Six first-place medals between them--Olivia Anderson and Connor Winter. Photos by Alan Versaw.
The Colorado Track XC 5A State Athlete of the Meet awards are difficult to dispute.
Olivia Anderson took Cherry Creek to a state title in the 4x800 before winning two individual events on her own--the 800 meters and 300meter hurdles. Along the way, she also finished third in the 400.
Anderson's best race of the weekend (or was it her best race?) was the 800 meters where she held off hard-charging Eleanor Fulton all the way down the finish straight to win in a very fast time of 2:09.90. But perhaps hurdle purists look at the 43.47 laid down in blustery conditions during the 300 hurdle finals and argue that was her best race. Either way, it was a spectacular weekend for the Cherry Creek sophomore.
On the boys side, Connor Winter was scarcely anyone's favorite to come away with an athlete of the meet award. Indeed, he didn't go in as the favorite in any of the three races he ultimately won. But he won the 3200, 800, and 1600. And, he won them in similar fashion--biding his time for the right opportunity and exploding to the finish when that opportunity came. Matthieu Caldwell felt the sting of Winter's finishing kick twice. Walter Schafer and Danny Nicolls felt it first.
Like Anderson, Winter's high school career is far from over. Only a junior, Winter will be back next year to defend his state titles.
Congratulations, Olivia and Connor, on your spectacular performances at the state meet. Individualized certificates will be mailed to your school in the next three weeks. If you prefer to have them mailed to a different address, please contact me offline or have your coach contact me offline with an alternate address.