The guys riding Evan Fortney's heels in this photo have graduated, leaving him as the leader of the pack. Photo by Alan Versaw.
As I did with 3A girls, I will be omitting TCA athletes from my guess at a 3A top ten for this fall. Once again, I leave it to the readers to make their own decisions about where any TCA runners fit into the puzzle. I will note, however, that if you look for Conner Wilburn in the fall, 2010, cross country results, he was not a varsity runner for either the regional or state meets.
With that as disclaimer, here's a quick look at the top returning runners from the 2010 state meet:
3 Adam Avischious JR The Classical Academy 16:49.80 3
5 Garrett Coles SO University Schools 16:55.75 5
8 Nick Taylor JR Colorado Academy 17:03.15 --
10 Evan Fortney JR Faith Christian Academy 17:07.64 10
12 Joshua George JR The Classical Academy 17:08.75 12
13 John Powell JR Gunnison 17:14.20 13
14 Carlos Brinkmann JR Pagosa Springs 17:14.60 14
15 Adrian Lovato JR Gunnison 17:23.25 15
16 Gavin Palmer SO Alamosa 17:24.70 16
19 Anthony Rios SO Brush 17:27.95 --
21 Jeff Switzer FR Estes Park 17:30.55 21
22 Eduardo Vasquez JR Sheridan 17:30.85 22
24 Gregory Mares JR Brush 17:36.71 --
25 Jake Purvis JR The Classical Academy 17:36.85 25
26 Luke Yeager FR Faith Christian Academy 17:37.55 26
27 Sean Ankarlo SO Holy Family 17:38.00 27
28 Daniel Mahoney JR Jefferson Academy 17:39.35 28
31 Giulio Del Piccolo JR Basalt 17:41.95 31
32 Jordan Villalva FR Alamosa 17:42.10 32
And now the glance at the top 3200 times from this spring, including a handful of runners who ran for different schools (in different classifications) this spring:
1. 9:48.40 Evan Fortney CO Faith Christian Academy 2012
10:09.59 Nick Taylor CO D`Evelyn High School 2012
2. 10:13.17 Conner Wilburn CO Classical Academy, The 2014
3. 10:13.85 Garrett Coles CO University High School 2013
4. 10:14.54 Carlos Brinkmann CO Pagosa Springs High School 2012
5. 10:16.68 Joshua George CO Classical Academy, The 2012
6. 10:20.28 Anthony Rios CO Brush High School 2013
7. 10:20.86 Luke Yeager CO Faith Christian Academy 2014
8. 10:26.35 Adrian Lovato CO Gunnison High School 2012
9. 10:26.39 Sean Ankarlo CO Holy Family High School 2013
10. 10:26.44 Stephen Rice CO Peak to Peak Charter School 2013
11. 10:30.82 Isaac Alegria CO Platte Valley High School 2012
12. 10:33.59 Giulio Del Piccolo CO Basalt High School 2012
13. 10:34.28 Chris Harrell CO Classical Academy, The 2012
14. 10:36.65 Ian McLain CO Estes Park High School 2013
15. 10:38.12 Josh Davis CO Lamar High School 2014
10:38.34 Trevor Walters CO Paonia High School 2012
16. 10:40.42 Jeff Switzer CO Estes Park High School 2014
17. 10:40.74 Caleb Welz CO Classical Academy, The 2012
18. 10:43.76 John Powell CO Gunnison High School 2012
10:44.88 Jason Sturgis CO Paonia High School 2014
19. 10:51.97 Chibuikem Nwizu CO Frontier Academy 2013
20. 10:54.84 Gavin Palmer CO Alamosa High School 2013
It should be a fairly competitive year among 3A boys individuals, even though this spring witnessed a substantial number of graduates from the 3A ranks. So, putting a very preliminary measuring stick to the field, we get:
1. Evan Fortney - State track didn't show us a fully healthy Evan Fortney. If it had, I don't think there would be any dispute about this preseason ranking. Fortney had a solid cross country season in the fall and an even better track season in the spring.
2. Garrett Coles - Coles opted out of the 3200 at the state track meet this spring, but is very capable of going longer distances. Coles burst onto the scene as the classification's best sophomore last year and should continue that trajectory this fall.
3. Nick Taylor - Finally a senior, Taylor has worn the uniforms of four different programs in his high school career, a curiosity owing to the fact that Colorado Academy has no track program. Taylor has been a fixture in the top 10 in 3A cross country, however, and figures to be high in the top 10 this fall.
4. Carlos Brinkmann - Brinkmann has been consistent both on the track and on the cross country course. Nothing about that figures to change in the fall.
5. Anthony Rios - Rios showed a great deal of improvement from cross country to track season. If he can continue that progression on the rolling terrain of the cross country course, he should be among the classification's best.
6. Adrian Lovato - With Bryce Johnston graduated, the leadership of the Gunnison pack likely falls to Lovato. Teammate John Powell had a better finish at the state cross country meet, but Lovato's spring was better.
7. Luke Yeager - One Yeager graduated, but the next one is ready to step up into the role his older brother occupied. The 3200 wasn't Yeager's strongest event this spring, but he showed last fall that he's plenty capable of handling cross country kind of distances.
8. Sean Ankarlo - Ankarlo's spring exceeded expectations. You have to like it when you see a guy moving several notches up the ladder between cross country and track seasons.
9. Stephen Rice - Rice is another one who made a substantial jump from cross country season to track season. Peak-to-Peak doesn't have a history of putting boys into the top 10 at state cross country, but that history seems to be about ready to come to an end.
10. Jeff Switzer - I would have loved to have seen Switzer posting a better 3200 time from this spring, but it's hard to ignore what he did at the state cross country meet last fall. You could argue this #10 slot any of several different ways, but Switzer proved something on the cross country course as a freshman last fall that the others don't have weighing in their favor.