Brock Dykema ran front of the pack for Silver Creek last fall. Expect it to be a tighter pack this fall. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Colorado's 4A Region 4 is little changed from last year. Berthoud is out (to 3A) and Frederick is in. The rest is static. Well, at least static in terms of the teams on the list. As you're about to find out, there's nothing static about this year's ordering of the region's teams.
Traditionally, this is among Colorado's strongest regions. Recently, that's been more true with respect to girls teams than boys, but it's been a pretty tough region where the boys are concerned, too. Don't expect anything important about that to change this year, except that maybe the boys come up to the established level of the girls this fall.
You're used to the routine by now. We look at what the data tells us, starting with a scoring of the top cross country times of last year's returning runners. Here's what we see when we do that:
If you saw Silver Creek at the top and thought, "Well, we haven't seen that before," you're onto something. To turn that knife a little, consider that Thompson Valley's #1 returning runner from last fall will be wearing Silver Creek colors this fall. I presume the transfer rule will kick in for a half season of sub-varsity eligibility for Simington, but this is clearly a very strong Silver Creek entry we'll be seeing this fall.
There are more strong entries in the region, but it's hard to look at the rankings of returning runners and come away unconcerned about the potential at Silver Creek this fall.
But, there are more data to review. We stop next at a cross country scoring of this spring's rankings of returning 1600s:
It's nice that we can score five on the 1600 analysis, seeing that this is such a strong cross country region--even during track season.
We see nothing here that diminishes anything we were already thinking about Silver Creek. On the other hand, what you see above should be raising your expectations for Greeley Central this fall. The Wildcats have the requisite pieces to be trouble for the rest of the region. And, Mead also looks like a much better team than they did at the end of cross country season.
Turning our attention to 3200 rankings (scoring four per team this time):
What we began to suspect about Greeley Central and Mead from the 1600 analysis is given more weight with the 3200 data. Both of these are clearly programs to watch in the fall, potentially such that both Thompson Valley and Mountain View could be in danger of dropping out of the regional top three teams.
It's always risky business trying to assess what freshmen are headed where when 4A schools with close proximity (and therefore lots of open enrollment options) are in view. But, there are a few incoming freshmen we'll take note of who have some potential to team scoring factors--even with teams as good as 4A Region 4--this fall. This list of incoming freshmen would include: Henry Terhaar (Westview Middle School to Silver Creek), Junio Lang (Bill Reed Middle School to Thompson Valley), Dylan Schubert (Walt Clark Middle School to Thompson Valley, Ethan Kravig (Walt Clark Middle School to Thompson Valley), Cord Anderson (Severance Middle School to Windsor), Leon Engle (Westview Middle School to ???), and Alan Canales (Romero Academy to ???). There will more more, to be sure, but this can serve to whet your appetite.
Coach Versaw's Pick for Regional Champion - Silver Creek. The Raptors look to be the complete team this fall. It's reasonable to assume they'll find themselves in the state title hunt if they keep their heads about them. And, look for bigger things than you've seen from Greeley Central (in a while) and Mead (ever). This should be a very fun region to track this fall!
Coaching changes at Thompson Valley, Mountain View, and Silver Creek will only enhance the interest factor for this fall.