Friday Notes on State Track and Field

Ben Kelley reveals some of the excitement of an approaching finish line with nobody close. Photo by Alan Versaw.  

Yesterday, I tried to do separate summaries for each classification and ran out of time before I completed all the classifications. I'll try not to make the same mistake today as I summarize where some things are.

  • In the high-octane battle that is 4A boys, it all comes down to Saturday. Even as a coach at The Classical Academy, I have to concede we've likely bled too many points to be realistically still in the hunt (which is not the same as saying we have nothing to compete for). But, Mountain View and Palmer Ridge are on track for a very exciting final day. We all know the Mountain View boys have a little extra motivation in this battle in order to send Coach Kevin Clark out with a big win at the close of his coaching career, but that doesn't necessarily decide everything. And, the team with the best shot right now at disrupting Palmer Ridge and Mountain View is Vista Ridge.
  • Soroco sophomore Ben Kelley may have posted the upset of the day by defeating Paul Roberts in the 2A 800. When Kelley made his break on lap two, Roberts was powerless to match the pace. Roberts had to settle for second place and a 2A state meet record in the 3200 earlier in the day.

  • The 1A Boys 800 record is suddenly a jaw-dropping 1:54.83. Jordan Cherin, the eventual winner, and Erick Enriquez-Acosta, last year's winner, put on as good of a show on the final lap as could be found in any classification or in either gender.
  • Lake City, once they got the feel of winning, wasted little time making it a habit. The girls won the school's first state title of any kind in any sport in the 4x800. A few minutes later, the 14er boys overhauled Heritage Christian Academy late in the race to claim their own 4x800 crown. This is a nice case in point of what a cross country program can do for a 1A track program. Heritage Christian Academy counts as another case in point.
  • Have you ever wondered if Lauren Gale is as fast as advertised? If you saw her anchor leg of the SMR8, you no longer wonder. You know. And, if you're wondering about the time, yes, that 1:44.50 goes down as a 4A state meet record. A lot of folks have already almost forgotten about how Nicole Montgomery defined this event just one year ago.
  • Katie Rainsberger now has three first-place medals in her final state meet, with one event to go. She has, however, exactly zero state meet records. Her 10:23.24 3200 was impressive and would have been a record in any other classification, but came up about six seconds short of what Elise Cranny ran two years ago. The state record could still come, however, in the 1600, though it will almost certainly be a solo effort if she does.
  • Despite not winning any of today's five relay finals, Heritage Christian Academy is still very much on track to win a matching pair of 1A state titles. Springfield's boys are still to be finally put away, but the Eagles are solidly in the lead in both genders.
  • Ben Waters pulling up lame at the end of the 4x200 could prove to be one of the biggest game changers of the state meet. While Valor had an outside shot of contending for the 4A Boys state title, this definitely impacts some Saturday events unless Waters is able to stage an amazing overnight recovery. 

  • Speaking of game changers, this one goes the other direction. Audra Koopman appeared to pull up lame at the end of the 4x100. But, a few minutes later, she was seen hobbling over at the high jump. With but a fraction of her usual approach speed in the high jump, Koopman was still able to clear 5-3.5, finish in fourth place, and add six points to the Fort Collins girls team title chase. 
  • The 4A Girls 4x200 had a very good state meet. The Classical Academy and Valor Christian took turns breaking the state meet record in prelims, then both broke Thursday's final record in finals, with Valor taking first-place honors. And, just last year, Niwot blew folks away with a then-record of 1:41 and change. Nearly two seconds have vanished off that record in just one year.
  • Nolan Kembel, Jacob Hahn, and Angel Heredia each posted sub-38 300 hurdles in prelims. Finals, of course, go tomorrow. Sarah Yocum took down the 3A Girls 300 hurdles record with a 42.45 of her own.
  • Cedaredge sophomore Katie Hyke undid a few expectations in winning the 3A girls shot put. Her 38-6.75 had her nearly six inches ahead of the field and, at least temporarily, helped to stall the Paonia Express. Not far away at the long jump pit, however, Brianna Van Vleet prevailed over Kenzie Henderson with a winning leap of 18-9.5, a substantial new 2A meet record.
  • Telluride netted an impressive 18 points in the 3200 when Soleil Gaylord took a relatively easy win and freshman Maya Ordonez overtook Lyons' CeAnn Udovich on the final lap for second. 
  • Another 2A 1-2 went the way of John Mall as Garrett Quintana and Andrew Vigil dominated the 2A Boys discus. Shortly thereafter, the pair did their good deed for the day, helping an injured Rye athlete across the track and off the field. 
  • Still speaking of 2A, Cooper Daniels and Brandon Hinkle fulfilled all preseason pole vault expectations with a grand battle for the state title. Eventually, Daniels took the win at a new state meet record of 15-2 with Hinkle finishing second at 14-11. 

There were more highlights than that, of course, and you can check for more on your own by scanning the State Meet Results page.