Pueblo West's Kaya Wick is best known as a pole vaulter, but she is far from a one-dimensional athlete, even participating in cross country in the fall.
For the longest time, the South Central League included more than just Pueblo teams. Most recent to part ways with the SCL have been Alamosa and Canon City, leaving the South Central League with only six teams, all within a few miles a the city of Pueblo proper. Although the league name will surely hang around, we could just as easily dub it the County of Pueblo League these days.
League Teams: Pueblo Centennial, Pueblo Central, Pueblo County, Pueblo East, Pueblo South, Pueblo West
Last Year's League Results: For years out of memory, this league has been dominated by Pueblo South. There have been good athletes popping up at other league schools, but the big prize always seemed to head to South's trophy case. The last two years have seen Pueblo West write a new ending to that long-standing story. And, for now at least, Pueblo West seems to have taken over South's role as the league's dominant team.
The domination continued at State, where Pueblo West led the SCL delegation in 9th place (4A) with 26 points last year. Pueblo South was the only other league member school to score at State last spring, putting five points on the board.
For now, we can hope that Pueblo West is the rising tide that will presently float all the league boats. Pueblo has seen some nice renewed athletic success on the state level in football and basketball in recent years, but track is still waiting for the resurgence.
Key Performers Lost to Graduation:
Pueblo Centennial: Kayana Casias
Pueblo Central: none
Pueblo County: none
Pueblo East: none
Pueblo South: Mikayla Sniff
Pueblo West: Hannah Meek, Kelsi Cundiff
Key Returning Athletes:
Pueblo Centennial: Neela Ropp, Grace Severson, Xiana Vigil
Pueblo Central: Tehya Gutierrez, Theresa Janes
Pueblo County: Tiziana Pepe, Abigail Johnston, Risa Myers, Brennah Guerrero
Pueblo East: Jaylene Escajeda, Joviana Romero
Pueblo South: Jada DuPree, Emily Lucero, Brooke Crowell, Jessie Castellucci
Pueblo West: MaLeigha Menegatti, Addy Pate, Emily Hanenberg, Rhyan Moore, Kaya Wick, Shanae Lontine, Madi Newbauer, Chayse Roumph
Aside from Pueblo West, none of the league member teams took substantial hits to graduation. But, West's losses to graduation, significant though they may be, aren't of the order that's going to erase the gap between the Cyclones and the rest of the league member schools. Indeed, one incoming freshman we saw in cross country (Shyanna Holcomb) may have already made up what Pueblo West lost last spring by way of graduation.
So, pencil in Pueblo West as your league favorites. Use magic marker if you like. They are big favorites and big points will come from every corner (with the possible exception of throws, though it may be a little early to start counting on that).
Pueblo South still holds a considerable depth edge on the rest of the league. Figure the Colts for second.
It could get close between Centennial, East, and County for third. Harlie Medrano should do a lot, and very soon, to lift East in the throws. I don't have a complete catalog on her throwing marks, but she boasts PRs of at least 32-5 and 98-9 before she's even entered an official high school outdoor meet. If Colorado had a formal javelin competition, she'd be a threat there, too.