A Banner Day For Colorado At USATF Junior Olympics

Bethany Michalak dominated the girl's 13-14 division with a 31-second victory. 

Colorado's next crop of distance stars made it known that the Centennial State will continue to shine on the national stage for years to come, that's for sure. 

When the dust had settled, the numbers said it all: Colorado captured four team titles, and three individual titles at the USATF National Junior Olympics Championships in Madison, Wisconsin. 

That's more dominate than every other state. 

Among the highlights - and there were many...

Colorado teams went 1-2 in the boy's 11-12 division, with the Kokopelli Racing Team edging out the Parker Panthers 84-98.  

Leading Colorado in the individual race were Parker Panther runners Griffin Mazeski and Gavin Engtrakul, who finished fourth and fifth, both clocking 10:10 for the 3k distance. 

Brennan Draper led Colorado in the boy's 13-14 division, running 12:48 for a fourth-place finish. The result was just 10 seconds behind the winner, and it led the Parker Panthers to a third-place team finish. 

Erik Le Roux was the runaway winner in the boy's 15-16 division, running a 15:10 5k, which was a solid 31-seconds ahead of his nearest competitor. Jackson Shorten joined him inside the top-10 with a fifth place finish.

And the Colorado girl's were even more dominate... 

The Kokopelli Racing Team swept three divisions, claiming the 9-10, 11-12, and 13-14 team titles. 

Heidi Curtis and Tatum Snow went 1-2 in the 9-10 division, running 11:10 and 11:27 for the 3k distance to lead Kokopelli to the team title. 

Kokopelli tallied 61 points for an eight-point victory. 

Kokopelli may not have had anyone finish inside the top-10 in the girl's 11-12 division, but that didn't stop them from taking the team title. Their 27-second 1-5 gap couldn't be matched, as they tallied 80 points.

And speaking of domination, Kokopelli's Bethany Michalak added another national title to her heavily growing belt. 

Michalak's stellar 13:27 4k clocking was 31-seconds clear of the field, and it led Kokopelli to the 13-14 team title.

Editor's Note: 13:27 is 5:24 per-mile pace... 

Additionally, Boulder Mountain Warrior runner Mia Prok, and Peak Performance's Reese Tucker joined Michalak in the top-10.

Cadence Lapp was Colorado's top finisher in the 15-16 division, running 19:19 for a fifth place finish.