High school girls' track and field capsules for 2017

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Photo - An athlete comes off the blocks during sprints in track and field events at the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference Varsity League Championships on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at Vista Ridge High School. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing
An athlete comes off the blocks during sprints in track and field events at the Pikes Peak Athletic Conference Varsity League Championships on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at Vista Ridge High School. Photo by Isaiah J. Downing

5A

Coronado

Coach: Doug Hugill (18th season).

Key returners: Celia Smith, sr.; Jaelyn Hershberger, jr.; Taylor Dutton, jr.; Faith Roth, so.; Madeline Morland, so.; Isabella Janney, so.; Chloe Cassens, jr.; Jeanine Smith, so.

Outlook: The Cougars, who won the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League crown in 2016, return plenty of experience as they look to continue that success. Smith was a three-event finalist at last year's state meet, highlighted by a third-place effort in the high jump. Coronado's 1,600- and 3,200-meter relay teams also qualified for the finals.

Doherty

Coach: Robert Duensing (seventh season).

Key returners: DeAndra Achor, so.; Gabbi Chapa, sr.; Jana Clark, jr.; Jilian Lahey, sr.; Jordan Thomas, so.; Katie Bare, sr.; Kayli Tabares, jr.; Kiara Olson, sr.; Olivia Brownworth, jr.; Rachael Blizzard, so.

Outlook: The Spartans have depth at all grade levels, highlighted by Olson, a senior who placed third in discus at last spring's 5A state meet, and Thomas, who made her state debut by finishing 14th in the shot put.

Fountain-Fort Carson

Coach: Ben Montoya (34th season)

Key returners: Gina Coleman, Afrasia Robinson

Outlook: Coleman is the defending 5A discus champion and is hoping to add a shot put title to her resume after placing fifth last season. Robinson returns as a state qualifier in the 400 meters and was part of last season’s qualifying 800 and 1,600 relays. The team is young and inexperienced.

Liberty

Coach: Dick Geddes (40th season).

Key returners: Allison Mann, sr.; Heidi Beier, sr.; Sophie Collins, jr.

Outlook: Mann, who finished third in the 3,200 meters at last year's state meet, will look to build off a breakthrough cross country season. The Lancers also will look to Beier, who placed fifth in the triple jump at the 2016 5A state meet.

Rampart

Coach: Robert Young (fifth season overall, second as head coach).

Key returners: Anthonnette Bishop-Falu, jr.; Emily Ellis, so.; Kyla Ramsey, jr.

Outlook: Only Ellis, a state qualifier in the high jump, is the only returning letter-winner with state experience from a Rams team that graduated two-event finalist Kiara Kearney, among others. Young is encouraged by his largest team in years, but the lack of experience could be the program's main weakness.

 

4A

Air Academy

Coach: Chuck Schwartz (first season).

Key returners: Maria Mettler, sr.; Lilliana Hamilton, jr.; Mackenzie Moss, so.; Olivia Whitaker, jr.; Allyson Stanley, sr.; Kamerin Valdes, sr.; Caitlyn McCubbin, sr.; Kaitlyn Gallegos, sr.

Outlook: The Kadets, who finished second in the final team standings in 2016 with much help from departed senior Katie Rainsberger, look to continue momentum from last fall's runner-up effort at the 4A state cross country meet. Mettler, who took first in state cross country, now takes charge in place of Rainsberger and Kayla Wiitala, who also graduated. Air Academy also has experience in the field events, led by state placers Stanley (high jump) and Gallegos (discus).

Cheyenne Mountain

Coach: Stan Lambros (15th season).

Key returners: Michaela Moore, sr.; Mary McCowen, sr.; Claire Ross, so.; Ashlynn Smith, sr.; Cassie Lynn Bonner, jr.; Anna Warmack, so.

Outlook: The Indians are led by McCowen, who qualified for the finals in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, and Moore, a finalist in the 100. Both were members of the 800-meter relay team that took third. Lambros has a balanced team and is expecting big things from his relay teams.

Falcon

Coach: Nathan Borchers (second season)

Key returners: Kaitlin Malone, sr.

Outlook: Falcon, a young team that did not earn a spot on the podium at the most-recent 4A state meet, will hope to change that with Malone, a hurdler who's hoping to end her high school career with a state qualification.

Harrison

Coach: Al Melo (10th season).

Key returners: Alexa Ware, jr.; Ce'Hana Smith, so.; Destinee Hillman, so.; Ereana McCallister, so.; Kaylene Richardson, jr.; Katiah Thomas, so.

