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2014 cross country capsule previews

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BOYS
COLUMBINE REBELS
Head coach: Dirk Visser
Classification: 5A Jeffco League
Runners to watch: David Blair, Soph.; Jerod Kuhn, Soph.; Daniel Lupo, Sr.; Bryce Rombach, Soph.; Max Sagrillo, Jr.; Justin Hinckley, Sr.
Season opener: Aug. 29, Arapahoe Warrior Invite, DeKoevend Park, 4 p.m.
Outlook: Lupo, who is making the transition from soccer and “should be one of our top runners,” according to girls coach Emily Krause, who worked with the boys’ team the last three years. Lupo bolsters a lineup that includes returning varsity regulars Sagrillo and Hinckley along with the trio of sophomores. 

CHATFIELD CHARGERS
Head coach: Jeff Mages
Classification: 5A Jeffco League
Runners to watch: Ryan Montagne, Sr.; Evan Simcox, Sr.; Colton Kugler, Sr.; Skylar Teague, Soph.
Season opener: Aug. 29, Arapahoe Warrior Invite, DeKoevend Park, 4 p.m.
Outlook:  Montagne, Kugler and Teague return as full-time runners from a 2013 team that was seventh in league and regionals, and Mages is hopeful that all four mentioned above will compete for the No. 1 designation. “We’d like to improve upon last year,” Mages said. 

DAKOTA RIDGE EAGLES
Head coach: Mark Steinbeck
Classification: 5A Jeffco League
Runners to watch: Andrew Castagneri, Sr.; Chris King, Sr.; Ben Rowland, Sr.; Joe Berg, Jr.
Next meet: Sept. 6, Joe Vigil Invitational, Cattails Golf Course, Alamosa, 10 a.m.
Outlook: The Eagles finished 22nd at state in 2013 and must replace their three highest finishers, including Carson Hume (11th). “We’re going to be competitive, but I don’t know to what extent,” Steinbeck said. 

LITTLETON LIONS
Head coach: Art Vigil
Classification: 4A Jeffco League
Runners to watch: Colin Cannon, Jr.; Bruce Barnstable, Soph.; Tommy Kail, Sr.
Season opener: Aug. 29, Arapahoe Warrior Invite, DeKoevend Park, 4 p.m.
Outlook: With the move down from 5A, Vigil thinks the Lions “have a pretty good shot of making it’’ as a team to the state meet. “We’ve got some good depth. I think the fourth and fifth spots in the regional aren’t going to be as competitive as in 5A.” 

GIRLS
COLUMBINE LADY REBELS
Head coach: Emily Krause
Assistant coach: Jenna Springer
Classification: 5A Jeffco League
Runners to watch: Noelle Cobb, Soph.; Keeley Webber, Jr.; Katrina Breidenbach, Jr.; Jordan Juran, Soph.
Season opener: Aug. 29, Arapahoe Warrior Invite, DeKoevend Park, 4 p.m.
Outlook: Krause takes over for Natalie Reyes, who accepted a position at Cherry Creek. The four mentioned above are returning varsity runners, and Krause is hopeful that they can lead the Lady Rebels to a team berth in the state meet with a top-five finish in the regional. 

CHATFIELD LADY CHARGERS
Head coach: Angie Erbs
Classification: 5A Jeffco League
Runners to watch: Abby Oglesby, Soph.;  Natalie Crozier, Soph.; Alex Bicket, Sr.; Dixie Lutz, Sr.; Danielle Cooper, Sr.; Becca Ferguson, Sr.
Season opener: Aug. 29, Arapahoe Warrior Invite, DeKoevend Park, 4 p.m.
Outlook: Sophomores Oglesby and Crozier could lead a team with a large senior class. “We have a lot of experience returning,” Erbs said. “I do feel we’re going to be better than last year as a team (seventh in league).”

DAKOTA RIDGE LADY EAGLES
Head coach: Mark Steinbeck
Classification: 5A Jeffco League
Runners to watch: Mia Valerio, Jr.; Cayli Hume, Jr.; Marilyn Ortiz, Jr.; Laura Davis, Jr.; Michelle Renner, Fr.; Elizabeth Piegat, Fr.
Next meet: Sept. 6, Joe Vigil Invitational, Cattails Golf Course, Alamosa, 9:25 a.m.
Outlook: The Lady Chargers lost two runners from the 2013 team that finished 18th at state, and with a junior-dominated team, Steinbeck has high expectations for the next two years. 

LITTLETON LADY LIONS
Head coach: Art Vigil
Classification: 4A Jeffco League
Runners to watch: Magda Van Leeuwen, Jr.; Elizabeth Rothrock, Sr.; Rachel Haun, Sr.; Addi Iken, Fr.
Season opener: Aug. 29, Arapahoe Warrior Invite, DeKoevend Park, 4 p.m.
Outlook: Van Leeuwen is one of the few returnees from a 2013 team that qualified for state in 5A but finished last (25th). “We lost a lot of seniors, so it will be interesting. We’re kind of up in the air for our top seven,” Vigil said. 

FRONT RANGE CHRISTIAN FALCONS
Head coach: Ben Tidwell
Classification: 2A Mile High League
Runners to watch: Chase Morris, Jr.; Ace Engler, So.; Grace Herring, So.; Reiley Norton, Jr.
Season opener: Sept. 4, St. Mary’s Academy Invitational, 5 p.m.
Outlook: With just two boys, four girls and no seniors, Tidwell said the emphasis in his first year at the helm will be individual improvements. Morris figures to be the top boy, with Herring and Norton, if she can bounce back from injuries in 2013, clearly the top two girls. Herring has a chance of qualifying for state, Tidwell said.
— Craig Harper