memory, and probably further beyond my memory. Scott is just the latest on the list. She will make her contribution, and a very solid track season just finished is good evidence of that.
6. Birdie Hutton - Hutton has battled a lot of injuries in the last two years. If she's fully healthy, she is perfectly capable of running with, and challenging, several of th names above her on the list. Hutton has to be as anxious as anyone to run fully heatlhy this fall.
At this point, the prognosticating takes on an added layer of difficulty, things aren't as clear as they are above.
7. Olivia Raspotnik - I put Raspotnik here largely on Lyons' reputation of building talent throughout high school. Raspotnik doesn't run longer than 800 meters in track, but the training will be in place for cross country in the fall.
8. Bailey Kuechenmeister - Kuechenmeister wasn't seen on the track this spring, so this guess constitutes something of a gamble. If she's back in cross country this fall, she figures to be among the leaders.
9. Josephine Bush - After being gone for a year, Bush returned to Telluride's lineup last fall but probably didn't enjoy a season that was very personally satisfying. Her track season, however, showed that the spark evident in her freshman season has been reignited. Her presence in the Telluride lineup could help make things very interesting from a team perspective.
10. Jessica Ousley/Amber Reynolds - I couldn't decide between these two, really. Ousley's numbers look just a little better, but Reynolds showed a lot in track season running for her home school of Sangre de Cristo. Either could have a significant impact on the classification this fall.
If you detected a domination of this list by three different schools, you qualify as a keen observer of things 2A. It will be a major surprise if anyone outside of Nederland, Lyons, and Telluride is a major player in the team race.