The sun set on Ryan Boucher's brilliant high school career with individual titles in the 200 and 400 meters and a state meet record in the 400. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Not only was the state championship posted by the Lyons boys the least surprising of any of this weekend's state championships, Lyons also holds the longest current string of consecutive state championships in the state. This team has been good for a long, long time. Just ask the rest of 2A.
Although a point tally of 150 points seemed possible coming into the weekend, it takes things going just so to reach that kind of total. Things didn't go just so, but they went plenty well enough for Lyons. Well enough, at least, to finish at 142.5 and 82.5 points ahead of second-place Telluride.
The waterfall of points was constant all weekend. About the only event area where the Lions didn't score was throws. Everywhere else, it was tough to miss what Lyons was up to. Individual event winners included Marcel Such (3200), Paul Roberts (1600), Ryan Boucher (200, 400), Matt Radich (110H), and Justin Boldt (300H, LJ). For good measure, Lyons also added victories in the 4x200 and 4x400. It was complete, it was thorough, and--for all intents and purposes--it was over on Friday.
In addition to winning two event titles, Ryan Boucher also took out a long-standing meet record at 400 meters, but the 2A boys records didn't see the same sort of assault this weekend that other classifications and genders witnessed.
While Lyons will graduate Radich, Boldt, and Boucher, it's difficult to miss the infusion of young talent in this year's 2A state meet. Lyons freshman Paul Roberts added a second-place finish in the 3200 to his first-place in the 1600. Meeker freshman Trenton Shelton stunned the 100 field and beat everyone but Ryan Boucher in the 200. Lyons sophomore Tullef Rudlong will be the second returning placer at both 100 and 200 meters next spring. Liberty Common sophomore Nico Forcatto also hinted at a very bright future for 2A boys sprinting over the next couple of years.
Jorden Jole of Merino, who has quietly enjoyed an outstanding season, finished second to Paul Roberts in the 1600 as a sophomore, clocking a 4:30.48. Telluride sophomore John Broadhead finished second in the high jump at 6-5 and third in the long jump at over 21 feet.
These, and several more, underclassmen bode well for the kind of excitement we can expect in 2A track and field in the near future. With this to look forward to, maybe 2A won't feel the departures of legendary figures like Daniel Weirich quite so acutely.
For the next nine months, however, the biggest problem on the mind of most 2A coaches is going to be figuring a way to solve the Lyons riddle.