Abraham Lincoln, Denver East, Denver North, Denver South, Denver West, Far Northeast, George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Northfield, Thomas Jefferson
A year ago, Denver West won the first league title in over a century (101 years to be exact) as the only 3A school in the Denver Public School League. West scored 152 points. Denver East was second with 145 points and South was third with 118 points.
Abraham Lincoln: Jason Nguyen, Mario Devora
The strong distance combo of the Sado brothers, and other returners who scored many points last year make Denver West the favorite to win again this year. However, the other teams in the league aren't going to give it to them easily.
As we all know in track and field anything can happen especially in championship season. For example, last year one of Denver South's top sprinters pulled a hamstring in the 100 final and didn't race the 200 final when he could have won both. That's 20 potential points due to bad luck.
Anything can happen.
In the 100 and 200 the same three athletes seem to be separated from the rest. Korey Hairston won the 100 as a freshman and is poised to win again this year coming off a solid indoor season with the ninth-best 60 meter time in Colorado. His teammate who didn't run the 100 last year, Keirryse Simpson, certainly would challenge him if he were to run it this year he has the sixth best 60 time from indoor. Zaire Jackson from Northfield was fourth last year, but has a wind legal time that is .06 behind Hairston.
In the 200 the Denver East duo can go 1-2 with Simpson being the favorite to win again this year, especially considering that he has the fastest 200 time this indoor in the state. Jackson has the second best time and like as mentioned before, anything can happen in championship season.
In the 400 there is another Denver East duo who is favored to go 1-2. Zion Wagoner has a personal best of 48.95, and Carson Ebersbach's PR is 49.44. Those two are far and away ahead of the field.
In the distance events the Sado brothers, Yasin and Ahmed, from Denver West are coming back as top four in every distance/mid-d event.
Charlie Welch from George Washington is also top four in all three distance events. Yonaton Kefle from Denver South aged out of CHSAA eligibility, so even though he is a senior, he won't be able to compete for Denver South. This is a huge hit for South as he was top two in every distance event last year.
Yasin Sado won the 800 last year in 1:57.73 and then went to state and was runner-up by four-hundredths of a second, so his grill must be burning pretty hot right now to go for the win.
Welch ran 1:59 for third, and being a sophomore this year is a good sign that he will have some growth in his competition from both a physiological and psychological standpoint.
In the 1600 Yasin Sado has the best returning time with a 4:25.75, and he turned heads last month at the UW High School Invite when he dropped a 4:13.57 indoors at sea level; however, he didn't run the 1600 last year at the league championships.
The 3200 will likely be the same.
Welch has the best time coming in with a 9:40.95 but Ahmed ran 9:55 for a full 2 mile at Air Force this indoor season (6,900 feet) which is equivalent to about the same time in Denver and with Yasin's new mile PR he will likely have a new 3200 PR to follow.
As of now I would say this event is a toss up and may be one of the closest races of the weekend.
In the hurdle events both champions from last year return as the favorites.
Jackson from Northfield is the heavy favorite with a 14.37 PR and the fourth fastest returning time among all classifications in Colorado.
Julius Cotton from Denver West is the favorite in the 300 hurdles with a 40.75 PR.
In the high jump Will Bernacchi-Sass from Denver East returns as the defending champion and clear favorite with a PR of 6-2 in the high jump.
In long and triple Jump Mehdi Azlou from Denver West is the defending champion in both events and returns as the favorite.
In tong jump Jachari Lawson from Denver East has jumped 20-5 which is one more inch than Azlou's PR, so this could come down to the very last jump in finals to crown a champion. Angel Marques from John F. Kennedy has jumped 19-8.5, so he also could be thrown in the mix.
In triple jump Azlou has jumped 40-9, which is well ahead of any of the other returning athletes. Jacob Bustiollos from Denver West, Jack Moody from Thomas Jefferson, and Jerimia Pedicord (who is ranked to score in multiple events) from Denver South have both jumped over 38-5, so with a breakthrough year they could give make Azlou have to jump for his money.
In discus Avery Shunneson from Thomas Jefferson has thrown 146-11 and it would take three fouls from him for him to not win the championship this year. Two other returning athletes have thrown over 110 and should be close for the battle for second. Hezekiah Mosley from Denver West, and Elias Horta from John F. Kennedy.
In shot put, Michael Jones from George Washington was third last year behind two seniors with a throw of 37-5. His teammate, Jeremy Brooks, was no where to be seen at the league championship last year but has the furthest returning throw with 39-1.5. Max Tayfoa from Denver North has also thrown 36-3.
Relays are always a toss-up based on who still has to qualify, what athletes are already capped on their four events, and sometimes weather and scheduling logistics so you never know who will be out there, but in a perfect world Denver East is the heavy favorite in the 4x1,4x2,4x2 based off the combined PR's of their athletes, and Denver West is the favorite in the 4x8.
This should be a great year for the Denver Public Schools League on the boys side and we will see if Denver West has the depth across many events to win their second title in 102 years, or if Denver East with their sprint prowess can take championship this year.