GIRLS TO KNOW

Holly Bent, Sr., Monarch: She'll be looking to have a big senior season after she was a fourth-place finisher in 2014, but an injury prevented her from competing at state her junior year.

Maya Browning, Sr., Fairview: Seventh in Class 5A last year and state runner up in 2014, she leads a strong returning contingent for the Knights.

Claudia Burgess, Jr., Boulder: She has placed both third and fifth in 5A during her first two seasons and will be expecting another top five finish in 2016.

Audrey Lookner, Sr., Monarch: Finishing 17th last season, she and teammate Holly Bent will lead a seriously talented Monarch squad as seniors.

Peak to Peak sophomore Anna Shults will be in the mix to win a state championship this season.
Peak to Peak sophomore Anna Shults will be in the mix to win a state championship this season. (David R. Jennings / Staff Photographer)

Sofia Maeda, Jr., Mead: She cracked the top 20 in Class 4A last season and has been improving steadily throughout the first half of her prep career.

Emily Mitchem, Jr., Broomfield: After she broke into the top 10 at the Class 5A state meet last year, she'll be looking to help lead the defending 5A champion Eagles to another state title.

Quinn McConnell, So., Peak to Peak: Last year's 3A cross country champion and multiple state title winner in track and field, she'll aim to stay on top as a sophomore.

Madison Mooney, Jr., Broomfield: Transferring in from Horizon, she finished 20th in 5A last year and is a major addition to an already strong Eagles lineup.


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Anna Shults, So., Peak to Peak: Finishing second behind teammate Quinn McConnell at last year's 3A cross country state meet, she also won a pair of individual titles in track and field.

CeAnn Udovich, Sr., Lyons: She has battled injuries in the past but that hasn't stopped her from finishing among Class 2A's top 10 best runners twice already.

BOYS TO KNOW

Brock Dykema, Jr., Silver Creek: The Raptors' top finisher last year as a sophomore, he's out to improve on his 17th-place finish from last season.

Isaac Green, Sr., Monarch: Back for his final campaign, the reigning Class 5A state champion will look to defend his cross country title in 2016.

Gage Hornung, Sr., Boulder: Finishing 15th at last year's state meet, he leads a Panthers pack -Sean Riedel (28th), Luke Zacharias (30th) and Sam Primozich (31st) - that finished fourth last season has a good shot to do even better this year.

Kenny Lang, Jr., Niwot: Since he placed 30th in Class 4A last season, he has won several cycling state championships this summer and feels even more prepared for 2016.

Ryan Lehmuth, Jr., Jefferson Academy: He cracked 3A's top 30 in 2015 and has the potential for great improvement as an upperclassman this season.

Landon Milbrath, Jr., Lyons: The Lions have lost a ton of firepower since winning four straight team titles and it now falls to Milbrath to carry the torch by backing up his top-20 finish from 2015.

Logan Simington, Jr., Silver Creek: Transferring in from Thompson Valley, he brings with him the 20th best finish at last year's Class 4A state meet.

POSTSEASON INFORMATION

2A Region 1 — Local teams: Dawson, Lyons, Nederland, Shining Mountain, Twin Peaks. Date/location: Oct. 21 at Indian Hills Golf Course (Yuma).

3A Region 3 — Local teams: Holy Family, Jefferson Academy, Peak to Peak, Prospect Ridge. Date/location: Oct. 21 at Margaret Carpenter Recreation Center (Thornton).

Fairview senior Maya Browning has a pair of top 10 finishes at state under her belt, and will be aiming for a championship this year.
Fairview senior Maya Browning has a pair of top 10 finishes at state under her belt, and will be aiming for a championship this year. (David R. Jennings / Staff Photographer)

4A Region 3 — Local teams: Centaurus, Erie, Niwot. Date/location: Oct. 20, Cherry Creek State Park (Aurora).

4A Region 4 — Local teams: Frederick, Longmont, Mead, Silver Creek, Skyline. Date/location: Oct. 21 at Indian Hills Golf Course (Yuma).

5A Region 3 — Local teams: Boulder, Fairview, Legacy, Monarch. Date/location: Oct. 20 at Redstone Park (Highlands Ranch).

