Niwot's Cruz Culepper is set to defend his title, but he'll likely have some challengers next year.
Niwot's Cruz Culpepper has to be the favorite heading into the 2019 season. He's the defending state champion, and his 14:43 personal best was the fastest in 4A this year.
If we exclude his post-season, his only loss came to Cole Sprout at Desert Twilight. He'll have a bullseye on his back, however, and eyeing him will likely be two runners who made some serious gains in November, and December.
Dylan Schubert, and Erik Le Roux are likely to be Culpepper's main challengers next year. Schubert finished 3rd at State, 10th at NXR, and went on to finish 35th at Nationals, while Le Roux capped his season as the fastest freshmen in the country, and was just three seconds behind Schubert at NXR. Additionally, Le Roux won the 15-16 division of the USATF National Jr Olympic Cross Country Championships.
And what about the teams?
Keep in mind these "A Look At" articles are purely speculation, and highly based on results from the Colorado state meet. And in looking at next year's returners, it's evident that there are no clear favorites to claim the 2019 team titles.
Defending State Champs Centaurus will have some holes to fill, as they return just three from this year's top seven, and no one in their top four.
Likewise, runner-up Palmer Ride returns four of their top seven, just like third-place squad Air Academy. Durango, this year's fourth place finisher, returns three of their top seven.
Cheyenne Mountain deserves a look as well. While they return just three from this year's squad, all three were freshmen.
The only squad within this year's top 10 at State to return five is Niwot, led by Culpepper.