Zoe Gilbertson won first round of the 100 hurdles, but a more important round awaits her. Photo by Alan Versaw.
While Fountain-Fort Carson has progressed nicely through preliminary rounds thus far, a third-place finish in the boys 4x800 cut short any ideas of a clean sweep of the relays and a mad scramble to try to find out the last time, if ever, that happened.
With a monster third leg from Daniel Book that put the Bruins, Cherry Creek was able to turn aside a strong late bid from Chaparral and finish as state champions in that event.
But, the FFC title express is definitely on track. Tevin Donnell and Christian Lyon advance as the top two seeds in the 100. Although FFC's only advancer in the 200, Donnell does take the top seed into finals. Duane McClurkin likewise takes the top seed in the 400, though he was seen sporting an ice bag over his hip flexor around Jeffco Stadium early Thursday afternoon. And, the Trojans advanced with the top seed for today's 4x200 finals by better than a full second.
As expected, FFC advanced nobody in the 110 hurdles, but did pick up three points in the triple jump via Jamarcus Mathis and Kenneth Tate in eighth and ninth, respectively.
5A boys had only two individual events reaching finals on Thursday, with Castle View's Chris Linnin taking the triple jump at 46-9.5 into a consequential wind and Mountain Range's Patrick Byerly dominating the shot put at 54-6.
Shayna You and Ally Watt traded top seeds into Saturday's 100 and 200 finals, but it didn't necessarily go the way we might have expected, with Watt earning the 100 top seed and Yon earning the 200. Seeds, however, won't mean much between the two on Saturday.
Each of the big three title contenders kept their hopes alive through Thursday prelims. While Audra Koopman was a little behind what might have expected from her in the 100, Jasmine Chesson made the 400 finals in a nice positive for Fort Collins. Becca Schulte was right on schedule with a third in 200 prelims and a first in 400 prelims.
Zoe Gilbertson and Emily Sloan led a parade of five girls under 15 seconds in the 100 hurdles prelims.
Pine Creek blistered the 4x200 prelims, but came up a bit short of their own meet record. Mountain Range was similarly convincing in the SMR8 prelims. Cherry Creek won the 4x800 on the strength of a monster anchor leg from Jordyn Colter.
High jump was all Rampart with Ashlyn Hare and Kiara Kearney going 1-2, but no 5-10 marks this time around. The Rams added a few more points from Hare in the triple jump, though the overall winner in that event would be Cherokee Trail's Amazing Ashby at a statewide season best of 39-4. In all, CT logged 17 points in the triple jump to seven for Pine Creek, but PC may have been hoping for a tighter gap than that.
And, Fountain Fort-Carson's Gina Coleman stunned the shot put field with a winning throw of just over 41 feet.