5A Region 4 — Local teams: Broomfield. Date/location: Oct. 21 at Spring Canyon Park (Fort Collins).

Class 2A-5A state championships — Oct. 29 at Norris-Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs.

TEAM-BY-TEAM OUTLOOK

BOULDER PANTHERS

Coach: Mark Muggleton (4th year).

Last year: Boys — Finished fourth at Class 5A state meet. Girls — Finished 15th at Class 5A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: David Fraser (Jr., 154th); Gage Hornung (Sr., 15th); Sam Primozich (Sr., 31st); Sean Riedel (Sr., 28th); Luke Zacharias (Sr., 30th).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Claudia Burgess (Jr., 5th); Izzy Heart (So.); Makenna Hobson (So., 87th); Lauren Neugeboren (Jr., 79th), Alysa Rogers (Jr., 165th); Kate Zacharias (So., 90th).

Other boys to watch: Caleb Harding (So.); Ben Santos (Jr.).

Other girls to watch: Aleah Edwards (Sr.); Arianna McCue (So.); Anna Tenor (Sr.).

Outlook: The Panthers return a tremendous amount of talent, including a two-time top five state placer in Claudia Burgess, and synergy. For the 2015 fourth-place Panthers boys team, Gage Hornung should improve upon last year's 15th pace finish, as should the other four returning state qualifiers.

BROOMFIELD EAGLES

Coach: Greg Weich (7th year).

Last year: Boys — Finished ninth at Class 5A state meet. Girls — Won the Class 5A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Joseph Carwin (Jr., 149th); Caelan Denley (Sr., 106th); Josh Schoep (Sr., 59th).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Emily Galvin (So., 62nd); Ivy Gonzales (Jr., 21st); Vanessa Kort (Jr., 65th); Emily Mitchem (Jr., 9th); Katelyn Mitchem (Jr., 23rd); Alena Valdez (Jr., 55th).

Other boys to watch: Kip Mielke (Jr.); Alex King (Sr.);

Other girls to watch: Eliza Hale (So.); Madison Mooney (Jr., 20th).

Outlook: Despite losing McKenzie Gaines (27th at 2015 state meet) to a family move, the defending champion Eagles girls lineup should be just as deep as last year after adding incoming transfer Madison Mooney (20th at 2015 state meet). The boys team has lost big-time contributors in each of the past five season but still should have a shot at the top 10 again in 2016.

CENTAURUS WARRIORS

Coach: Devin Rourke (6th year).

Last year: Boys — Finished 10th at Class 4A state meet. Girls — Finished fifth at Class 4A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Henry Bowman (So., 172nd); Cooper Brown (So, 117th); Alex Hooten (Jr., 95th); David McGill (Sr., 55th); John O'Malley (Jr., 57th); Kyle Piper (So., 186th).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Brooke Calvo (So., 66th); Meghan Davinroy (Sr., 126th); Helen Gover (So., 30th); Allison MacDonald (So., 112th); Molly Maksin (So. 59th).

Other boys to watch: Alirio Calderon (Jr.); Nathan Jager (Sr.); Noah Llerandi (Jr.).

Other girls to watch: Riley Geldean (Fr.); Katie Hooten (Fr.); Sabrina Stern (Sr.).

Outlook: The Warriors boys were happy with 10th place last year but after a good summer of work, they're itching to move up even higher. With a solid returning group and several talented incoming freshmen, the girls think this could be their year for a podium finish in Class 4A.

DAWSON MUSTANGS

Coach: Kate Boyle (4th year) and John Kilgour (4th year)

Last year: Boys — Finished fifth at 2A Region 1 meet. Girls — Finished seventh at 2A Region 1 meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: None.

Girls returning state qualifiers: Maggie Berry (Sr., 40th).

Other boys to watch: Israel Bejar (So.); Eli McCullick (Fr.); Nick Timpe (Sr.).

Other girls to watch: Nami Kaneko (So.); Anna Ridilla (So.).

