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Team by team outlooks

Class 5A
Boulder Panthers
Coach: Carl Worthington Jr.
The Scorecard: As Worthington Jr. enters his 26th season, his program looks to have a strong boys’ core that very well could make noise at the Class 5A state track and field meet next month. Among them, Lukas Haug finished fifth at the CHSAA cross country championships in the fall and should be a strong state runner in the 3,200-meter run, the 1,600 and the 800. At the cross country finals, Haug said he finally broke through after finishing 18th, then 23rd, in his previous two years. His time of 15:44 was 10th-best on the day across all classifications. He’ll be joined on the distance side by junior Gavin Geer. Worthington Jr. mentioned both Haug and Geer having potentially huge seasons. Senior pole vaulter Mitchell Goodman and senior sprinter Logan Marshall could also bring home state points, while other contributors in sprinter/long jumper Luke Werner and sprinter/hurdler/jumper Tristan Langenegger look good, too — but they will have to wait to return until after the school football team’s state championship game Saturday. On the girls’ side, Lindsay Cook is a double-threat as a distance runner and triple jumper. Aly Laurain, meanwhile, is a talented middle distance runner in the 800 and 400.

Broomfield Eagles
Coach: Craig Boccard and Justin Hazzard
The Scorecard: Despite a canceled season in 2020, the Eagles said they will still return a number of state qualifiers to the roster. For the girls, senior Nikki Gorman is back after finishing inside the top 10 in three state events in 2019. That year, she took sixth in the 300 hurdles, and 10th in both the 100 hurdles and 1,600 relay. Elsewhere, classmates Grace Galvin and Sarah Stussi were also a part of that top-10 1,600 relay. Gabby Olson, meanwhile, returns after she helped the 3,200 relay team take 14th at state. For the boys, Dayne Ortega returns after he helped the 800 relay take 11th at state. Distance runner James Thomas, who took sixth at the cross country championships in the fall, and hurdler Josh Dunn, are among others who could make some added noise for the boys. Others to watch include sophomores Maelynn Higgins and Paisley Williamson, who are rising talents from the cross country season, as well as senior jumper Linnea Baldner and junior sprinter Sophie Buschmann. Said Boccard: “Both the boys and the girls teams are young this season, but sprinkled in are some extremely strong senior leaders who are doing an excellent job of working with our freshmen and sophomores to help us put together well-rounded squads.”

Fairview's Imani Fernandez-Gorbea races during the ...
Daily Camera file photo
Imani Fernandez-Gorbea of Fairview

Fairview Knights
Coach: Tricia Vieth
The Scorecard: Vieth said her team is a bit smaller than normal, but there’s still plenty of talent to go around. Senior Gavin Schurr headlines Fairview’s returnees after finishing seventh in the 100-meter run at the 5A state meet two years ago. He should once again be a contender in the sprint events next month. Along with him on the boys team are two standout pole vaulters in Will Chiang and Leo Sundstrom. Chiang finished 12th in the event as a sophomore, while Sundstrom was tied for 13th. On the girls’ side, Imani Fernandez-Gorbea and Ann Russell return after they were part of state-qualifying relays in 2019. Fernandez-Gorbea also showed her distance skills at the 5A cross country state championships in the fall, finishing 26th in 19:16.90. Others to watch include senior Aiden Christiansen in the sprints and long jump, Erik Sankey in distance, Jackson Zoldak in sprints, Josh Candy in sprints and Bohdi Rubenstein in throws. Elsewhere with the girls, Carolina Harmon is a top-notch sprinter, Olivia Kosanovich is a talented junior who can be utilized in the sprints and field events, and sophomore Sophie Pierce is a strong pole vaulter. Said Vieth: “I predict growth throughout the entire season focusing on more individual events for the start of the season and working in relays further down the road … Our goal is to work hard, watch for the breakthrough performances and enjoy the fact that we actually have a season.”