Outlook: Several of last season's top performers return, including Ware (200 and long jump), Hillman (100 and 300 hurdles), Richardson (shot put) and Thomas (discus). Melo's team is young, with only one senior and five juniors.

Lewis-Palmer

Coach: Nancy Pellow (fourth season).

Key returners: Lindsey Purdham, jr.; Elizabeth Beagle, jr.

Outlook: Purdham, a who specializes in the 1,600 meters, and pole vaulter Beagle are expected to lead a young team, one that did not produce a finalist at last year's state meet.

Palmer Ridge

Coaches: Amanda Tivnan (fifth season) and Rob Collins (first season).

Key returners: Sam Rippley, sr.; Madeleine Bonneau, jr.; Izzy Tellez, jr.; Aubrey Wood, sr.; Sophia Lovato, sr.

Outlook: The Bears are hoping a third-place showing at the 2016 4A state cross country meet can translate into success on the track. Bonneau and Wood are the top returners in the distance events, while Rippley (sprints), along with pole vaulters Tellez and Lovato, give Palmer Ridge depth and experience.

Pine Creek

Coach: Max Oliver (17th season).

Key returners: Devon Kroeker, sr.; Eleana Murdock, jr.; Cami Beatty, so.; Loryn Blount, jr.; Layla Almasri, sr.; Sarah Bassett, jr.

Outlook: The Eagles cracked the top 10 at the 5A state meet last May, mainly behind seniors Heidi Baron and Sydney Marr. This season, a much younger version of Pine Creek - only two seniors - will take its best shot at new competition in 4A. Kroeker placed ninth in the 1,600 meters and, with help from Almasri, helped the 1,600-meter relay team to a state-qualifying time.

Sand Creek

Coach: Monte Gutowski (first season).

Key returners: Dejah Glover, sr.; Jalen Davis, jr.; Halley Savage, sr.; Monica Harris, sr.

Outlook: Glover, Davis and Savage all ran on the 400-meter relay team that qualified for state in 2016. They'll look to get back to state in May and take the next step by advancing to the finals. Davis had a state-qualifying time in the 400.

Widefield

Coach: Fred Marjerrison (12th season).

Key returners: Shynesti Johnson, jr.; Brooke Moore, sr.

Outlook: Strong performances in relays was a major reason why the Gladiators finished eighth in the team standings at last year's 4A state meet, and Johnson and Moore were a big part of that. The duo had contributions on the 400-meter relay (third), 800 relay (fifth) and sprint relay (eighth). Only 11 of the team's 42 members are upperclassmen - just three seniors - so youth and inexperience are concerns for Marjerrison, especially early in the season.

 

3A

Fountain Valley School

Coach: Jen Buckley (first season).

Key returners: Madison Kahl, sr.; Faith Chambers, sr.

Outlook: The Danes have only eight members and will rely on Kahl, last season's top sprinter and long jumper, and Chambers, a hurdler, to lead a mostly young and inexperienced team, by example.

Manitou Springs

Coach: Phil Rich (22nd season).

Key returners: Shelby Hard, sr.; Alex Riley, sr.; Ali Washington, sr.

Outlook: The Mustangs graduated a majority of the athletes who helped them to a 15th-place showing in the final team standings last May at the state meet. Manitou Springs will count on Riley (shot put), Hard (discus) and Washington (sprint relays) to replace that scoring this time around.

St. Mary's

Coach: Archie Malloy III (first season).

Key returners: Jackie Delfeld, sr.; Hannah McReavy, jr.; Ana Muehlbauer, jr.; Madeline Simmons, so..

Outlook: The Pirates have a star in McReavy, the team's only placer at last spring's state 3A meet after taking fifth in the 1,600 meters. Muehlbauer will look to return to form in the 800 after an injury shortened her sophomore season.

 

2A

Peyton

Coach: Gary Vandemark (25th season).

Key returners: Emily Starkie, sr.; Brynna Coover, jr.; Shian Hanks, jr.; Aisha Hammill, jr.; Kaylee Kearse, jr.; Skylar Botos, so.; Mikhala Lucky, so.

The Panthers welcome back seven returning letter-winners who qualified for the 2A state meet last May. Peyton's strength is its size - some 25 athletes attended the first practice - along with its skills in the discus, high jump, hurdles and middle distances.

 

1A

Pikes Peak Christian

Coach: Lisa Ratterree (ninth season).

Key returners: Gabby Braithwaite, jr.

Outlook: Braithwaite, a sixth-place finisher in the 100 meters at last May's 1A state meet, is the top experienced returning letter-winner for the Eagles.

* Schools not listed did not report.