Connor Weaver and Zachary Alhamra battled for a long time at last Thursday's regional race before Alhamra broke away for the win. Photo by Mark Weeks.
The 5A boys race is the race of large and imposing favorites. At the end of the day, if either Mountain Vista or Cerake Geberkidane doesn't come away a winner, we will all shake our heads in bewilderment. Nobody has been close to either all season. That's the simple truth of the matter. It's not the same as saying the race isn't worth running, it's merely a reflection on how dominating one team and one individual have been.
For Mountain Vista, it will be a shot at a repeat state title. The Golden Eages won on this weekend last year even despite getting caught up in the crowd with a conservative early start. They put nobody in the top ten, but still managed a clear victory.
For Geberkidane, there is no hope of a repeat title, but Cerake can extend the reign of the family name by a year with a win on Saturday. The younger of the Geberkidane brothers finished third last year, and both who finished ahead of him are gone from the scene for this year.
Behind Mountain Vista is an interesting collection of teams with similar season resumes: Cherry Creek, Boulder, Arapahoe, Pomona, Fort Collins, Monarch, Chaparral, Heritage, Dakota Ridge, Rock Canyon, and Thornton. Any of these schools might propel themselves into second, with a distant hope of winning it all, with exceptional performances through the scoring order. Any lapses in the scoring order here are likely to be met with rival teams moving by.
A similar story is told among the individuals. Behind Geberkidane, you probably have to figure the top two are Zachary Alhamra and Connor Weaver. Alhamra took the regional round between the two, but state is a very different course than Monument Valley Park and may not play out the same.
Behind Weaver and Alhamra are about 15 different guys who have run sub-16 at least once this season. Pomona's Marcelo Laguera, winner of the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede, probably warrants an additional look here, but opportunities abound for each.