Helen Cross and Nederland will look to defender their state titles this October.
A year ago Nederland's Helen Cross nabbed the coveted one-point for her team, and it paid off, because not only did she take the individual state title, but Nederland won the team title as well.
In the individual race Cross has got to be the favorite returning - she is the defending state champion. Cross put together a solid outdoor season. She tripled at state, finishing 13th in the 800, sixth in the 1,600, and fourth in the 3,200.
I may be wrong on this next assumption, but it appears that last year's fourth-place finisher, Lucca Fulkerson, now runs for Niwot. This changes the individual race quite a bit, because it leaves quite a gap between Cross and any challengers. Taking Fulkerson out of the equation, four return from last year's top-10 finishers, which includes Chloe Veilleux and Katie Fankhouser.
Veilleux may be in the best spot to challenge Cross. The highlight of her outdoor season came with a runner-up finish in the 1,600. Additionally, she's run 2:20 in the 800, 5:20 in the 1,600, and 11:36 in the 3,200.
But I wouldn't count Fankhouser out at all. Looking at her cross country and track progressions, she's had an incredible curve each season. She PRd at state by nearly 45 seconds... While it makes sense to reach your prime fitness at the state meet, that course isn't for the faint of heart.
The Team Race
In the team race Nederland has a battle on their hands. They graduated last year's runner-up, Sarah Davidson, and will need to fill the void. Davidson's two points were vital to Nederland's team title, which they won by six points.
They'll have Lyons and Paonia hot on their heels this year, however, as both squads return four from last year's six at the state meet. And, each squad as a stellar 1-2 punch. The team race will really go down to where their third runner finishes.
On paper, the Paonia has got the edge, but not by much - two points in fact. This one will be a nail-biter until the very end.