Ross Dunlap and Rafe Hutches gave Springfield a powerful presence in the 400 meters (and elsewhere). Photos by Alan Versaw.
Pikes Peak Christian did their level best. Even if PPC hadn't had a lapse or two here and there, it probably still would not have been enough. Springfield was not to be denied this weekend. And, that is even considering that Springfield wasn't immune to lapses of their own.
For Springfield, the successes vastly outweighed the lapses. And the sheer number of their performances eventually prevailed.
And, it didn't hurt when Springfield's neigbhor-to-the-north (at least as things go in southeastern Colorado) Gabe Longworth broke up the PPC sweep in the 100 and took the title outright in the 200. If Springfield needed any more momentum at the point of the 200, which would be in doubt, Longworth certainly helped the cause.
Springfield, though, did a great deal of helping themselves. Ross Dunlap remained unbeaten on the season in the high jump, though a 6-1 was well off his best clearance of the season. Andy Borunda won the shot put and discus by enormous margins. While the Springfield shot puts stumbled a little out of the gate on Thursday, things were very much back on track by Friday in the discus with Keith Tate and Robert Quick taking third and fourth.
Springfield's lone other event title came with a 1A state meet record of 1:33.25 in the 4x200. Beyond that, is was more a constant stream of points than a flood that did in the competition. Evan Waters earned a second in the triple jump. Ross Dunlap and Rafe Hutches went 4-5 in the 400. Hutches snared a fourth in the 200. The 4x400 finished second and the 4x800, not exactly a specialty event for the Longhorns, claimed fourth.
When the storm clouds had cleared from the weekend, Springfield had 109 points, to 85 for Pikes Peak Christian.
PPC scored big, but perhaps not big enough, with Michael Braithwaite, Mark Waters, and Seeon Kim in the sprints. The Eagles knocked a 4x100 out of the park with a meet record of 43.93 that is destined to become the longest-standing meet record in 1A someday. William Harmon and Isaiah Danzik added pole vault points, but eventually the stream ran dry. But, lots of things run dry before they reach Springfield, so there is no shame in that.
Baca County and Heritage Christian, too, mounted their best efforts, but neither team was close to deep enough to head off the Longhorns.
More than anything else, HCA was done in by a lack of broad event representation.
Baca County got a sweep of the hurdle events from JD Chenoweth. A disproportionate share of 1A's hurdle talent over the years has come out of Baca County, and Chenoweth embellished that tradition with a 15.70 and a 41.27. Baca County likewise eagerly took home 4x400 and 4x800 titles.
Zacc Winn and Luke Duggan traded off 1600 and 3200 titles, keeping things fairly local in that regard. We've previously noted that Erick Enriquez-Acosta of Idalia obliterated the 1A 800 meter record. Caden Parker of Eads edged Koy Palmer of Granada in a southeastern Colorado battle for the long jump crown. Reid Palser of Otis won the pole vault on misses. And Troy Fritz of Sangre de Cristo broke up the eastern Colorado domination of the meet a little with a 43-3 winner in the triple jump.
Will Springfield be back for more next year? It would not be wise to vote against them. There's more than you might have guessed coming back next year for this team.