Outlook: The Mustangs are focusing this season on developing the young talent that they have. The team is also looking forward to a good senior season from Maggie Berry, who has been the team's top runner since her freshman year and is setting out to qualify and finish well at her fourth state meet in four years.

ERIE TIGERS

Coach: Addie Bracy (1st year).

Last year: Boys — Finished 14th at Class 4A state meet. Girls — Finished fifth at 4A Region 3 meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Zane Cire (Jr., 140th); Tyler Larson (Jr., 155th); Luke Simeon (Sr., 120th).

Girls returning state qualifiers: None.

Other boys to watch: Jamison Cartwright (So.); Cooper Hitman (So.); Ryan Peng (Sr.).

Other girls to watch: Alia Brand (So.); Emily Condon (So.); McKenna Harrington (So.).

Outlook: New head coach Addie Bracy joins the Tigers this season, coming over from her assistant coach position at Niwot. Said Bracy, "We are a fairly young team particularly on the girls side with most or all of those girls never having raced at the state meet. However, the team is really enthusiastic this year and has been putting in some really good work the last month or two. We have record numbers on the team and a really positive and hardworking team environment."

FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

Coach: Darren Bessett (1st year).

Last year: Boys — Finished 18th at Class 5A state meet. Girls — Finished third at Class 5A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Lance Adams (Jr., 160th); Matthew Allan (Sr., 152nd); Peter Kennedy (Jr., 51st); Greg Lund (Sr., 86th); Zach Morrissey (Sr., 134th); Omar Ridinger (Jr., 80th).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Isabella Bowland (Jr., 15th); Maya Browning (Sr., 7th); Hannah Freeman (Sr., 82nd); Sarah King (Sr., 45th).

Other boys to watch: Thomas Kakatsakis (Sr.); Jesse McCeney (Jr.); Jonathan Wang (Jr.).

Other girls to watch: Lauren McKenna (Jr.); Elsa Russell (Jr.).

Outlook: The Knights fielded young teams, boys and girls, at the state meet last year. The majority of the Knight's girls and boys athletes are returning this year in great physical condition, faster and more mature. This is all good news for first-year head coach Darren Bessett, who took over in July when Josh Glaab took a head coaching job at Quinnipiac University.

FREDERICK WARRIORS

Coach: Michele Blanken (2nd year).

Last year: Boys — Finished ninth at 4A Region 3 meet. Girls — Finished 10th at 4A Region 3 meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: None.

Girls returning state qualifiers: None.

Other boys to watch: Riley McNeill (Fr.); Doyle Schroth (Jr.).

Other girls to watch: Casey Elnicki (Jr.); Nikayta Neu (Sr.).

Outlook: The Warriors haven't qualified a runner for state in the past two season but they have been steadily building up the program. That building process will continue in 2016 with the hope of finishing near the top five at regionals this October.

HOLY FAMILY TIGERS

Coach: Dave Good (22nd year).

Last year: Boys — Finished fifth at 4A Region 3 meet. Girls — Finished 23rd at Class 4A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Jonah Munoz (So., 82nd); Tanner Price (Sr., 132nd).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Peyton Cora (Jr., 157th); Kika Napierkowski (Jr., 47th); Emily Campbell (Sr., 142nd); Taylor Santangelo (Jr., 149th)

Other boys to watch: Braden Bartlett (So.); Kyle McCabe (Jr.); Christian Montoya (So.).

Other girls to watch: Ciara Donovan (Jr.); KyLynn Silva (Jr.).

Outlook: The transition back down to Class 3A this season won't necessarily be an easy one for the Tigers, who graduated several talented seniors last season and will have to rebuild in 2016. But coach Good said the team has had a good summer and is focused on molding its younger runners and returning leaders into a team that could eventually make a run at a league or regional title.

JEFFERSON ACADEMY JAGUARS

Coach: Ben Hershelman (8th year).

Last year: Boys — Finished 11th at Class 3A state meet. Girls — Finished 11th at Class 3A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Ryan Lehmuth (Jr., 29th); Nathan Moore (Sr., 90th); Christian Van Cleave (Sr., 41st); Paul Watters (Sr., 123rd).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Kara Dobbs (Jr., 71st); Bridget Lynch (So., 86th); Caitlyn Martinez (So., 138th); Elizabeth Munson (Jr., 147th); Rachel Schlagel (Jr., 132nd).

