Briotto Niuller of Manitou Springs edges ahead of Rye's Jake Van for the Tri-Peaks 100 meter dash title. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Monday and Tuesday typically aren't big days for track results. They have been this week.
On Monday, the two biggest leagues in the 3A classification staged make-ups for their leagues meets which had been postponed from Saturday. While a few teams were clearly holding back some performances, the efforts staged were dazzling nonetheless.
The Classical Academy swept both Tri-Peaks titles despite a serious challenge from Buena Vista and Manitou Springs in the boys race.
Leading the charge for the Titans girls were Kaitlin Hanenburg, who clocked the second-fastest in-state 3200 this spring with a 10:57.99, a very fast 4:03.54 4x400, Kelsey Brown at 59.85 in the 400, Alyssa Northam with a 35-5 triple jump, and Sam Reid who swept both short sprint titles. In something of an oddity, TCA's Kassie Mazzocco won the 800 meters and became the school's fourth prequalifier in that event. Something's gotta give there.
The throwing events, however, belonged to Megan Patterson of Dolores Huerta (38-10.5) and Whitney Frase of Manitou Springs (123-3), both marks easy prequalifiers. Samantha Dix of Peyton continued to establish her case as a contender in the 3A discus by throwing 120-1. Fountain Valley's Emily Hanna continued her personal march toward two 2A state titles by winning the 100 hurdles in 14.99 and the high jump with a 5-4 clearance. Kara Slavoski climbed to the top of the 3A 1600 leaderboard with a 5:07.37, just ahead of the mark Kaitlin Hanenburg posted 10 days prior.
On the boys side, Buena Vista continues to deal with the puzzle of figuring how to use the multiple talents of exchange student Michael Schroeder. On this day, Schroeder pushed Ryan Marshall of CSCS to the limit in the 200 and helped the Demons to prequalify their 4x200 and 4x400 relays. Speaking of prequalifications, Joseph DeMoor got the pesky 800 prequal mark with a 2:00.56 solo effort.
Manitou's own exchange student phenom, Briotto Niuller, won the 100 in 11.45. Dan Gieck added yet another prequalifier in the 400 with a 51.27. And the traditional strength of the Mustangs in the sprint relays showed up again in time to prequalify the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
For The Classical Academy, the win came on the strength of winning 4x400 and 4x800 relays, two hurdle titles by Ben Hinckfoot, and Sam Feldotto's convincing with in the 3200 at 9:56.96.
While the Tri-Peaks schools were doing battle in Colorado Springs, the Patriot League schools were going at in Eaton, and with similarly solid marks.
Team titles went to Erie on the boys side and host Eaton on the girls side. Lyons was runner up in both divisions.
Among the highlights of the meet for Erie were 100 and 200 meter titles (the latter being a meet record at 22.63) for Steffan Higgins and a near-miss in the 400. Greg Reese won the pole vault at 12-0 and Josh Willuhn the discus with a toss of 139-2. The Tigers' 4x800 moved their season best time down to 8:24 to solidify their position as a state contender in that event as well.
Platte Valley's Sterling Zehnder staged the upset of the meet by winning the 1600 over Andrew Roberts of Lyons with a time of 4:24.47 (another meet record).
On the girls side, Valley loaded their 4x100 relay and the result was a sparking 51.18. Relay team member Katie Chrisp had a nice day, adding a second in the 100 and a title in the 400 to her day's accomplishments. Eaton posted a 3A-best 1:52.85 to win the sprint medley. Melanie Mackey, Annita Alvarez, and Beth Jones combined to post some serious field event points for the Reds. And, a nice little battle was staged in the pole vault with both Emily Lubbers (Yuma) and Kelly Yelverton (Lyons) going 10-6.
All that brings us to the Northern Conference meet, held today in Fort Morgan. Matt Norton gave us a little sneak preview of the meet and the meet certainly lived up to expectations.
Speaking of Matt Norton, his Thompson Valley girls did a little muscle-flexing on the day. Laura Tremblay went sub-5 to win the 1600. She later doubled back to win the 800 (leading a 1-2-3 finish for the Eagles). Sister Liz won the 400 in 56.46. Katie Lindenmuth had a little help from the wind, but still won the long jump at 17-8. And, the Eagles continue to play cat-and-mouse with their relays, winning the 4x100 and 4x400 on this day, but leaving people to guess which relays will be stacked at state.
Other notable efforts included Windsor's Emily Elliott sweeping the 100 and 200, a very nice 9:48.15 by Longmont (a school without a long tradition of strong 800s for girls) in the girls 4x800, a toss of 125-2 by Mountain View's Anna Avila in the discus, a 14.95 by Niwot's Peter Neis to win the 110 hurdles, a solid 1:28.93 by Silver Creek to win the 4x200, and a 22-0 long jump without the help of any wind by Broomfield's Louis Fisher. Also noteworthy from Broomfield was Trent Ireland's domination of the sprint events: first in the 100 at 11.01, first in the 200 at 22.64, and .01 out of first in the 400 at 50.07. All that from a sophomore!
Look for the Northern Conference to be very well represented at the 4A state meet in nine days. With the completion of their league meet, state is the only remaining date on the schedule for each of these schools.