Mountain Vista returns the fastest squad from 2018.
Can Mountain Vista reclaim the state title that Dakota Ridge took last year?
On paper - in terms of speed - it looks possible.
Based on 2018 personal bests, the 2017 state champs have the edge. Despite only returning four from last year's state squad, they clearly have some depth.
Jack O'Sullivan, Seth Rouse, and Davis Helmerich all cracked 16 minutes last year, with O'Sullivan leading the way with a 15:35 best. Rouse and Helmerich both tallied 15:42 runs of their own, giving them the fastest top three in the state.
Add Harrison Witt and Kyle Boe to the equation, and that's the fastest five in the state. Witt and Boe were actually knocking on the Sub 16 door last year - Witt ran 16:02 and Boe ran 16:09.
Can Mountain Vista pump seven under 16 this year?
Add that they've got a 33-second 1-5 returning split. That tops every squad in the top 10.
Defending champs and last year's third-placer at Nike Cross Nationals - Dakota Ridge - graduated one of the best distance runners in the country in Austin Vancil, but they've still got some great depth.
They return five of their top six from that state champion squad, led by another one of the best distance runners in the country - Connor Ohlson, who is their lone sub 15 5ker.
One trend that looks very likely to continue on for Dakota Ridge is having the fastest No. 2 runner in the state, because Jacob White returns with a 15:23 PR.
Ben Morrin and Benjamin Piegat give the Boys from the 'Ridge four sub 16 returners, which is more than any other squad.
Fort Collins comes in No. 3 in terms of speed, and what makes them dangerous is their pack. They've got a solid 56-second 1-5 split, led by James Gregory. Gregory owns a 15:39 PR, and is their lone sub 16 5ker. Their 2-5, however, are packed within just 34 seconds. Calbert Guest, Kevin Conlon, William Bush, and Matthew Boyle have all broken 16:36.
Of additional note, their 2-3-4 are literally packed within nine seconds...
Editor's Note: Some of the times listed were run at lower elevations, which will make the team average a little faster.
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