Other boys to watch: James Winder (So.).

Other girls to watch: Miranda Reisdorf (So.).

Outlook: The Jaguars added a middle school program last fall and are hoping that will create a greater influx on freshman talent that can help the high school team. This season's boys team, however, will be led by four upperclassmen with lofty goals. The girls team also returns a strong group with state meet experience and both teams expect to be competitive at every meet this season.

LEGACY LIGHTNING

Coach: D.J. Hummel (5th year).

Last year: Boys — Finished sixth at Class 5A Region 3 meet. Girls — Finished eighth at Class 5A Region 3 meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: None.

Girls returning state qualifiers: None.

Other boys to watch: Dylan Haines (Jr.); AJ Von Colln (Sr.).

Other girls to watch: Bryce Baca (Fr.); Brynn Siles (Fr.); Cheney Singer (Jr.).

Outlook: Following a bit of a down season in 2015, the Lightning runners are expecting an upswing this fall. Head coach D.J. Hummel said he expects to qualify a couple boys for state, if not a team, and plenty of positive surprises on the girls side. There might even be a Lightning freshman or two who have early breakout seasons.

LONGMONT TROJANS

Coach: Kevin Akers (5th year).

Last year: Boys — Finished 24th at Class 4A state meet. Girls — Finished seventh at 4A Region 4 meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Finn Kilcullen (So., 168th); Mason Hayes (So., 171st).

Girls returning state qualifiers: None.

Other boys to watch: Leon Engle (Fr.); Brett Jasmin (Sr.); Jacob Lyon (Jr.).

Other girls to watch: Jayci Johnson (Jr.); Cammy Manes (Sr.); Addy Ouweneel (Sr.).

Outlook: Said Akers, "We will aim for each runner to improve themselves as a student athlete from where they were last year. I think this will be one of the most enjoyable teams I have had the privilege to coach judging by our summer workouts." The big goal this season is for the Trojans to send a girls team to state for the first time in a decade.

LYONS LIONS

Coach: Mark Roberts (21st year).

Last year: Boys — Won the Class 2A state meet. Girls — Finished third at Class 2A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Adam Crowl (Jr., 61st); Colton Jonjak-Plahn (So., 35th); Landon Milbrath (Jr., 18th).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Georgia Barone (Jr., 55th); Sarah Roberts (So., 39th); CeAnn Udovich (Sr., 10th).

Other boys to watch: Field Soosloff (So.), Nick Boggess (Fr.), Isaac Roberts (Fr.), Simon Stone (Fr.).

Other girls to watch: Katie Fankhouser (Fr.); Laura Hickey (So.); Jewel Thomas (So.); Kylee Udovich (So.).

Outlook: The Lions boys are young, but they've embraced the challenge of carrying on the legacy of the teams that have come before them, which includes four straight state titles on the boys side. The girls, in particular, would like to bring home a state trophy after finishing off the podium for the first time in four years in 2015.

MEAD MAVERICKS

Coach: Chris Reynolds (4th year)

Last year: Boys — Finished seventh at 4A Region 3 meet. Girls — Finished fifth at 4A Region 3 meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: None.

Girls returning state qualifiers: Sophia Maeda (Jr., 19th).

Other boys to watch: Hayden DeBuse (Jr.), Isaac Dukes (Jr.); Justin McDaniel (Jr.).

Other girls to watch: Sierra Bell (Sr.).

Outlook: The Mead boys team had its highest-ever finish at the league and regional meets last fall and the girls team missed the state meet and third place in the region by 10 points. With their returning athletes and a slate of young talent, the Mavericks are excited to exceed expectations and see what they can do in late October.

MONARCH COYOTES

Coach: Kent Rieder (13th year).

