Ashley Miller contributed to the Cherry Creek state championship with eight points in the 100 hurdles and another point in the 300 hurdles. Photo by Alan Versaw.
No school in Colorado history has won state titles like Cherry Creek has won state titles. From football to swimming, field hockey to baseball, and everywhere in between, Cherry Creek has known the feeling of being king of the mountain. Everywhere except track and field, that is. On Saturday, that long title drought came to an end as the Bruin girls captured the trophy that had so long eluded their grasp.
There was simply too much red and blue in too many events for the field to keep pace with the Bruins.
The title hunt got off to a rocky start with Jordyn Colter slipping to third in the 3200 on Thursday, but little else went wrong the rest of the weekend until the final outcome was all but decided.
Colter would come back on Friday and Saturday with big wins in the 800 and 1600. Emily Romo staked out her territory and held on tight in loaded 100 and 200 fields, claiming a fourth and a third for her efforts. Relays produced a third and two fifths. Megan McCabe did her part and more with state titles in the long jump and pole vault. Ashley Miller added nine points in the hurdles.
Midway through Saturday afternoon, it was Miller's fall in the 300 hurdles--leading to a ninth-place finish--that could have opened a window of opportunity for another team to make a run at the Bruins, but no other team had stayed close enough to Cherry Creek to take advantage of the situation. By that stage in the game, Creek had effectively closed the door.
Cherokee Trail, the most likely threat to Cherry Creek, had already missed on enough opportunities that they could not take advantage of gift. Winning a state track meet is the convergence of a lot of things going right and, while Cherokee Trail clearly had a solid state meet, not enough events came up roses to keep them in the title hunt deep into Saturday.
Things went a little better for eventual runner-up Arapahoe, but the Warriors simply didn't match up well with Cherry Creek in terms of opportunities to score points. Where Arapahoe had opportunity, though, they took good advantage of that opportunity. A scorching 4x400 to close the meet, augmented the nice production that had preceded it--a second for Devan Foster in the 800, a third for Audrey Kohlts in the discus, a third for Hailey DeVries in the 300 hurdles, a third for Taryn Phipps in the 400, plus a win in the 4x800, a third in the SMR8, and a fourth in the 4x200. On the scale of performance versus seed marks going in, you could make the case that Arapahoe won the meet.
But, meets aren't scored that way. Cherry Creek simply had more weapons going in than Arapahoe did, and enough of the weapons fired as expected to keep Cherry Creek on top.
While Regis Jesuit was well out of the team title hunt, Ana Holland had one of the biggest weekends in state meet history. Holland won the 100 in a new 5A meet record of 11.33, won the 400 in a new all-classification record of 52.49, and finished her day off winning the 200 in 23.54, just ahead of Pine Creek's Alleandra Watt. Kelsey Cunningham also won the triple jump for Regis Jesuit, but Holland and Cunningham accounted for all but five of Regis's points, leaving the Raiders in fourth.