Erin Hooker surges past Jordyn Colter on the final lap. Photo by Jeff McCoy.
For the Cherry Creek girls, the day came up as a mixed bag, a few pluses and a few minuess. Jordyn Colter gamely tried to put the 3200 field away with a scorching early pace. But Erin Hooker of Fort Collins was having none of it. Hooker, who missed last year's state meet with an injury, stubbornly stuck to Colter's heels and refused to go away. Cementing her legacy as one who can deliever a big race when her mind is fixed on that direction, Hooker delievered yet another legendary race, leaving Colter behind in a hurry on the final lap of the 3200. Eventually, Smoky Hill's Rachael Chacko would pass Colter as well, relegating the Cherry Creek star to third.
By conventional standards of reckoning, that left Cherry Creek three points in the hole. Those points, however, were more than made up by Megan McCabe's win in the long jump that few, if any, of us saw coming.. McCabe would also win the pole vault, but that title fell a bit more under the category of expected. If Cherry Creek was figuring on 4x800 points, those hopes were dashed by a very strong field of 5A girls entries.
Cherokee Trail possible slipped a few points from the expected in the long jump with a fourth from Hannah Sparks and a seventh from Shayna Yon. The Cougars' sprints and relays, however, advanced to finals more or less on schedule. CT may need a break or two along the way, but they've kept themselves in position to take advantage of a break should it come their way.
The Cherokee Trail boys finished the day ahead of schedule. That would be mostly courtesy of 10.5 pole vault points from Harley Korte and Mitchell Waltz. Relays advanced as anticipated, while Brandon Singleton and Jaylyn Mars advanced out of prelims as expected in the sprints.
Fort Collins also enjoyed a big first day of the state meet. In addition to Hooker's big win in the 3200, the Fort Collins boys claimed the 4x800 title and Jacob Hanks scored a stunning fourth in the discus, helping to put FC way ahead of schedule to defend their state title on day one.
The likely 5A boys favorite, Fountain-Fort Carson, got both Tevin Donnell and Jai'Shawn Thompson into the 100 and 200 finals, plus Dakota Leazer into the 110 hurdle finals. Duane McClurklin claimed seventh in high jump field that saw a number of competitors struggling to match their season-best jumps. On balance, the day seemed to list just a few degrees off kilter for the Trojans. There is, however, plenty of meet left to right the ship.