Last year: Boys — Finished sixth at Class 5A state meet. Girls — Finished sixth at Class 5A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Isaac Green (Sr., 1st); Greg Hibl (Sr., 87th); Jack Herrmann (Sr., 107th); Zach Litoff (Sr., 56th); Charlie Perry (Jr.); Isaac Russo (Jr., 69th); Declan Stone-Murphy (Sr., 161st).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Holly Bent (Sr.); Brooke Forsythe (So., 72nd); Liz Hogan (Jr., 70th); Hailey Leader (Jr., 60th); Audrey Lookner (Sr., 17th).

Other boys to watch: Will Dixon (Jr.); Paxton Hansburg (So.).

Other girls to watch: Libby Moore (Jr.); Anna Wexler (Fr.); Sam Wexler (Sr.).

Outlook: The Coyotes boys and girls both return a number of runners from last year's state rosters, including Holly Bent and Charlie Perry, both of whom were injured at the end of last season. Both teams are deep and will look to improve on last year's sixth-place finishes in Class 5A, while senior Isaac Green will try to defend his individual state championship.

NEDERLAND PANTHERS

Coach: Danny Shea (2nd year).

Last year: Boys — Finished 10th at 2A Region 1 meet. Girls — Finished seventh at 2A Region 1 meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: None.

Girls returning state qualifiers: Sarah Davidson (Jr., 9th).

Other boys to watch: Adam Figgins (So.).

Other girls to watch: Meg Feeley (So.); Savannah Lindenberger (Jr.).

Outlook: The Panthers may be small in number this season but they're hoping their high-altitude training regimen will start them on their way significant individual improvements this season. The team's goal is two second two or three runners to state this season, one of whom could be raw-but-talented sophomore Sam Figgins.

NIWOT COUGARS

Coach: Kelly Christensen (1st year).

Last year: Boys — Finished 16th at Class 4A state meet. Girls — Finished ninth at Class 4A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Jesse Falk (Sr., 161st); Mathew Funk (Sr., 176th); Kenny Lang (Jr., 30th); Irvin Marroquin (Sr., 162nd); Tommy Stager (Sr., 170th); Ethan Steiner (Jr., 90th).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Claire Gillett (Sr., 105th); Jenna McCaffrey (Sr., 76th); Maggie Smith (So., 40th).

Other boys to watch: Ben Bi (So.); Kamran Elahi (Jr.); Oskar Wells (Jr.).

Other girls to watch: Caitlin Hyers (Jr.); Sage Marten (Jr.); Jeri Wilcox (Jr.).

Outlook: It may take half the season to adjust to the new training program and coaching style of coach Christensen, but the Cougars hope to reclaim conference and regional team titles and return to being a top five team in the state. Several athletes are returning from last year's state teams which should provide great leadership. Said Christensen, "Both teams have clear top talent and it may take the entire season to lower the one through five pack time and establish runners four through seven."

PROSPECT RIDGE MINERS

Coach: Mary Marr (3rd year).

Last year: This is the team's first year as a CHSAA member program and first season with eligibility for postseason competition.

Boys returning state qualifiers: None.

Girls returning state qualifiers: None.

Other boys to watch: Nathan Helmick (Jr.); Trey Kappan (So.); Jackson Taylor (Jr.).

Other girls to watch: Jordan Dolan (Fr.); Lienna Schaumann (So.).

Outlook: This is the Miners' first year as a Colorado High School Activities Association sanctioned program and the young school won't have seniors until next year so this season is all about building up the young program. That said, many of the Miners runners have been together since middle school and have been working hard in the offseason so they're not ruling out their chances of making it to state now that they're eligible.

PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

Coach: Kim McConnell (3rd year).

Last year: Boys — Finished ninth at Class 3A state meet. Girls — Finished runners up at Class 3A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Will Alexander (So., 108th); Ben Cunningham (So., 94th); Jay Kang (Jr., 143rd); Brandon Ries (Sr., 74th).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Tiana Bradfield (So., 26th); Quinn McConnell (So., 1st); Rachael Metzler (Sr., 21st); Anna Shults (So., 2nd); Elle Triem (So., 51st).

Other boys to watch: Cole Beasley (So.); Justin Hager (So.); William Ledden (Fr.).

Other girls to watch: Jenna Howard (So.); Jillian Ries (So.), Isabelle Ruble (Fr.).

