Tabor Scholl returns to the state meet on Saturday in hopes of regaining the crown she lost in 2012. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Holy Family's last year--we think--in 3A is marked by an opportunity to defend a first-ever cross country state title. But it won't be easy. As dozens of European royal families over the last millennium learned, keeping the crown is more difficult than gaining the crown.
If you look at the story of the season to date, the main rival to Holy Family's throne also wears purple--the Salida Spartans. Salida started the season infused with a bevy of young talent, fresh off a middle school state championship. That kind of situation has the potential to go two very different directions on you, and in a hurry. In Salida, it went the right direction.
Salida's girls have gotten better with each meet of the season. Three of their top four own sub-20 times, and another is threatening that threshold. The group of Powell, Fesenmeyer, Ceglowski, and Beasley has made the little community in Chaffee County a very big deal in high school cross country.
As dominant as Salida has been, however, the state title is no sure thing. Holy Family also has three sub-20s in Katie Chavez, Lindsey Chavez, and Olivia Bartoletti.
If you've missed noticing the late-season surge by Frontier Academy, you've missed something important. And, Peak to Peak ran shoulder-to-shoulder with Holy Family at regionals. Moffat County looks to be bringing a solid team over from the western slope.
This one will be a battle. Does anyone else remember when you could count the 3A sub-20s for any given invitational season on your fingers with digits to spare? Those days are gone.
And that, of course, transitions directly into the story of the individuals.
Eva-Lou Edwards of Bayfield returns to defend her title from last year. Challenging her will be Tabor Scholl of Middle Park, the 2011 winner. Both bring solid credentials to the showdown. And both live in areas where they should be well prepared for the challenges of the state course.
On the other hand, looking back over your shoulder can be costly, but if either of these two do look back, they might see Makayla Santos of Frontier Academy closing the gap.
Also entering into the discussion are Pagosa Springs' Emily Bryant, Peak to Peak's Dallas Frisbie, Estes Park's Kelsi Lasota, Holy Family's Lindsey Chavez, and perhaps a couple more. It's a deep field and, on a course that his its own way of sorting people out, the possibilities are legion.
3A girls definitely figures to be among the more interesting races on Saturday.