Legacy Lightning
Coach: Kory Skattum
The Scorecard: The Lightning return after a two-year layoff with a new coach in Kory Skattum. Skattum is a 2012 Broomfield alum and was a former track and field coach at Nederland before moving to Legacy. While as a student at Broomfield, he ran distance on the track and field team. As a senior, he took seventh in the 3,200 and 14th in the 1,600. He inherits a program that is looking to take steps forward after finishing 30th at the girls state meet in 2019, while not recording a point on the boys’ side. Fortunately for him, his 2021 team includes one of the best distance runners in the state in Ryan Montera. The senior moved up the cross country state leaderboard in each of his four seasons, ultimately taking seventh at the championships last fall. Among others to watch, Skattum said, are Grace Naysmith in long jump and sprints, and Fiona Spitzley in the pole vault. Two years ago, Naysmith helped the girls sprint medley relay win at the Front Range League Championships. Spitzley’s best vault two years ago, per MaxPreps, was 7 feet, 7 inches. She went 9-1 at the B-Town Opener to start the season.

Monarch Coyotes
Coach: Kent Rieder
The Scorecard: The Coyotes return a load of top talent in junior Julia Pattison (sprints/hurdles), sophomore Mia Munoz (sprints/long jump), senior Chloe Smith (800), junior Kieran Singh (sprints/relays), sophomore Levi Hoenninger (long jump, 400, relays), senior Timo Heine (pole vault) and senior Diego Turner (high jump). Pattison placed 17th in the 400-meter dash at the Colorado state track and field championships in 2019. “Track season is feeling more normal than the cross country season and our athletes are excited to compete in an environment that is more familiar,” Rieder said. Monarch’s boys and girls both posted top-20 team placement at the 2019 state meet, and the boys were eighth the prior year.

Class 4A
Centaurus Warriors
Coach: Eddie Taylor and Meaghan Goodman
The Scorecard: The Warriors don’t have any individual state track and field qualifiers on roster, per Taylor. But James Overberg, who is committed to run at the University of Colorado, could very well change that next month at the state meet. The senior finished fifth at the CHSAA 4A state cross country championships in the fall. His time of 15:43 was ninth-best across all classifications on the day. On the girls’ side, meanwhile, there’s another distance guru in Maggie McCleskey, who took 14th at those finals. It was her third straight finish inside the 4A’s top 40. Others to look out for include sophomore Kyle Berg and Max Heins in the middle and long distance events, freshman Jacoby Ennis in the 800, and Kai Smith in the 3,200. The Warriors also have two nice pole vaulters in senior Kyle Varra on the boys’ team and freshman Lauren Kidney with the girls. Wrote Taylor: “Pretty much our whole team will be brand new to state and I think we have a big chance of winning a couple events and placing well in others.”

Erie Tigers
Coach: Brandon Havard
The Scorecard: Expect the Tigers to be strong in their 1,600 relays on both sides. On the girls’ side, the Tigers return two legs from their 2019 state qualifying relay in senior Isabelle Hageman and junior Lily Meskers. With them, the Tigers took sixth in the state event two years ago. Meanwhile on the boys’ side, Quentin Hartel is back after helping lead the relay to a 12th-place finish. Look out for another returning state qualifier in junior Heidi Warlock, who took 10th in the 4A pole vault event as a freshman. Others who could be qualifiers soon include John Pastore, who will be on throws after he lit up the fall football scene as a lineman, as well as Mason Veve, who is committed to Colorado State for football and will finish his high school career as a talented sprinter. Others to watch include a talented core of freshmen girls in sprinter Maddie Hartel, sprinter/jumper Kiara Welch and distance runner Ella Jimenez. For the boys’ sprints team, look out for freshman Blake Barnett and senior Blake Donaldson.

Frederick Warriors
Coach: Sheli Mares
The Scorecard: Frederick returns three state qualifiers on the boys’ side but none with the girls, said Mares. Ryan Chacon, now a senior, returns after he took ninth in the 200 and eighth in the 400 at the 4A state event in 2019. That year, he also helped furnish a 13th place finish in the 1,600 relay. Back with him is classmate Wyatt Schroth, who was with Chacon on the 2019 1,600 team, and also was a part of the 3,200 relay that took 16th. Junior Alexander Carrillo is also back after being a part of the 2019 3,200 relay state team. Others to watch include Chase Svela in the 1,600, Parker Ayers in the 100 and River Lakey in the long jump. “Everyone is excited to race,” Mares said. “Two years has been a long time to wait.” Adding, “We’re a small team full of hard-working athletes and great attitudes, we’re looking forward to a season of growth and excellent performances.” Frederick will look to improve upon its team results in 2019, where it finished 41st in girls and 40th in boys.