Outlook: Defending Class 3A champion Quinn McConnell is back along with runner up Anna Shults and the rest of the second-place Pumas girls team. Said coach McConnell, "The Pumas boys are picking up nicely and poised to surprise. This young team has continued to improve and may turn a few heads this fall. Our girls look forward to simply enjoying the process of executing on their fitness. The strength of both the boys' and girls' teams is their relative youth. We are seeking to build a strong program into the future with this young team."

SHINING MOUNTAIN LIONS

Coach: Tyler Haughness (3rd year).

Last year: Boys — Finished ninth at 2A Region 1 meet. Girls — Finished eighth at Class 2A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: None.

Girls returning state qualifiers: Abby Leuchten (So., 28th); Emma Schaefer (Jr., 12th).

Other boys to watch: Max Saliman (So.); Marcus Zeender (So.).

Other girls to watch: Lola Sky Conaway (Fr.); Marina Flandrick (Jr.).

Outlook: Schaefer and Leuchten return to lead the Lions after impressive track and field seasons this spring and expect the Lions girls squad to improve on last year's eighth-place finish at state. The main goal for this year's Lions boys is to score in the top half of the regional meet, which would require significant effort and improvement from the young group.

SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

Coach: Roger Powley (1st year).

Last year: Boys — Finished 19th at Class 4A state meet. Girls — Finished 20th at Class 4A state meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Zach Beckwith (Jr., 118th); Eliott Cassidy (Jr., 163rd); Brock Dykema (Jr., 17th); James Lee (Jr., 156th); John Moroney (So., 139th); Dylan Oliver (So., 164th).

Girls returning state qualifiers: Sofia Bantowsky (Sr., 178th); McKinley Coppock (Sr., 113th); Jordyn Monin (Sr., 171st); Victoria Rubio (Sr., 179th); Kelly Speckl (Jr., 172nd).

Other boys to watch: Joe Creighton (Jr.); Logan Simington (Jr., 20th); Henry Terhaar (Fr.).

Other girls to watch: Zoe Baker (Jr.); Cami Fischmann (Fr.); Abby Fostveit (Fr.); Marissa Koski (Sr.); Alyssa Morgan (Fr.); Kylie Morgan (Fr.).

Outlook: With most of last year's state qualifiers returning and a really strong group of freshmen girls who have worked hard all summer, the Raptors girls are looking to return to the state meet and improve on last year's finish. On the boys side, the Raptors have great depth in their returning state qualifiers and some exciting young talent coming in.

SKYLINE FALCONS

Coach: Mary Monk (11th year).

Last year: Boys — Finished sixth at 4A Region 4 meet. Girls — Finished 12th at 4A Region 4 meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: Mark Boden (Jr., 87th).

Girls returning state qualifiers: None

Other boys to watch: Blake Azar (Jr.); Dylan Cooper (Sr.); Ben Maxfield (Sr.); Jensen Richards (Jr.).

Other girls to watch: Susanna Jones (Sr.); Katie Nieuwalandt (Fr.); Cerra Shattuck (Fr.).

Outlook: After a successful summer running program the Falcons are ready to compete. The boys team has a strong group of returning runners and has added a group of hard-working freshmen. Head coach Mary Monk said it will be interesting how the season unfolds but that the Falcons are looking forward to taking a boys team to state for the first time in three years.

TWIN PEAKS TIMBERWOLVES

Coach: Spencer Cone (1st year)

Last Year: Boys — Finished 11th at 2A Region 1 meet. Girls — Did not place at 2A Region 1 meet.

Boys returning state qualifiers: None

Girls returning state qualifiers: None

Other boys to watch: Caleb Bishop (Fr.); Michael Erikson (Sr.); Teagan Quintana (Jr.).

Other girls to watch: Maria Comp (So.); Andrea Moreno (So.).

Outlooks: This is a new and exciting time for the Twin Peaks cross country program. The Timberwolves have a new athletic director, a new head coach and seven new athletes. Coming off of solid track seasons, returning athletes Michael Erikson and Maria Comp will look to lead this young team to success in the Mile High League this season.

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