Spring 'Four'shadowing: Mead among schools that could have a huge May

Apr. 12—With the spring season past its midpoint and the postseason as close as two weeks away for some sports, it's as good of a time as any to check-in on the teams around town.

Playoffs in girls' tennis begin April 25 — meaning programs trying to best position themselves inside the 16-team 5A-3A brackets have little time left to do so. The individual state tournament in girls' tennis follows on May 9-11, while its dual championships are May 14.

Coinciding with that is the end of the regular season in boys' volleyball (April 30) and boys' swimming (May 4). Their championships are held the second weekend of next month, with boys' volleyball and boys' swimming, May 9-11.

Boys volleyball: Decorated Legacy junior doing his part to help grow the game

Meanwhile, first-round playoff games in girls' soccer and both boys' and girls' lacrosse begin May 7, with title games in those sports running about two weeks later (girls' lacrosse, May 17; boys' lacrosse, May 20; girls' soccer, May 21-22).

The state meet in track and field goes from May 16-18.

And local baseball teams start regionals May 17-18 — and those who qualify from there will go on and play in the two-weekend, double-elimination state tournament (May 24-25; May 31-June 1).

Today, let's look-in on four storylines to monitor over the next few weeks. We'll tackle more in the weeks to come.

Mead is currently No. 1 in the CHSAA 4A Selection and Seeding Index in both girls' lacrosse and soccer. But how good really are their title odds?

Good is the short answer. The road for each of them, however, will be largely different.

The girls' lacrosse team won the 4A title in its inaugural season and has had no hiccups so far this spring, moving out to a 8-0 start.

Behind the frontrunner to win the 4A player of the year, Lucy Connors, the Mavericks coasted through their biggest test of the season last weekend, beating No. 3 Golden 16-4. Connors leads the state in goals (41) and is second in points (61).

Misery business: Mead girls lax blows past Golden in top-5 matchup

The girls' soccer team — 5-0 on the year — is still pushing for the program's first state title.

Last year, they got close, reaching the semifinals before falling to Lutheran in overtime. This year, they have won each of their five games by multiple goals.

Reigning Longmont Times-Call girls' soccer player of the year, Katy Adler, added her fifth and sixth goals of the season in a 4-1 win over Centaurus on Wednesday.

How many local state champs could we have in track and field?

Niwot girls' team has been an easy bet to win the last few years — and the Cougars' dynasty should be the favorite to claim a fifth straight 4A title, eighth overall, next month.

Why? Well, to start, they have one of the top distance runners in the country — Addy Ritzenhein — as well as the top shot putter in the state — Jade West, who is looking to repeat after winning gold in it last season. Their 4x800 is tops in the state, too, with the eighth best time in the country at 9 minutes and 11.76 seconds.

Event of the week: Many of the track and field's best expected at Boulder County Championships

Outside of that, pole vault appears like it'll be a happy ground for locals once again. Peak to Peak's Kourtney Rathke is looking to three-peat in both the 3A pole vault and long jump. Saturday at the Boulder County Championships, she is expected to be alongside a couple of the state's other top vaulters in Broomfield's Lilly Nichols and Monarch's Tyler Rowan. Nichols won the 5A girls' pole vault in 2022 and has the state's best mark in 2024, clearing 13 feet and 4 inches. Rowan won the 5A boys' event last year and is currently best at 16-1.

Is a three-peat a done deal for Erie's girls' golf team?

Penciling in what should happen in high school athletics is a bit like flirting with the water hazard while looking to clear it with your worst club. Dangerous.

But the Tigers not only haven't done anything this spring to show they aren't still the best of 4A. They've double-downed — or rather triple-downed on it.

Logan Hale, the 4A 2023 individual champ, and Hadley Ashton, the 2022 champ, are on track to help the Tigers cement their dynasty with another team trophy. And all the while they'll likely compete against each other in a battle to see who gets individual title No. 2.

A total eclipse and a cart: Erie golf dominates own tournament

Both have won in dominant fashion this month. On April 2, Ashton won the Cheyenne Mountain Invitational at the Country Club of Colorado with a score of 4-under-par 67. Wednesday, it was Hale's turn, as she won the Loveland Invite at the Olde Course by nine strokes, shooting 2-under 70.

What local baseball teams could make a deep postseason run next month?

Class 4A No. 2 Holy Family (8-2-1), despite consecutive losses in the Northern Colorado Athletics Conference earlier in the month — a place it was a perfect 14-0 last spring — still has too much talent to be dismissed. One of those pieces, Logan Seifarth, homered and drove in five as part of a bounce-back win over Mead on Monday.

No. 9 Silver Creek and the 18th-ranked Mavericks split their season series with the Tigers — and they, along with No. 14 Niwot, No. 23 Skyline and No. 26 Longmont are squarely inside the 32-team regional field as of now.

Baseball: Silver Creek gets aggressive, beats high-powered Holy Family for the first time since 2022

In 5A, Broomfield went toe-to-toe with No. 1 Fossil Ridge in a 6-4 loss Tuesday. And despite the Eagles' No. 26 rankings by CHSAA's metrics, they could be a force next month, especially if we see the best from their star third baseman, Dane Most, and ace, Ethan Zufall.

Baseball: Broomfield's Zufall strives to be stronger leader after tight loss to No. 1 Fossil Ridge

No. 14 Erie, No. 24 Centaurus and No. 30 Monarch are also inside the 5A postseason picture.

Elsewhere, Prospect Ridge Academy and Peak to Peak are just outside the top 10 in 3A — ranked 11th and 14th, respectively. They split their two-game series this past week, with PRA's Zeke Bote (.433 batting average, nine RBIs) and P2P's Eddie Castilleja (.414, 17) leading the way at the plate.

In 2A, Lyons moved up to No. 7 after beating Dawson 4-2 on Thursday. Sophomore Jake LaCrosse was impressive in his first-full workload since returning from a foot injury, punching out 14 over six sparkling frames.

One leg up: Lyons baseball takes down Dawson behind LaCrosse