Longmont Trojans
Coach: Scott Dickinson
The Scorecard: Eddie Kurjak is among the reasons for optimism this spring for Longmont. The high-flying dunker on the basketball court could now leap into contention in high jump and triple jump for the Trojans. Two years ago, he tied for the top mark in the high jump with a mark of 6 feet, 5 inches but settled for second due to the tiebreaker in which he had more faults than winner Cisco Padilla of Pueblo West. He also took 13th in the triple jump. In his first meet last week, he went 6-9 in the high jump and 45-4.25 in the triple jump. On the girls’ side, senior Sally Marshall returns after finishing 10th in the state triple jump while also helping the 400 relay to 13th and the 800 relay to 17th two years ago. Others to keep an eye out for include sophomore Christine D’Epagnier, who had a breakout sophomore season on the basketball court and could shine in sprints and jumps on the track. Elsewhere for the girls, freshman Ella Pears is a talented prospect in the jumps. And for the boys, Quinn Featherston should be strong in sprints while junior Connor McCormick should contribute in the middle and distance events. “This season is a big question mark,” Dickinson said, noting that his team does not have the depth it usually has. “But there are some top-end talent athletes, especially in the jumps.” Adding: “There are many athletes who I have worked with for a month or less and the sky’s the limit for their potential.”

Mead Mavericks
Coach: Chris Reynolds
The Scorecard: The Mavericks will lean on the experience of senior sprinter Nathan Bailey, distance specialist Keegan Caldwell (two-mile), sprinter Amanda Polansky and junior Tyler Mayer (long jump, 400, 800) to guide them this year. They’ll also look to junior Brooke Garcia (400 relay), sophomore Sean Medlock (400 relay), sophomore Brenden Castano (400 relay), senior Pamela Banuelos (800, 1,600) and sophomore Frances Hudson (mid-distance) to fill in some of the gaps. “We are very excited to get back out there, and the first meet was a celebration for our team,” Reynolds said. “We look forward to competing, and we were pleasantly surprised with how competitive we were in the first meet back. We are fairly confident that we will find some good times and some diamonds in the rough.”

Niwot Cougars
Coach: Maurice Henriques
The Scorecard: The Cougars dominated in 2019’s state track and field championships, claiming both the boys and girls team titles — as well as some individual titles — and the girls finished runner-up the two years prior. They look just as dangerous this year. Niwot returns a large, talented roster for 2020, including some notable names: senior Taylor James (sprints/mid-distance), senior Lucca Fulkerson (distance), junior Eva Klingbeil (distance), junior Amelia Philofsky (distance), senior Margot Diasabeygunawardena (hurdles/jumps), senior Grayden Rauba (distance), senior Joaquin Herrera (distance) and senior Curtis Volf (distance). “The majority of our kids have been training anywhere from three months to a year getting ready for this season,” Henriques said. “We decided as a team that we would keep training until we had an opportunity to compete again.”

Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Jacy Riel
The Scorecard: The Raptors return a large number of promising young athletes to guide them this season, and a few have already shown their talents early into the 2021 competition: sophomore distance runner Elle Murray, sophomore mid-distance runner Grace Moroney, senior Maddy Manning (jumps/hurdles), sophomore pole vaulter Megan Kelleghan, senior shot putter Marcia Huser, senior Abby Flynn (throws), senior distance runner Patrick Ash, junior Aidan Miller (jumps/sprints), junior Tanner Stevens (jumps/sprints) and sophomore Harrison Kaufman (throws). Silver Creek doesn’t return any 2019 individual state competitors. “We may be missing a lot of seniors this year, but we have an extremely talented group of young athletes and we are excited to see what the future holds for our program,” Riel said. “Right now, we have the No. 1 girls pole vaulter in 4A, and she is only a sophomore.”

Skyline Falcons
Coach: James Davis
The Scorecard: The Falcons bring back junior Andrew Muncy for the 400-meter dash and senior Oscar Aranday for the shot put. Senior sprinter Colby Morton — who competes in sprints as well as hurdles — should be a top athlete for the team this season as well. Skyline does not return any of its top competitors from the 2019 state track and field meet. “It’s great to return to coaching track meets after a year off,” Davis said. “I’m excited to see our kids have the opportunity to showcase their talents and all of the hard work they have put in during these challenging times.”

