There was a little bit of mayhem early on the second lap of the 3A girls 800. Photo by Paul Jaeger.
While there were moments belonging to athletes like Danny Marsh of Colorado Springs Christian (800 meters), Alex Hill of Ellicott (shot put), and Chloe Rogers of Kent Denver (triple jump), the day mostly shaped up as a struggle between the teams from Coal Ridge, Eaton, and The Classical Academy.
The Titans of Coal Ridge won the boys 4x200 over a faster-seeded team from Manitou Springs, logged the fastest time in the 4x100 prelims, claimed the top seed in tomorrow's 300 hurdles finals when Andy Bowles edged Jon Roy of TCA by .001 in the 300 hurdle prelims, and also claimed the top seed in tomorrow's girls 4x400 final.
The Titans of The Classical Academy took the girls 800 and discus throw via the efforts of Lauren Hamilton and Hannah Carr, and also claimed the top seed in tomorrow's boys 4x400 final. Alexa Chacon nailed down the top seed and a 3A state meet record in the 300 hurdles.
Eaton's Jazmin Schwark claimed the pole vault title, while her teammates claimed the girls 4x200 title and just missed snaring the top seed for tomorrow's finals in the 4x100. Only a very speedy team from Platte Valley kept Eaton out of lane 5 for the finals.
Not surprisingly, the team battles are shaping up between Coal Ridge and TCA on the boys side and Eaton and TCA on the girls side.
Although Coal Ridge's boys have yet to post enough points to get them into the top ten, that tidal wave is about to come. It doesn't take much imagination to see what's coming tomorrow with finals in the 200, 400, 4x100, 4x400, 110 hurdles, and 300 hurdles. Coal Ridge brings lofty seeds into each of those events. So, while The Classical Academy currently holds the lead in the boys team standings, Coal Ridge still holds the greatest point potential for Saturday's finals.
The girls team battle has already heated up between TCA and Eaton. At the close of today's events, TCA held the lead with 59 points to Eaton's 48.5. For the most part, TCA and Eaton score their points in different ways, but the Titans and Reds will be matching up directly in the 400, 4x100 and shot put in tomorrow's slate of event finals.
If you like full-contact track and field, then today's 3A 800s justified whatever price you paid for admission. The boys 800, won by CSCS's Danny Marsh, never did string out. Instead, runners swapped elbows, jostled, and generally churned about in a ball of humanity for the full 800 meters. Competitors moved out as far as lane five on the finish straight in order to find enough clear space to accelerate.
Matters were only slightly less physical in the girls 800. About 40 meters into the second lap, a runner at the front of the race went down. She was hurdled by one or two trailing runners before another runner ended up flat on the track. Eventually, Frontier Academy's Molly Morrison and TCA's Lauren Hamilton cleared the mess and took over the lead of the race. Hamilton was go by Morrison at the top of the finish straight in the race's decisive moment.
In the day's first final, Lamar anchor Chelsea Vallejos held off a furious late charge from Eaton to give Lamar the SMR8 title.