Grit: firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck:
In watching the final 100 meters of the 2A 800 state final, the word "grit" seems to best define what Jackson Neppl embodied.
The St. Mary's junior had the inside lane, and he was relentless over every stride of that final straightaway.
In other terms, he was determined to win this race.
Neppl pumped his arms and clawed at the track while Lyons junior Cole Thomas gave an admirable challenge from Lane 2.
But there would be no denying Neppl the state title.
He won the race in a full-second Colorado personal best of 2:00.45, while Thomas was a stride back in 2:00.81.
The victory marked a massive leap for Neppl, who took quite a few more steps upwards on the podium compared to his finish at the 2021 Colorado State 800 final where he finished 12th.