Class 3A
Holy Family Tigers
Coach: Nick Harris
The Scorecard: The Tigers began the season with a bang last week, winning the boys and girls titles in Berthoud at the R2J Invitational. And look out, rising star Skylar Hawk may be breaking out. Per Holy Family’s Jon Yunt, the junior won the 100, 400 and set the school record in the 200 with a time of 25.82. That time would have been fifth in the event at the state meet in 2019. Hawk and Lizzbeth Villalobos both return after providing big lifts to the girls’ relays at state two years ago. With them, the girls finished seventh in the 400 relay, ninth in the 800 relay and ninth in the 1,600 relay. Villalobos was also a part of the state-qualifying sprint medley. Elsewhere, Brody Welch is back for the boys team after he finished ninth in discus at state two years ago. He is committed to the Colorado School of Mines. As for the girls, Evelyn Boyd returns after finishing 16th in the 3,200. In 2019, Holy Family finished 11th on the boys’ side and 20th in girls.

Jefferson Academy's Aaliyah Robinson competes in ...
Daily Camera file photo
Jefferson Academy’s Aaliyah Robinson competes in the long jump during the state track meet May 17, 2019 at Jeffco Stadium.

Jefferson Academy Jaguars
Coach: Eric Thimsen
The Scorecard: Thimsen said the variables surrounding the ongoing pandemic have resulted in a much smaller roster this season. “This year will present a great opportunity to retool and train some very young talent,” he said. “It’s going to be imperative to just be patient and take the season one day at a time for this young team.” Despite it, the Jags return a nice group of state qualifiers on both the boys’ and girls’ sides. The boys are led by a nice distance-running tandem in senior Jacob Crookston and junior Evan Mills. Crookston finished 11th in the 3,200 at the 2019 state track meet. He placed fifth at the cross country state championships in 2019, then 18th in 2020. Mills, meanwhile, went 17th in the 2019 3,200 and was 24th in the 2020 XC finals. Along with them, senior Aaron Strauber is back after finishing 15th in the 110 hurdles in 2019, and 17th in the 300 hurdles. With the girls team, Aaliyah Robinson is a threat to contend in the jumping events after she finished fourth in the state long jump and ninth in the triple jump. Junior Sierra Haberman could be right there, too, after finishing tied for third in the high jump as a freshman. Another girl to keep an eye out for is sophomore Chrisly Kelly in both sprints and jumps. As a team, both the boys and girls finished 10th in 2019.

Peak to Peak Pumas
Coach: Jesse Fassler
The Scorecard: The Pumas bring back a few top athletes, including seniors Allison Beasley and Corte Peterson. Beasley finished 10th in the 1,600 and sixth in the 3,200 in the most recent state championships and took third in the 3A state cross country meet in 2020. Peterson managed sixth place in pole vault in 2019. Senior Aidan Graziano (hurdles/sprints/jumps) and freshman Kourtney Rathke (pole vault) will also provide some talent for Peak to Peak. “Kourtney Rathke is a first-year at Peak to Peak but has been highly competitive in the pole vault since middle school,” Fassler said. “As a seventh-grader, she won the AAU Junior Olympic Games in pole vault. She comes into the season with a PR at 12-01.75, which would currently rank her in the top three of all classifications in Colorado.”

Prospect Ridge Academy Miners
Coach: Ben Mulvaney
The Scorecard: The Miners welcome back a number of athletes that they’ll lean on for leadership this season: junior Caleb Peruzza (hurdles), junior Tristen Zeidman (hurdles/sprints), senior Deklan Wilk (throws) and senior Ethan Wannamaker (400, triple jump). Mulvaney believes his 3,200 relay teams on both sides of the aisle have the best shot to make it to the state championships this year. For the girls, that’s a combination of freshman Avery Marr, freshman Mia Cosio, sophomore Elise Wheeler, sophomore Payton Smith and senior Kendall Kick. For the boys, it’s sophomores Logan Goodman, Ethan Palmer, Avin Singh, Carlos Howerton and senior Matt Yoho. “So excited for both our freshmen and sophomores who have not gotten to learn their strengths and capability yet,” Mulvaney said. “I’m confident we’ll see several students perform better than ever, while some others will definitely be hurt due the short season and limited preseason training.”

