Multiple Season-Best Marks At Stutler Twilight

* Brooke Naughton clears 5-9 with room to spare.

Meet director John Reyes urged the other coaches at the coaches' meeting prior to competition to urge their athletes to "get after it."

Get after it they did, though some of the athletes clearly had their eyes on big marks long before the coaches' meeting.

Two boys events and five girls events witnessed the best marks of the 2021 Colorado season before the meet finally wound down at 11:30 PM. That, by the way, edges out the counts of three and three season-best marks posted part-way across town at the Liberty Bell meet.

First to fall in terms of a big mark of the season was the girls high jump. Brooke Naughton of Fort Collins made 5-9 look easy. She had the clearance to get over 5-11 as well but not all the timing lined up at the exact moments needed for that to happen. Naughton thus emerges as the 5A Girls high jump favorite. She's likely to be heard from in other events as well, as her 18-0 effort in the long jump will attest.

Naughton's high jump, however, was merely first water over the dam.

Over at the pole vault pit, Anna Willis was taking whacks at her own sister's (Andrea Willis) state pole vault record. The quest came up short--this time--but 13-3 is still well ahead of the field on the season. The youngest of the Willis sisters definitely understands a thing or two about making magic happen with a pole.

For the record, Willis's mark is also the #1 freshman mark in the pole vault nationally.

Once Willis had done her thing, it was Riley Stewart's turn on center stage. A very large percentage of the athletes on the field seemed all-too-well clued in on what Stewart was attempting for the effort to be dismissed as a crazy idea that arrived at the start line. 

For a couple of laps, Cherokee Trail's Cameron McConnell gamely hung with Stewart, giving the latter a little extra push from behind. The final two laps, however, were entirely and only Stewart. When Stewart crossed the finish line in 4:44.13, she had transposed the final two digits on Katie Rainsberger's (former) all-class record in the event. 

Needless to say, Stewart's 4:44.13 stands as a best mark for the season as well.

The parade had only begun. 

A few minutes later, the Niwot girls scorched the track for a 47.98 in the 4x100. That's the first anyone has dipped below 48 seconds this season. I'd love to be able to tell you who did the deed, but that information does not appear on the meet results. Go ask Maurice Henriques.

As the last slivers of light were disappearing from the track, the boys got into the act. That happened when Cherry Creek's Ky Oday ripped a 48.37 in the 400. Oday didn't even take over the lead in the event until the final straight. You could justifiably say it was a fast heat of the 400.

There were also failed attempts at state-leading marks--and state records, for that matter. The Elite Boys 1600 ran just after the 800s. Fresh off a new state record in the 800 at Liberty Bell the night before, Harrison Witt set out to better his own record in the 1600. It was announced as an attempt at a sub-4 mile. Nobody snickered. If people came to the meet inclined to laugh off record attempts, the snicker had been taken out of their sails by this point. 

Witt's effort, however, started with one major factor working against it and soon added a second factor. It doesn't matter if your name is Hobbs Kessler; a record one night does take something out of your legs for the next night. 

You wouldn't have know Witt's legs were missing anything on the first lap, however. Witt came through the 400 in 57.x. That quickly, however, became the second major factor working against his record effort. The next lap settled in at about 64 seconds and any serious bid for a sub-4 was instantly over. The third lap sealed the fate on a new state 1600 record bid. Still, Witt won the event in 4:13-and-change.

Picking up where the big performances left off, however, Niwot's Lucca Fulkerson set the season standard in the 3200 with a 10:43.87. Fulkerson got help from teammate Mia Prok for much of the way, but Prok's legs couldn't match Fulkerson's turnover in the final two laps. Still, Prok finished in 10:47.51. That, incidentally, is the second-best 3200 in Colorado on the season.

The final top mark of the season came, once again, from Cherry Creek. The boys 4x400 closed out the final event of the meet with a 3:23.73 to better all previous marks in the event for the season.

And that, folks, is a lot of highlights for anyone's reel.