What are Mackenzie Howie and Heide Baron looking so relaxed about? Oh, just a pair of sub-25 200s. Photo by Ashley Green.
The Mountain Range Mustang Invitation brought together 37 teams for a great Saturday of weather and fast times.
The girls team title was taken by Pine Creek, with Niwot getting second. For Niwot to have taken the silver trophy, you may safely assume Pine Creek showed up with their game faces on. To mention a few exploits of the Pine Creek girls, they won the 100m and placed 1-2 in the 200m and 400m dashes. Those three events alone accounted for 46 of their 99 total points.
The Pine Creek performances included a 56.84 from Heide Baron and a pair of sub-25s for Baron and Mackenzie Howie in the 200. Just wondering aloud here, how many schools in Colorado have ever had three sub-25s on their roster in a single season?
The team title on the boys side ended up in a considerably tighter team score with Ralston Valley coming out on top, ahead of ThunderRidge and Lakewood.
ThunderRidge took both the 4x800m relays. The boys clocked 8:07.9, ranking themselves seconnd in the state, and the girls finished in 9:43.7, also ranking them second in the state as well.
The straightaway hurdle races brought some very exciting performances. Andrew Wingard of Ralston Valley won the 110s in 14.67 beating out Olabisi Johnson of Bear Creek who clocked 14.70. Those marks move the pair up to second and third in the state, respectively.
For the girls 100 hurdles, it wasn't even close. Zoe Gilbertson of Mountain Range put out a dominating performance, winning the event by over a second and stopping the clock at 14.06. This ranks her 1st in the state and top 20 in the nation. Despite the departures of Hall, Miller, and Nolan, we may yet have a sub-14 100 hurlder in the state this year.
I think it's safe to say that the tightest race of the day was the boys 100m dash. I didn't get the chance to see it myself, but when the time spread between 1st place and 6th place is only .06 of a second, you know it was close. 1st place would go to Donte Makatura in 11.29, and the next five places were too close to call by the human eye.
Forrest Barton ran a season and personal best in the 1600m of 4:23.04, winning the event by over six seconds and moving himself to third in the state rankings.
Let's talk for a moment about standout freshman.
On the girl's side, Madison Mooney of Horizon won the 800m in 2:16.9, putting her at #6 in the state overall, the #1 freshman in the state, and 11th in the nation as a freshman. Watch out for this girl through the rest of the season, but especially the next three years. The girls' 3200m was swept, first-second, by two freshman as well. Katelyn Mitchem won the event in 11:51.6, not a season best, but still solid. Katie Ellis of Highlands Ranch would take second in 11:57.5.
Something you don't see everyday is an athlete from a heat other than the top three, or even the top two, win an event. In the boys' 200m dash, Brock Miller ran the fastest time of the day with a 22.35, running by himself in the eighth heat. (Heats were run fastest to slowest). In this case, though, there must have been some exception to usual seeding procedures, as Brock Miller is a bit of a known quantity where sprints are concerned.
The field events played host to some exceptional performances of their own. Dionne Taylor of Pine Creek won the high jump with 6-10.5, which now ranks him second in the state and top 10 in the nation. Ben Morgan of Highlands Ranch launched himself 23 feet in the long jump, which now ranks him second in the state.
And, again, it's time to mention Longmont's Keely Parish. While Parish may not have moved herself up in the national rankings, she is still the #1 discus thrower in the state, and asserted her dominance by upping her previous PR and SB to 153-2.
With the meet wrapping up and the sun sinking behind the stadium, the warriors of the 4x400m took to the track. The girl's title would go to Monarch High School who battled with ThunderRidge for the win. Monarch would dip under 4 minutes, ranking them second in the state.
The boys 4x400s didn't result in any wicked fast times, but it was a tight race from start to finish. ThunderRidge would end up pushing to take the win by a comfortable two seconds, but the following 3 teams had a battle on their hands for second spot. In the end, the order would be Prairie View second, Monarch third and Broomfield fourth; all finishing within a second of each other.
Just as the day started with good weather, it ended with it as well. It must have been a great day; my athletes haven't been that loud or talkative on a bus ride home all season.