Note: Colorado Runners Correspondent Tracy Jex assisted with this article.
This year's Mullen Runner's Roost is in the books. On a day that saw a large number of athletes perform very well, two stood out above the rest--Kevin Williams of D'Evelyn High School and Emily Blok of Conifer High School. For their efforts they were named as Rocky Mountain News athletes of the meet.
Kevin Williams, at left, dominated both the 1600 and the 3200. Williams won the 1600 by a margin of roughly 10 seconds with a time of 4:19.10. A few hours later, he won the 3200, after seemingly playing with the field for three laps, in a startling time of 9:12.64. Williams split 66 seconds on the final lap after running within one or two seconds of 70 seconds per lap through the middle portion of the race. Recently returned from a trip to Scotland to represent the United States at the World Junior Men's Cross Country Championships, Williams spoke to the big remaining goal in his high school career, "I really want to break Brent Vaughn's [3200 meter] state record. But Wes Rickman is also running well so I think state will be a battle."
Emily Blok did not go a perfect three-for-three in the sprint events, but only missed winning the 100 meters by .01 second. Blok did, however, post convincing victories at both 200 and 400 meters, in times of 24.80 and 57.08, respectively. Blok added a 16-1.5 effort in the long jump to her day's work. Pending results of over meets held over the weekend, Blok's marks in the 200 and 400 should rank as top in the state for this season.
As dominant as Blok and Williams were on this day, one did not have to look far to find other sterling performances. Perhaps most noteworthy of the lot was Ashley Fanelli's trifecta in the jumping events. The Arvada High School star won the high jump at 5-2, the triple jump at 36-7.5, and the long jump at 17-3.75.
Longmont's Matt Butcher, pictured at left, grabbed a few headlines of his own by edging Golden's Joe Morris in the 200 with a 21.60 time and winning the 400 a bit more easily with a time of 49.37. Of his 400 race, Butcher remarked, "I felt good, but the wind got me a little on the back side. I did shut it down a little at the end--we're not peaking for this meet." With both Butcher and Dominick Roberts of Denver East closing in on it, the state 400 meter record may not last through the season.
Smoky Hill's Chase Cooper continued his unbeated season in the pole vault by winning with a clearance of 16-0. Joe Morris won the 100 in 10.53 before battling Butcher to a second in the 200. Grand Junction's Herman Gutierrez surprised Mullen's Elliot Beski in the 300 hurdles, winning the event in front of Beski's home crowd with a clocking of 39.82. Pomona's Cole Carver had a solid day in the throwing events, placing second to Smoky Hill's Mark Sparks in the discus and winning the shot put with a heave of 55-2.5.
Eaglecrest's Brianna Patton won the 100 hurdles in a time of 14.51 and came back later to notch a third place in the 100 at 12.22. Montbello's Kayla Fisher-Taylor edged Emily Blok with an 11.97 time in the 100 and later finished second to Blok in the 200 meters. In one of the more intriguing races of the day, Thompson Valley's Laura Tremblay and Kaitlin Hanenburg of The Classical Academy broke from the 1600 field toward the end of the third lap and ran a blistering final lap to notch the two top times in the state this season in that event. Hanenburg overtook Tremblay with about 200 meters remaining to win by just over a second. Hanenburg and Tremblay also ran the 800, but a repeat duel was not in the offing as Hanenburg got tangled in traffic and Tremblay managed a third-place finish. The 800 was won by Chaparral's Kirsten Lake who chased down Trisha Battiste of George Washington in the final stretch.