The Wednesday afternoon crowds lining Utah's state meet course are the stuff of legend. Photo by William Hasty.
This will be the last Southwest week-in-review that includes any substantially new information about Utah and Colorado schools. Their state meets are in the books and nothing that happens between now and November 23 trumps anything that happened at state. But, as usual, we'll start our tour of the Southwest region in...
It was divisional meet week in the Silver State. In the Northern Division, McQueen and Galena were clearly the top boys teams. Douglas was, hands down, the top girls team. We'll watch how these teams' seasons play out at state in two weeks. Regional qualifying probably doesn't count for much as each of these teams could probably afford to save a little this weekend and still make it in easily enough.
Centennial perfect-scored the Southwest division of the Sunset Division Championships. It must be said again--there is no team in Nevada that rivals the Centennial boys. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. There are a lot of us hoping really hard that Centennial shows up at NXR-SW. They are a legitimate power.
Arbor View and Centennial have the look of the top girls teams in the state, but we should note that Sydney Badger does not show up in this week's results. If Badger is out, that is a huge blow to Centennial. We'll wait to see what the next two weeks tell us.
Sectionals are happening in Arizona even as I write this. In the last weekend of invitational action in Arizona, Corona del Sol's boys blasted their way through any resistance offered at the Tempe City Meet, with Desert Vista running a respectable second. These are the consensus two best teams in the Phoenix area. If we start talking about the entire state of Arizona, however, you may hear some dissent from up north.
Desert Vista did to the girls field what Corona del Sol did to the boys field. CdS's second-place finish looked very strong through about three places, before the gaps started growing. DV tends to run better than CdS at each position, and with much smaller gaps.
Xavier College Prep, as is their custom, took the weekend to travel to the Mt. SAC Invitational in California. The girls (and XCP only has girls) finished 11th in the team sweepstakes race. That's down a little from the kind of performance they're accustomed to posting at the big event, but still a very respectable effort. It's difficult to picture an NXR-SW race without Xavier, and this shouldn't be the year we have to start contemplating that possibility.
The Catalina Foothills and Page boys had solid performances in the Sub Sweeps and D4 Sweeps races, respectively. If you are confused by the nomenclature and meaning of all the race names, you may rest assured that you have a lot of company in your confusion. Personally, I'd hate to be the guy in charge of determining race assignments; it seems like a rather thankless job to me.
Tuba City showed up at the Holbrook Invitational, where they very nearly perfect scored the meet. This was not a weekend that the Tuba City machine was challenged, but that weekend is coming.
If Mesa Mountain View was in action this past weekend, it escaped my notice.
Most eyes were on the high country above Santa Fe, where Los Alamos hosted their annual invitational. There, the Albuquerque Academy boys edged Los Alamos on a tie-breaker. Clouding the meaning of that result is the fact that AA's #1 runner dropped out of the race and their #2 runner finished well behind a few of his teammates. So, the teams aren't really as close as the score would indicate, but the Chargers need to find a way to right the ship, and time to do that is running short.
The girls final tally was nearly as close as the boys, and with much the same explanation. Los Alamos slipped by St. Pius X by two points, but some firepower was missing on the Hilltopper starting line. Let's not discredit St. Pius X, however, as they are steadily improving their way to being one of the top teams in New Mexico. A reasonable observer might peg them somewhere in the 3 - 5 range among New Mexico's girls programs right now. Albuquerque Academy finished third, several points back of Los Alamos and St. Pius X. At the moment, the Chargers seem to be looking to refind the magic that brought them a Liberty Bell title back in mid September. New Mexico is a large state with plenty of places for magic to hide.
Atrisco Heritage hosted a meet in Albuquerque than included Rio Rancho, Eldorado, and La Cueva, but many varsity regulars were sitting this one out, making the interpretation of the results more than a bit dicey.
This weekend is district meet weekend, but, with the way things are set up, the top teams can somnambulate through their district races and still advance to state. Don't look for anything especially telling coming out of New Mexico this weekend.
It was state meet weekend in Colorado. Mountain Vista's boys didn't make an especially big statement at state, but they were clearly the top team at the state meet nevertheless. The team that did make a big statement was Broomfield. We had heard almost nothing from Broomfield until regionals, but it was clear at regionals that something was special about these Eagles. They did absolutely nothing to disappoint at state. I doubt you'd find many people to argue against the claim that Broomfield is currently Colorado's #2 boys team. Other boys teams with particularly solid state meets were Lyons, Fort Collins, and Arapahoe.
For those who were beginning to suspect something was not quite right in the Monarch girls camp, you can put those thoughts to bed for another year. Monarch blew the lid off the girls state meet, easily beating both Fort Collins and Cherry Creek. Jordyn Colter was with the lead group early, then faded later in the race. Even with Colter running #1, however, Cherry Creek would not have threatened the Monarch machine.
A surprising fourth and fifth among the Colorado girls teams was Fairview, a team that has been slowly climbing the ladder all season. Behind Fairview was a cluster of teams that sort out variously depending on your criteria. Nobody, however, is wasting any time debating which are the top three girls teams in the state.
You cannot help but be impressed at the level of talent in Utah when you look at the state meet results. Every year, it seems, they find a way to run the Utah State Meet Sugarhouse Park course faster than it's ever been run before. And it's been run very fast before. They just keep finding new rungs on the Utah ladder.
To nobody's surprise, Davis and Park City dominated absolutely everything among Utah girls. American Fork, Ogden, and Timpanogos also showed very well.
The boys winner was American Fork. That, too, surprised precisely nobody. What may have surprised a few, however, was the very strong showing by Lone Peak that put them second in the 5A race and second in combined scoring. Lone Peak has had its critics this season, but Lone Peak clearly got the last word in.
Orem and Davis also enjoyed very strong state meet showings. Behind them, things got very tight. It's helpful that there is a natural break in the combined team scoring after eight teams if all those top eight teams make the trip down to Arizona. Rounding out that top eight would be Bingham, Timpanogos, Westlake, and Ogden.