May 18, 2019: Helen Cross, left, ...
Daily Camera file photo
Lyons’ Quin Gregg, right

Class 2A
Lyons Lions
Coach: Mark Roberts
The Scorecard: The Lions graduated 18 seniors from the track and field team following the canceled season but still have 44 total athletes in 2021 — 22 of them freshmen. On the boys’ side, seniors Camden Adams and Skylar Gregory return after qualifying for state in 2019. Adams was a part of the 400 relay that finished 10th in the state preliminaries, one spot out of finals. Gregory helped the 1,600 relay team to an 18th-place finish in prelims. For the girls, the distance-running tandem of Hannah Thomas and Quin Gregg return. Gregg, who has finished inside the top 10 in each of her three state cross country appearances, winning the title in 2019, reached four state events in track and field in 2019. She finished second in the 3,200, third in the 1,600, 11th in pole vault and helped the 3,200 relay to victory. Thomas, meanwhile, is coming off a career-best state mark in cross country, finishing ninth in the 2A race. Hailey Odell also returns after she was part of the Lions’ state qualifying sprint medley team two years ago. In 2019, Lyons won the boys’ title and took runner-up with the girls. Both the boys and girls have five track and field titles apiece.

Twin Peaks Charter Timberwolves
Coach: Pamela Wanninger
The Scorecard: The Timberwolves sent just one boy to state track in 2019, and he’s not returning this year. They will, however, welcome back the talents of junior Aaron Jenkins (distance), sophomore Jo Spensiari (mid-distance), junior Rohit Thapa (discus) and junior Erick Sickau (mid-distance). “It is great to be back on the track,” Wanninger said. “We have a very young team this year. However, we have solid upperclassman returning that will lead our freshmen. It is always exciting to coach athletes and watch them grow throughout the season.”

Class 1A
Shining Mountain Lions
Coach: Caileigh Colo
The Scorecard: The Lions return just two athletes in senior Mira Saliman — who runs the 1,600 and 3,200 — and senior pole vaulter Grace Remmert. Two years back, Saliman finished sixth at the Class 1A state track meet. “The challenges of this year are that we have very new athletes to high school track and field, so there has been a lot of trying new events to see what events our athletes are interested in competing in,” Colo said. “With the shortened season, we are just trying to make sure everyone has a chance to try every event they are interested in so we can find what event is best suited for everyone.” The Lions’ top rotation fillers include junior Kalea Zeender (pole vault, 1,600), freshman Ruby Modica (mid-distance), senior Franny Hilliard (mid-distance/distance), freshman Campbell Horning (distance) and freshman Haven Dewart (high jump/hurdles).

Bringing it home: recent state champions
2020 — No champions crowned (COVID-19 pandemic season cancellation)
2019 — Boys: Valor Christian (5A), Niwot (4A), Lutheran (3A), Lyons (2A), Heritage Christian (1A); Girls: Valor Christian (5A), Niwot (4A), Lutheran (3A), Highland (2A), De Beque (1A).
2018 — Boys: Fountain-Fort Carson (5A), Silver Creek (4A), Bayfield (3A), Resurrection Christian (2A), Heritage Christian (1A); Girls: Cherokee Trail (5A), Valor Christian (4A), The Classical Academy (3A), Highland (2A), Shining Mountain (1A).
2017 — Boys: Fountain-Fort Carson (5A); Vista Ridge (4A), Lutheran (3A), Cedaredge (2A), Heritage Christian (1A); Girls: Grandview (5A), Air Academy (4A), The Classical Academy (3A), Paonia (2A), Springfield (1A).
2016 — Boys: Pomona (5A), Mountain View (4A), Lutheran (3A), Cedaredge (2A), Heritage Christian (1A); Girls: Fort Collins (5A), The Classical Academy (4A), Eaton (3A), Paonia (2A), Heritage Christian (1A).

Point me to the postseason
For each event in track and field, regular season results will factor in qualifying for the state meet June 24-26. For Class 1A boys and girls, the top-9 season times qualify for state. For all other classifications, the top-18 advance to state.