Valor Christian And Silver Creek Claim State Titles In 4A

Cole Sprout established his hold as King of Colorado Distance by claiming the 1,600 and the 3,200.

Luc Andrada entered the state meet as the favorite in the 100, and he left as the favorite. The Pueblo East junior made winning look easy, and he blitzed the field with a 10.66 victory, just missing the 10.62 state meet record. While he did dominate the 100, he had some competition in the 200 in the form of Tyrese VanHorne, and  Tyler Williams.

There were many close races over the weekend - and the 200 finals was one. When the race had been reviewed, it was VanHorne, the Harrison sophomore, who claimed the title in 21.63. Andrada and Williams both ran 21.66.

VanHorne was the pre-race favorite in the 400, but it was Standley Lake's Williams who took her turn walking to the top of the podium. Williams ran clear of the field for a one-and-a-half-second victory. The junior ran 48.22.

The massive 18-man crowd caused some chaos the in the 800. A steady early pace left everyone in the race with a lap to go, and in the midst of all the bodies, Niwot sophomore Cruz Culpepper tripped and fell to the track with 350 meters remaining. Culpepper had entered the race with the second fastest time, and was slated to battle for the win, but the fall derailed his plans. In an act of sportsmanship, Pine Creek's Derek Ashby stopped to help Culpepper up, and the two ran the final lap together.

Up ahead, Silver Lake senior James Lee was on a mission to defend his title, and he did just that. With 200 to go the only challenger was Cal Banta, but it was Lee's race, and he held off the Air Academy junior to win the title in 1:54.25 to Banta's 1:54.61.

In the 1,600 and 3,200 Cole Sprout established his dominance over the Colorado distance scene. The Valor Christian sophomore was quite simply unstoppable.

The 1,600 was primed to be a showdown between Sprout, Culpepper, Lee, and the Colorado state record of 4:10, but Saturday's rain and wind slashed any record attempts, and the trio were left racing each other for a state title.

The early pace was honest, and it was clear the winner would come from these three, but as the race wore on it came down to Sprout and Lee, with the sophomore pushing the pedal to the floor. The two had separated from the pack with 600 to go, though it was all Sprout.

The sophomore flew up and away and free from Lee's shadow in the final lap. Sprout telescoped away while Culpepper gave chase to Lee. By the final straightaway Sprout was clear of the field, and cruised across the line with his second state title of the weekend, running 4:14, which was two seconds off the state meet record. Behind him, Culpepper nearly chased down Lee, but the Silver Creek senior held on to finish second in 4:19 to Culpepper's 4:20.

The 3,200 was a much more casual affair for Sprout, who paced his way to the state title. Sprout, who had already run a Colorado state record of 9:01 weeks earlier, cruised through the final mile away from the field to a 9:22 victory. The two state titles cap a Triple Crown for Sprout, who claimed the state cross country title as well. He's now deserving of The in front of his name, as The Cole Sprout.

Pre-race favorite Angelo Hurtado was pushed to the line in the 110 hurdles. The Roosevelt senior led three under 15 seconds, claiming the event in 14.48. Hot his his heels was Northfield's Zaire Jackson, who ran 14.59.

The 300 hurdles was an event so close, that even after a review of the finish, it was decided that there was a tie for the state title. Wyatt Wieland and Dane Palazzo had to wait, along with all the spectators for the decision, which took nearly five minutes.

Initially, Wieland's name was listed No.1 on the scoreboard, followed by Palazzo. The question wasn't did Wieland win, it was did they tie. When it was revealed that they did indeed tie, Palazzo's mouth dropped in excitement and to the cheers of the crowd.

The two ran 38.01 to claim the state title, together. Later, a photo from the booth revealed that the two their shoulders had indeed crossed at the exact same time.