In addition to having the best relays in the state, Loveland also boasts Kaylee Packham's talents in the 100 and 300 hurdles. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Forget anything that happened last week. League meets don't reveal a lot about state teams.
All eyes, of course, will be on Loveland. The Indians dominated last years state meet after a slow start on Thursday and, if anything, are stronger this year. The Loveland machine figures to score in many ways, but nowhere more than in the relays. Coach Quere hasn't revealed his relay composition yet (nor should he), but Loveland owns the top seeds in the 4x100 and 4x200, and the second seed in all three other relays. If they run to seeds, that's like starting the meet with 44 points. George Washington might have something to say in the eventual outcome of the 4x100, however.
Kaylee Packham is a top-tier hurdler and could be chasing the state all-time record in the 300 hurdles. In the 100 hurdles, she figures to be chasing Dior Hall, like everyone else in the field will be.
Anna Gerhard, Sydnie Spencer, and Lorell Stuht should collect some mid-level and lower points in the throws. Taylor Buschy has points potential in the 400 and long jump. Lisa Bohannon has quietly emerged as one of the state's best pole vaulters. Stefanie Tuder will be chasing points in the 100 but, more importantly, she'll be adding her burst of speed to the Indian relay teams.
If the Indians glance back over their shoulder, the first team they'll see in that rearward glance is Cherry Creek. Cherry Creek, yes, the school that has never won a state track and field title. The Bruins would love nothing better than to fill that hole in their trophy case. This year, they have the talent to make a serious run at it. Look toward Emily Romo in the 100 and 200, Olivia Anderson in the 800, 1600, and 300 hurdles, Jordyn Colter in the 1600 and 3200, Megan McCabe in the pole vault, and Sarah Clough in the 400. Cobble some of that sprint talent together into a couple of relays and you have a team more than capable of contending.
And, of course, there is George Washington. GW isn't necessarily the best invitational team in the state, but they are simply oozing the kind of high-end talent that makes for a very good state meet team. You can read the heat sheets as well as I can: Chyna Ries in the 100, 200, and long jump; Dior Hall in the 100 hurdles, 200, and triple jump; ShaRay Nelson in the 300 hurdles. And you can pretty well figure who might be holding down places on the 4x100. GW needs things to go right in their own events, and perhaps a break or two from other events, to come away with the big trophy, but they will definitely be in the hunt.
Realistically, the only other teams with outside shots are Eaglecrest, Fort Collins, Littleton, and Arapahoe.
Eaglecrest depends heavily on Danielle Williams and that's a lot of pressure to put on one person, no matter how talented she is. Tashay Brown could help out some if she holds her 200 seed and climbs a little in the 100.
Arapahoe spreads the wealth around a little better, but still find themselves leaning heavily on two individuals--Devan Foster and Paris Duhamel. The Warriors came into last year's state meet with a few more high seeds than those they're claiming this year.
Littleton and Fort Collins both figure to make some serious noise in a few events--think Kaala Edwards in the 400 and 800 and relays for Littleton. Think Erin Hooker in the 3200, Kaite Weber in the 300 hurdles, Monica Franco in the high jump, and the Ft. Collins 4x800, to name a few.
Throws should be interesting with three girls over 40 and and two girls over 140 in the shot and disc, respectively, but few of the contending teams are well represented at the top end of the throwing ladders. Rangeview's Katie Pham holds the top seed in both events.